Bay of Island; the place where the sun always shines ... or supposed to be shining

Cape Reinga Travel Blog

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Apparantly the second bluest sky in the world.

Let me start with bad news. I have no pictures of Paihia and Cape Reinga. I lost my camera with all my pictures. Luckily I've put most pictures already on my ipod but the pictures from the Bay of Islands are lost. The pictures on this page are provided by Andy, Ben and Georgina (Thanx!).

Paihia (Bay of Islands) is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand. According to Wikipedia, Bay of Islands has the second bluest sky in the world. Unfortunately, it was raining frequently during the three days I was there. This place is facilitated for good weather activities, so when it rains there is nothing to do here. Despite the rain, I did a hike to the top of a mountain that has a beautiful view of the bay of Paihia.

The northern tip of New Zealand.
Due to the bad weather the view was limited. Just when I started my descend from this mountain, the air alarm went off. Normally this means seek shelter, duck and cover. I had no clue what to do. I was on this mountain and no there were no houses nearby. Normally it would take about 25 minutes to reach the bottom of this mountain where there's a road leading to the main street. While I was running I thought maybe a storm or really bad weather was approaching or Australia is attacking New Zealand. I managed to reach the road in less than 8 minutes. The people on the streets were doing there things like nothing happened. Apparantly, when a firetruck is needed the air alarm goes off. Well at least I know I'm still fit.

The buspass I've purchased includes several tours. One of the tours is called Cape Reinga.

This tour also goes to the most northern part of New Zealand and to the 90 miles beach. The bus is modified (extra light and soft suspended) to ride on the beach and through shallow waters. I really liked this tour. At Cape Reinga, the Abel Tasman Sea comes together with the Pacific Ocean. At this Cape, you can see the waves of both waters clashing into each other. The Abel Tasman Sea is also darker than the Pacific Ocean. From the 90 miles beach, you can see the "Hole in the Rock". The name explains itself.

Another cool activity during this tour is the sandboarding. According to the bus driver you can reach a speed of 60-70 kph. My first run was just perfect. I didn't have to make any corrections at all so I went down in a straight line. However, I went so fast downhill that I managed to skim over the water and crashed into the bushes.

The "wild life" at Base hostel Paihia.
Despite that accident, I went down that dune three more times because I liked it so much. The only downside of sandboarding is climbing up the dune, it's pretty hard.

There are many outdoor activities in Paihia. Kayaking, long walks, skydiving, mountainbiking, etc. Too bad I didn't do any of these activities because of the bad weather. Many backpackers also booked the dolphin cruise. I was lucky that I didn't book this tour. The sea was very choppy so many got sea sick. Moreover, the people on the first boat only spotted five dolphins, the second boat just one. The boats also didn't go through the "hole in the rock" because of the rough sea. Thus, if you want to do the dolphin cruise in Paihia, make sure you check the weather forecast and only go on this tour when expecting good weather.

In Paihia, I stayed again at the Base hostel. I don't like this hostel because the bunk beds are unstable, the water pressure of the showers is too low (I barely got wet under the shower) and the internet is too expensive. I did meet some great and funny backpackers though. After staying in Paihia for two nights I went back on the Kiwi bus to Auckland for one night and making my way to the Coromandel Peninsula.

Next destination: Mercury Bay (Whitianga).

daevild says:
NO!!! NO!!! No!!!... Wing without camara! Now we will miss all the funny pictures of Wing!

I won't let this happen so Help Wing to get a new camara and make a donation on Wings bank account.

2 bad for you camera, but your blog still rocks even without your own pictures!!! I looking forward to your next blog and your next new experience. (Diving, bungee jumping, sandboarding... what will be next ... wrestling with Hobbits...)
Posted on: Nov 13, 2008
Ma-Ray says:
Ah, losing your camara... that sucks. I have had some bad luck making photos lately. My camara is refusing service constantly. I now borrow one from a friend, but that's becoming a rather longtermed loan... :$
I would have liked photos of that sandboarding though ;o)
Posted on: Nov 12, 2008
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Apparantly the second bluest sky i…
Apparantly the second bluest sky …
The northern tip of New Zealand.
The northern tip of New Zealand.
The wild life at Base hostel Pai…
The "wild life" at Base hostel Pa…
View of the Hole in the Rock on 90…
View of the Hole in the Rock on 9…
Beach of Cape Reinga.
Beach of Cape Reinga.
Where the waves of Abel Tasman Sea…
Where the waves of Abel Tasman Se…
Walking up the dune.
Walking up the dune.
Cape Reinga
photo by: chunkybeats