The morning started with a 5km run along the coast of Pahia. It was the first one we had done in the North Island as the Tongariro crossing day hike put our legs out of action for a few days afterwards. It was good to get back out there though and take in the sights with a run to start the day off. After breaky we checked out of Ti Territi Lodge (it sounds nice but it was basically a box room with just a bed in it) and headed West to Omapere. The views along the coast were really nice, over the water were huge sand dunes that led to completely secluded white beaches. We stopped in Omapere for a little break from driving and threw in an ice cream for good measure.
Carrying on along the coastal route we came across Arai Te-Uru National Park. We didn’t really plan on visiting here but thought we might as well whilst passing. I’m glad we did as it turned out to be one of the most picturesque spots we’ve been to in the whole of New Zealand. The views were breath taking, from high above the sea we could see the the sand dunes and all the way along the coast to one side and the lovely rolling hills of countryside to the other. Beneath us there was secluded beach after secluded beach with lovely fine sand and calm, clear waters. If I wasn’t in flip flops maybe we would have tried to venture down to one of them.
There was one beach that was easier to get down to, it wasn’t as small and untouched as the others but we could make it down without breaking any bones. The sand down there was weird and made a strange squeaky noise as we walked along. Dotted around the beach were large rocks, most of which were covered in very tiny black shells which you couldn’t even notice unless up very close.
The view from down there was beautiful and we both agreed it was one of the best beaches we’d been to, apart from the one in Koh Samui it’s the only one we’ve had completely to ourselves. The view of the unusual waves in front of us was quite unique, as the tide of the sea met with the flow of the adjoining river it caused a weird swirling cyclone, something we’d never seen before. Definitely not somewhere you’d want to go swimming 🙂
As it was Mother’s Day yesterday we wrote a message in the sand for our mums, took a few snaps and then had a very hot a sweaty climb back up to the car. The heat in New Zealand really is unbearable at times! Temperature wise it’s much lower than most parts of Asia we’ve been to and it’s nowhere near as humid but for some reason the sun just feels so, so hot.
It’s another night in the car tonight as we make our way back South for our last few days in Auckland. Sleeping in the car over here is perfectly legal but I suppose the right way to do it would be to check into a holiday park, pay £20 odd for the night and use their facilities for cooking, showering etc. This would have amounted to about £200 across our month in NZ and as we’re so tight we’ve opted to stay in the freedom campsites for our nights in the car instead. These sites are completely free and often used by backpackers who are in camper vans. The only problem is they literally just have a toilet, no showers, power, kitchens or anything else.
So, in true freeloader fashion we have been ‘borrowing’ holiday parks facilities since we got here and up until today we got away with it! I got busted today though by an overly observant women on reception. As I left the shower I made a dart out of the site back to our car but as I looked back I noticed the woman had collared Nick at the entrance. My wet hair had obviously given the game away whilst smarty pants used the blowdryer and didn’t get questioned at all. The woman wanted us to pay so Nick naively said he would check with me if I used the shower and come back. They probably would have charged us a nights stay so for the sake of a couple of 5 minute showers we sped off to start our new life as on the run criminals.