David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
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Liverworks Productions
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Liverworks Productions
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New Zealand 2016
10/30   Right is Left
10/31   Omeru Scenic Reserve
11/01   Omamari Beach
11/02   Waipoua Forest
11/03   Mail Boxes and a Magic Orange
11/04   Cape Reinga
11/05   Ninety Mile Beach
11/06   Haruru Falls
11/07   Russell Forest
11/08   Bus and Ferry
11/09   Thames
11/11   Castle Rock
11/12   Hot Water Beach
11/13   Owharoa Falls
11/14   Thompson's Track
11/15   Rotorua
11/17   Rotorua Rain
11/18   Haku Falls
11/19   Pureora Forest Park
11/20   Waitomo Glowworm Caves
11/21   Marokopa
11/22   New Plymouth
11/25   Pukeiti Rain Forest
11/26   Boring Highway 3
11/27   Boring Highway 1
11/29   Switching Gears
11/30   Hitchhikie
12/01   Abel Tasman National Park
12/02   Rawhiti Cave
12/03   Mount Robert
12/04   Glaciers
12/05   Mount Aspiring
12/06   Milford Sound
12/07   Stirling Point
12/08   The Catlins
12/09   Tunnel Beach
12/10   Sandfly Beach
12/11   Mount Cook
12/12   Cave Stream
12/14   Long Day Home
Kayak Trip 2017

Ninety Mile Beach

2016-11-05

tl;dr: I'm headed south again. I biked a good length of Ninety Mile Beach before cutting east.

There were a lot of mosquitoes swarming my tent last night. A few got in. I don't think I've been bitten, yet.

I slept in a bit. I didn't even need to use my flashlight to start breaking camp.

The road to the beach passes the Giant Te Paki sand dunes. They are large. I didn't take time to climb them, but apparently you can sled down them.

The road also mostly follows a creek, or rather is a creek. It was easier than expected to bike on. I only had problems on the dry stretches of road where the sand was. Once I was on the beach, the beach is the road, and the beach is solid like pavement.

I found horse tracks on the beach. I assumed somebody was horseback riding, but it turns out there are wild horses here. It's amazing what New Zealand tolerates.

I decided to bike all the way to the first campground near Maunganui Bluff Reserve before eating breakfast. I was hoping to find picnic tables there. I didn't find picnic tables. I did find Garvin. He was just getting ready to head out. I had already been at it for three hours. I may be a little too intense at this. I asked him about mosquitoes at his camp, and I learned about how Irish, Germans, and Americans all have different definitions for "mosquito".

Garvin took off. I was supposed to meet him at the next campsite, but I think I sort of missed it. I saw something that must have been that campsite off the beach, but I decided to keep on peddling. I never saw another campsite. Just as well, because I barely made it down to Waipapakauri before the tide came in. Had the tide caught me I would have been stuck sitting in the sand dunes for two hours.

Here is what it looks like biking down the beach:



I came across a number of backpackers. Cape Reinga is a starting point for a full-length New Zealand hike. The first three days are spent on this beach. That has to be a soul-crushing march. The beach is interesting enough. For a couple hours. After that it is all the same all the way along. I didn't even bike the entire 83 kilometer length of it and I was bored. Also, it must be depressing thinking you are starting off hiking on a rugged stretch of remote land only to be passed by bicycles and fisherman in trucks and tour buses. Last night I told a backpacking girl at Cape Reinga that I was about to bike the beach, and I swear her face momentarily fell sad as she realized what that meant.

From Waipapakauri I made my way back to the McDonalds in Kaitaia so I to use the wifi. I was asked if I wanted "tomato sauce". That's new.

I met another older couple on bicycles; this time from Germany. They had gotten off the beach a couple hours before me. Everybody cycling seems to be starting in Auckland and following the same general route as me, but I seem to be making the best time. Except for maybe that one German. But that is to be expected. Whenever I tell somebody I'm trying to do the loop in two months, they ask, "just the north island?" Again, I may be a little too intense.

From Kaitaia I headed east onto dirt roads. There are a lot of farms here, but I eventually found a place to camp.

Hazardous!


Giant Te Paki sand dunes


good morning New Zealand!


This is the road. It is actually pretty easy cycling.


This is also the road. It is not easy cycling.




Finally to the beach.






Maunganui Bluff Reserve


backpacker tracks


backpackers


a fisherman and his dog


With the tide coming in I sometimes end up peddling in salt water. That can't be good for my bike.




The tide is almost in. I'm running out of road.


My bike got a bit dirty.


sheep and geese


back into farmland


just in case you forgot

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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