Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ABC Wednesday - N is for the Ninety-Mile Beach on New Zealand's North Island


The route on to the Ninety-Mile beach is a drive along the Te Paki stream which is actually quicksand! It leads past huge sand-dunes that tower above.


Once beyond the quicksand, the driver stops by the side of a dune. Now the fun begins. He gets out boards from the coach's luggage compartment and hands them out. The idea is for everyone to indulge in the unique sport of dunebogganing. It is similar to tobogganing, but played on sand instead of snow.


All those who have the energy climb to the top of the dunes, a rather painstaking slog in itself.


They then lie on the boards and slide all the way back down to the bottom. After about half an hour of this, most people are quite exhausted.


At the end of the dunes, the driver does a 360 degree turn to enable us to get an idea of the expanse of the Ninety-Mile Beach.


The name is a misnomer as it is only about sixty miles or ninety kilometres, but that is still a long way. Accessible for about two hours either side of low-tide, the beach is actually designated State Highway 1. As we thunder down it, the wealth of seabirds just ignore the traffic.


The parallel road we had earlier used to reach Cape Reinga is designated 1a.


Shell-fish known as abalones are found here. The seabirds pick them out of the sand, fly into the air and drop the shells in order to crack them open.

A fuller account of our trip to the Northernmost tip of New Zealand can be found on our cruise journal.

A bonus photograph can be found at my N entry on ABC Wednesday.

More N posts can be seen on the ABC Wednesday Anthology blog.

Others can be found via the ABC Wednesday with Mister Linky which carries a registry of participants.

22 comments:

  1. You really do get around! It must have been a very special experience. I have never heard of it, but I'm glad you told me - thank you for sharing!

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  2. I love your pictures of dunes, and the lady's reflection , like a portrait in a mirror...
    Miss Yves

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  3. Huge dunes, huge expanse of beach. Wow. Only the quicksand I could do without. :)

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  4. Excellent pictures.
    That's a lot of walking.

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  5. Fascinating beach and post for the letter N.
    The quicksand sounds a bit unnerving to me.
    My boys have gone sandboggening in Oregon. The dunes are so interesting.

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  6. OK, Really, I need to visit. I love the sand dunes. great post.

    An Arkie's Musings

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  7. Never knew there was such a beach, thanks for posting it.

    Ray

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  8. My island and I feel so insignifigant. 90 miles!

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  9. Fascinating picture. New Zealand is an amazing place.

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  10. Your photos are great and this beach must be fantastic!

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  11. Oh man! I would LOVE to do that! I first saw sand tobagganing in Namibia on an old episode of the Amazing Race and have never forgotten it. New Zealand is probably more likely for me to see than Africa so, gosh, I'm going to keep this in mind! You might be interested in seeing my post because I mention a spot where we had to wait for low tide to get across to an island in Eastern Canada. :D

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  12. Not only would you be exhausted from sand tobogganing but I bet you would feel very sandy and a bit dirty.

    Bear((( )))

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  13. Dare one say 'true grit'?
    Pacific rollers did that no doubt. Land of the Long Gold Beach.

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  14. I've done something similar to dunebogganing in the Sand Dunes National park in west Texas. There is no beach but miles of sand dunes.

    We also have something called hill sledding. Take a flattened cardboard box & sled down grassy hills.

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  15. Oh how wonderful to be in New Zealand! I enjoyed visiting the South Island and we did all kind of things, but dune boarding wasn't one of them. Thanks for sharingt!

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  16. During the year we spent in New Zealand we didn't make it to 90 mile beach! It is one of our few regrets. We saw so much and did so much, but that one we missed out on.

    Lovely to see your post about it! I didn't know about the sand tobogganing or we might have made sure we got up there - our kids were quite young and would have loved it!

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  17. I, too, had a bumpy ride along that same beach recently. I had my photo taken on top of a half-sunk car. I wonder if it's sill there!

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  18. New Zealand is a fascinating place--it seems to have a little bit of everything and all those little bits are amazing. I'd love to go there someday.

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  19. Hello Gerald - here I am again, helping Denise out as a 'Teamster'.
    Allow me to thank you on her behalf for participating... seems a bit superfluous considering all you have done for the site. Anyway - 'Ta'.

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  20. One of the things I love about New Zealand is how we protect our natural beauty. Seven years later and the experience is exactly the same. No huge hotels, just a long, stunning beach. Thanks for sharing this article with me.

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