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.