For the last two weeks I have been staying in Kerikeri in the Northland of New Zealand. Kerikeri is actually a really big (little) town based on the other “towns” I have seen in the Northland. It has a few gas stations, banks, shops, restaurants and even a library.
Hot Chocolate at Zest in Kerikeri
If it had not been for Kiwi House Sitters and having free accommodation to take care of the cat, I probably would have not stayed in the north of NZ because most people say that there really isn’t much to do (although I now disagree.)
The house has a big garden and even a banana tree with delicious bananas.
The kitchen has been different to cook in but I have made many delicious meals and even pizza in he stone pizza oven in the back yard.
The town has very delicious restaurants to eat at and many lunch specials such as: chicken tikka masala and pad thai.
At the top of the North Island of New Zealand is Cape Reinga. It is home to where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean join and is truly a beautiful sight to see the different colored bodies of water meet.
After a long winding drive up to the tip of NZ, the lighthouse is just a short scenic walk away. Once at the lighthouse you can see the ocean and the coast of NZ for miles.
I went to Cape Reinga with some fellow backpackers and we had a great trip meeting new people.
In the Northland of New Zealand Sand Surfing is a must do activity. Te Paki Sand Dunes are located at the top of NZ on the West Coast side and are home to the biggest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Here are some tips on what to do and what not to do when sand surfing:
- Do not wear your shoes: you actually need to walk through a small stream to get to the dunes and will not want to walk in the sand in your shoes because it is difficult and you will want to feel the soft sand between your toes. (You don’t want to end up carrying your shoes the entire day like I did.)
- Wear lots of sun screen: it is very hot on the dunes and the sun is extremely strong and reflects off the sand.
- Sunglasses/hat: wear these to the dunes but you might not want to wear them when sliding down because they will fall off and might break or blow away. Have a friend hold them for you during your ride!
- Boards: you can rent boogie boards in the sand dune parking lot for 15$ to surf on…or bring your own boards!
- Water: if you can carry it definitely bring water to drink.
- Climbing up: you will need a lot of strength to climb up the dunes but it is totally worth it!
So what is it like to sand surf? It is totally awesome! And basically it is like sledding on snow but you need to steer and slow down with your toes. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and the sand dunes are incredibly huge. It is a wonder as to how all of the sand got there since it is surrounded by a forest with a river running through it.