Te Araroa: 90 Mile Beach
On Monday morning we took the bus from Auckland to Kerikeri, and subsequently to Kaitaia. During the second bus ride, it was raining very hard. Making us doubt wether to start our hike today. However, once we arrived in Kaitaia, it was dry! Therefore we decided to continue with our plan and go straight to Cape Reinga. We had already arranged a lift to Cape Reinga via internet, and luckily, Carl showed up right on time. With two hitchhikers, we arrived at Cape Reinga around 4pm. All together, we walked to the lighthouse and took some pictures. After that, it was time to hit the trail.
As the lighthouse at Cape Reinga is situated at the top of a cliff, the start was easy: just a walk down to the first beach. After a while, we had to cross several sand dunes, to reach the next beach. Because of the low clouds, it was at times hard to see the next trail markers, but we managed to reach the beach without getting lost. Once on the beach, we continued until we reached Twilight Camp.
The next morning, we thought we only had to descent to 90 Mile Beach. However, we actually had to negotiate a 5km long path through the dunes, which was at times really amazing. Just before reaching 90 Mile Beach, there was a long and steep descent to the beach. And once on the beach, we only had to make miles. At around 3.30pm, we arrived at the next campsite: Bluff.
Wednesday, it was yet another day tramping on the beach: 32 kilometers were ahead of us. During this long day on the beach, we did not see much else then sand. Well, we did see 2 tourist busses and three dead fishes! What a day... But we managed to reach Utea Park in the afternoon, where we got ourselves a cabin for 20 dollar per person.
On Thursday, we walked from Utea Park to Ahipara. Meaning we spend another long day on the beach: 31 kilometers this time. And yet again, the highlights were 6 tourist busses, a few cars, 2 quad bikes and some dead animals. Yes, it is just what you consider a highlights. Around 4pm, we arrived at the campsite in Ahipara, where we gave our feet the necessary rest.