Ian & Claire's Adventure
We decided to go to see the North by coach as we couldnt take Delia so we booked onto the Dune Safari tour. We were picked up in the morning by Craig in a people carrier instead of the 4x4 truck we were expecting (broken down...we were jinxed). We headed off for our first stop at a nearby rainforrest. Craig took us on a guided tour, pointing out the huge kauri trees and he seemed to know a lot about conservation in the area. On the way to 90mile beach Craig told us stories (which he seemed to embelish) about Maouri beliefs and about how the area was formed by volcanoes. Near the north of the island there is a huge beach called 90mile beach which is so wide its classed as a highway. We drove on the beach and raced up to Cape Reigna. On the way craig noticed the tracks of a group of wild horses which live in the sand dunes, we stoped the van a crept up to the sand dunes to see a herd of around 18 wild horses, when they caught wind of us they scarpered so back in the van. We carried on up the beach, it was really windy and craig was m,essing around driving all over the place. Before we got to Cape reigna we turned into a river bed where it was quick sand so if you stop long enough you sink, so when the coaches were being slow Craig had to move aroubd in circles. We stopped to go sandboarding at the steepest looking slope. After the talk about safety and watching the previous group fly down and land very badly Claire opted out (not wanting to tempt fate) while the others headed up the slope. It was extremely windy at the top and not like sandboarding in Peru, this time it was lying down. You lie on the board and go down head first using your feet as brakes and steering, after 2 goes Ian no longer had skin on his toe knuckles or the energy to climb back up. Claire had a little go down the small slope back to the van. We then headed up to Cape reigna. Its an important place for Maouris where they beleive their spirits leave after crossing the North island they take one stop at the tree on the tip of the peninsular then go to the next place. Its also where the pacific ocean meets the tasman sea and its very odd to see the waves hitting eachother. Theres also a lighthouse. On the way back we stopped at a quiet little beach for lunch while some of the guys went in the water with the surfers. It was way too cold for us. We then went to the Ancient kauri Kingdom, an amazing place where they dig up 30-50,000 year old kauri logs, preserved by volcanic ash and calve them into fabulous furniture and other things. The centre piece is a spiral staircase calved into a solid trunk. On the way back we stopped at Manganui for fush and chups at the famous fish shop, at the harbour. We got back in time to book our coach trip back to Auckland to meet Tina.