90 Mile Beach and One Big Tree
Trip Start Dec 16, 2009
23Trip End Ongoing
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I imagined that it would be full of people sunbathing, playing frisbee or volleyball, lined with cafés. No. Not at all. 90 Mile Beach is a desolate expanse of white sand that stretches all the way up to Cape Reinga. People don't lay on it or camp on it. They drive on it. So, as not to get run over, no one really hangs out there. Plus, there's nothing around. Giant sand dunes, which people board down, separate it from the main road and any town. It's also very far away from everything. Plus, there are so many incredible beaches through all of the North Island that are way more accessible that most people who go to 90 Mile Beach just go to see it, drive on it or board down the dunes
Which is why I felt a little stupid after having whipped of my shirt, smeared myself with sunblock, bounded out to the beach to be part of the action, only to be faced with, well, nothing. Nothing at all. And it was cold. Cold and quiet. Bay Watch it wasn't.
Still, it's quite beautiful. Just sand stretching forever with water that goes on for even longer.
So I put my shirt back on, and when Zara was done laughing at me, we drove to the West Coast to see Tane Mahuta, the largest and oldest Kauri tree in all of New Zealand, which I kept calling Hakunah Matada. But that's an entirely different thing.
Hakunah Ma — Ack! Tane Mahuta is 2000 years old and the trunk is 17 meters high. It's not the biggest tree I've ever seen, having enormous Redwoods in Norther California, but the history and the significance and its age are impressive. Again, firmly rooted (no pun intended) in Maori culture, Tane Mahuta is the deity of man and all that dwells in the forest.
On the way back to Titirangi, I accomplished one of my main goals in NZ... TO HUG A SHEEP!!
Why? 'cuz they're friggin cute, that's why!!