North of the North Island….The Search for Surf

The north of the north island becomes quite a different region compared with the rest of New Zealand.  It is sub-tropical, and used to be home the largest kauri trees on the island.  The beaches here stretch for up to 50 miles and some of the purest silicon sand in the world is found.

I am traveling here in the summer months, so its warm and humid.  It feels great after a year and a half of winter.

Far north is one of the best surf areas in New Zealand, and some say that on its day it can be one of the best places in the world.  There has been a wave ridden here that was recorded over 1k, or about .6 of a mile.  The most well known break in this area is called Shipwreaks.

I decided to drive up to this area from Whagamata because my friend Mike was headed into the area and had been there many times before.  To access most of the breaks there is a 4×4 track around 2 large points.  The road is over sea rock and sand, and across two sprawling beaches.  Along the sea cliffs there are 300 ft (100 meter) sand dunes that can be seen from space.  The road (really just a track) can only be driven during low tide, and is a pretty hairy drive.  I knew the van wouldn’t make it, so to meet up with the crew already out at the spot, I need to try and hitch a ride.  I packed up a tent, camera gear, wetsuit, and a surfboard and started to walk the road.  after about 20 minutes a local guy in a Ute (pick-up truck) picked me up.  Unfortunately I got off at the first camp I saw, which ended up being about a half mile away from the actual guys I was looking for.  I finally walked up on the Kibblewhite’s, the friends I was meeting after about another 45 min of walking, and plopped down to wait for the tide to drop to get a surf in.

The swell was medium for the area, and we got a few decent waves.  Just looking at the area you could see the amazing potential that the series of points had.  Just to imagine that each break could link up to make a super left-hander that can rope for over half a mile (1 k) made me shiver.  I hope I get a chance to see this place working before I have to go.

This is half the area up from Shipwreaks bay, the start of several K's of reef and point breaks that can all link up to make a super long ride-able wave.

Super Tubes

The next day the swell died, so I ended up heading to the east coast to check another beach.  The waves were very small, so I made the decision to head north to the northern most tip of the island called Cape Reinga.  Here 2 oceans meet right off the point.  The Tasman and Pacific oceans collide in brilliant color ridges and massive swirling currents.  You can literally see both oceans combining.

The Cape

Cape Lighthouse

Cape Reinga, Where Oceans Collide

Lone Tree

The Tasman and Pacific Oceans meeting

On the way, the most pure silicon sand in the wold accumulates in massive bright white dunes.  From the distance I thought it was the white water of massive surf.

Purest silicon sand in the world


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