Day 156 and after a night of constant rain we woke to blue sky and sunshine to our amazement. Our milk had gone werid, we think the fridge isnt the best! After showering (and getting stalked by cats, there were about 4-5 following us about cause they thought we had food) we filled up with water and were on our way. We drove to a town called KeriKeri. There wasnt a lot to do apart from see New Zealands oldest stone and wooden house, go on a pointless walk and go to the shops. In the afternoon we drove to Doubtless Bay, and Coopers Beach, where Laura duely got her photo with the sign. For lunch I had soup, but the sink started leaking. Another dodgy moment for the camper and Luke did some makeshift plumbing. Further along the coast was a town called Cable Bay which was awesome. We parked up and had some great ice creams (the lads got Orange Choc Chip flavour!?). The surf here was massive and me and Luke couldnt resist the waves. They were by far the most violent yet, taking us out completely. One washed me up on shore 10 metres from where I went in. In the evening we drove north to a town called Kaitia which was full of pikey chavs along the streets. Clearly its not just Camberley that has this problem. Instead of cooking the dinner we had bought, we had chinese takeaways (coops had subway salad) as it was relatively cheap. We shouldnt have cause after we all felt well full and obese. We struggled for anywhere to park so ended up in a Pak N' Save carpark (Basically a cash and carry). Burns kept singing the Killers song 'In The Dark' which made Helen almost cry with laughter. After getting used to sleeping in a supermarket car park we went to bed about 10 wondering if we would have any visitors in the night.
Day 157 and after our nights sleep in the Pak N' Save carpark we were up by 7 ahead of our 90 mile beach tour. Luke decided to drive to the public toilets round the block and did so while we were still in our beds. We then used the toilets and showers. Well, I say showers, I mean using the disabled block and using the basin as a shower and covering ourselves in water. It was flooded by the time we were done. We drove 5 mins out of town and checked in for our Harrisons tour of 90 Mile Beach. Our guide was called John and straight away we thought he looked quite boring. Our first stop was the Kauri Kingdom. The local type of tree is called Kauri and they make all sorts of stuff out of it. One tree in the shop had the inside carved open so it acted as a staircase and the tree itself was over 45,000 years old. After this we drove for about half an hour in the wind and rain in gloomy conditions and stopped briefly at a place called Mount camel. After that we drove to Rarawa beach where the sand was really white. The highlight here was seeing a middle age lady fall over when posing for a photograph. The next stop was a town called Te Kao where we got some food, you guessed it, pies and sarnies. The ice creams here were intense but it was to cold and wet for ice cream. John kept telling lots of long stories about trees, and ancient things which were boring everyone. At one point I think the other 4 were all asleep, I somehow managed to stay awake. Our final stop on the way north was Cape Reinga (we called it Regina). Here there was a lighthouse and also some awesome waves where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. After this we had lunch, it was basically snacks. Shortbread biscuits, cereal bars, rice crackers and tea.
After lunch we drove to Te Paki sand dunes which was the place we were looking forward to most. This is where we could do sandboarding. We parked at the base of a massive sand dune. Not everyone wanted to do it but us 5 got off and trudged up the steep hill. Well tiring. At the top Luke went first, he slightly stacked it but did well and went well fast. I went 2nd and proper stacked it, rolling down a hill of sand. Helen went 3rd and was brilliant. Shes so light she went well fast. Burns went next and did ok, and Coops went 5th but wouldnt put her feet in the sled so didnt go as fast! We all had second and third goes, Burns got a faceful of sand on one, my other 2 runs were really fast, as were Helens, and Luke, being the guy he is, ran about 200 metres to another sand dune, twice the size of the one we were on, and went down that one. After trying to get rid of all the sand we moved on and started driving down the beach itself. Its not actually 90 miles, but 96km but apparently a horse can ride 30 miles a day, and it used to take 3 days to do, hence the name, 90 mile beach. At one point Luke Hoffed it into the sea to everyones amusement. When back in Kaitia we showered in a sink again and drove south towards Kawakawa. We wondered around town and saw the famous toilets which were all weird cement shapes with glass and bottles embedded. For dinner we cooked spag bol and bought some cheap garlic bread. over dinner we debated about the word Mufty, as in 'Mufty Day' at school. The other 4 havent heard the word Mufty, they claim its a 'Surrey' thing.
Day 158 and after a good nights sleep we had a slow start to getting ready. The milk in our fridge had gone off, the camper letting us down again. The seal on the fridge is dodgy. We headed for Whangarei where we had been before as we knew there were showers there and we were all still covered in sand. 54km and an hour later we arrived at the info centre where we showered and went on the internet for the first time in a week (felt like forever - no USB so blogs have been delayed). After about an hour here we headed south again. On the way we filled up our water tank and got petrol and had lunch in a layby. Drove for what felt like hours but finally about 4pm and past Auckland we reached the Luge centre. it was only $5 a go, so we all got a ticket and went for it. The lift thing which took you up to the top was soo slow, it took 7 minutes to get to the top and under a minute to go down. The girls went first and went on the medium track, and told us it was fast. Us lads then went on it and it was well fast! Over in a flash but really good. I nearly crashed on the last corner I was going so quick. We liked it so much we did it again but had to endure the slow lift again! Afterwards we drove further south and headed for Hot Water beach. After 3 hours of driving through the windy mountains and everyone felling a bit car sick we reached the beach at 8ish. Some random french guy asked to borrow our power supply to pump up his inflatable bed so he could sleep on the beach! Dinner was Pasta Pesto which was superb. BUrns wasnt full so had cereal for dessert. Tonights dinner debate was about how my parents who like their gardening should do it competitively and divide the garden in to and compete. I have no idea how this conversation came about. Also Burns challened us to live in a campervan for a year for $10,000 as he was getting frustrated with the close quarters! We hit the hay knowing we would be getting up early to go did a hole in the sand.
Day 159 and the girls set alarms to try and see the sunset at 5am bt it as to cloudy. We were up at 8 and it was a perfect monday morning. Blue sky, bright sunshine, clear water and a beach to relax on. Helen cooked us her speciality for breakfast, pancakes (shes eats them everywhere we go). We got changed into our swimmers and headed to the beach. We hired a shovel and got there just as a load of old tourists showed up in their massive tour bus. Hot water beach is known as that cause the magama from the earths core is only 2km below the surface which causes the water to heat rapidly and allow you to did your own hot bath. We started digging along with everyone else and some of the areas of the beach were so hot the water on the sand was bubbling. OUr pool was quite big but only the front corner was hot, and it was so hot it burned! After 20 mins of digging we all got in and enjoyed a warmish and very sandy bath. After a while me and Burns went in the sea as the waves were pretty good and then we all headed back to shower and head off. Our next stop was Cathedral Cove. We had to walk for 30 mins to get there along a long and windy path but when we got there it was awesome. A small secluded beach with the a giant arch in the rocks (looked like a cathedral I guess?). Once back at the camper we had lunch (instant noodles) and then treated ourselves to an ice cream as it was mega hot. On the drive south we stopped in a town called Tariua and Burns went on the net to check the footy scores while the girls and Luke went to the Butcher and bought some meat for dinner. The next stint of driving took ages, and me Burns and Helen where in the back doing arrowords, playing cards and listening to music. Helen at one point thought a baby dog was called a 'doggy'. When we told her she should have said puppy she got very embarressed and couldnt stop laughing. While driving Burns got some crackers out of the cupboard for Helen, but cause we were going at 80kph a sweet and sour sauce jar flew out and somehow didnt smash. We stopped in a layby and Laura and Helen cooked Chicken Curry which we all agreed was the best food had in the camper so far. The place we stopped was really cold and we all had to put socks and trousers on. After a few rounds of cards we all went to bed about 11ish and would be heading to Rotarua in the morning.