We set off from Paihia quite early in the morning and headed up the twin coast discovery and then onto the only highway towards Cape Reigna. On the way we stopped at Doubtless Bay, which was lovely. We also stopped for lunch at Kiamaumau Recreation Reserve on the way and had lovely views overlooking a very enclosed bay, which looked more like a very large lake! We had already thought that we might stay there for the night but it was still only very early so we decided to keep going and get to Cape Reigna on the 25th instead of on the 26th.
We drove up to the most northern point in New Zealand, Cape Regina where there were fantastic views of the Cape and it's coastline. There was the legendary lighthouse at the most northern point and you could see where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea met which was something I have never seen! You could literally see the different colours of the two waters meeting together.
We drove back down the coastline a little and stayed overnight at a DOC campsite; Tapotupotu campsite- the most northern campsite in New Zealand. You had to pay $6 each into a depository box as there weren't any wardens there but some people definitely didn't pay it which was annoying! That's why they end up stopping everything and free camping is also becoming less available because of people not following camping rules. The campsite was a brilliant location anyway and had it's own beach in a little cove. The view from our camper was pretty impressive and we saw an amazing starry sky! We did get infested with bugs though but we were happy to pay that price for the site!
The next day (26th) on the way back down from Cape Reigna we stopped at Te Paki Sand Dunes. We got there pretty early and there was nobody there at that time to hire boards off so we just went and had fun without one! It was brilliant! We had both never seen sand dunes before and they looked amazing, if a little baffling! They were really steep (100m) and it took some effort to climb up in the sand. We got great views at the top and we had such a laugh running and jumping back down them! I was actually scared whilst climbing the steepest one as it was so high and steep! Once we got back down the board seller had arrived but we had already had so much fun without them and didn't want to do that climb again! It is coming to the end of season now and the sand wasn't as good to slide down either as we saw somebody doing it so we gave it a miss. We were pretty gutted that we didn't get to experience dune surfing but we couldn't really control the season!
The last stop on the way back down from Far North was the Ninety Mile Beach (which is actually 55 miles long). You could drive down the whole beach but we weren't allowed in our rental. We drove down to the beach and parked up near the middle of the stretch so we could see views both ways. It literally looked like it went on forever and there was only us there so it seemed like we were on a deserted never ending beach!
The far north has definitely given us some of our best views so far! It has been a very worthwhile trip and we have seen and experienced many things that we haven't before!