The Turning Point

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
D.O.C. Site # 1 - Tapotupotu, Te Paki Recreation Reserve

Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Monday, March 28, 2011

Word reached the north that snow had already started falling down south. Fears that it might be too cold to make travel pleasant led us to the decision to drive straight to South Island without further ado. And what better point to start heading south than the northernmost accessible point of NZ. Not that we had a choice but to go south! But we're going waaaaaaaaaaaaay down south!

We arrived at the camp site after dark. Scare stories of relentless, monster mozzies at Cape Reinga abound. One traveller told us about an experiment that he conducted. Sweeping a glass through the air one evening, he allegedly caught THIRTY mozzies! We're not sure whether that result is meant to be taken literally, but the message was clear - Don't dare step out of the van until morning breaks.
But before dawn something had creeped into our van! At about 5am we heard a rustle under the bed. Mario tried to scare "it" away by banging against the window. It went quiet, but within minutes there it was again. This went on for a while still (I suspect because I dozed off). Next morning we discovered that something had been snacking our muesli for an early breakfast. A mouse in our house! At least we hope it was a mouse, a creature that we are aquainted with. I'm happy to report that there hasn't been a trace of him/her/it since! And we now make doubly-sure that the food box is properly sealed all the time!
The 45 min hike to the lighthouse was pretty and reminded us very much of Cape Point. Except where these two currents meet, the Tasman sea and Pacific ocean, you can see the waves clash. 
Since we made the decision to head to the south island, we're been itching to get there. So from henceforth you can see we rushed through a few places enroute.
90 mile beach was...well, long and pretty and funny. It is officially part of the NZ state highway network but there are warnings a-plenty not to attempt driving on it with an ordinary vehicle. Getting stuck in the sand was the least of your worries when the tide comes in! We helped push/pull a Wicked van rented by some Brit tweenies out of the sand. According to a local, there are a few of them every day.
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