On the route back towards Auckland (which is south incase you wondered), we weren’t quite sure which way to go. But, in the land of beautiful beaches and winding roads, if you want the former, then you get the latter.
In Canada, the road out to Tofino, BC is a very winding road, twisting through the mountains, challenging anyone’s stomach contents to re-appear. This road we found on the way to Sandy Beach, near Tutukaka town, was at least ten times tighter, ten times steeper, and with banks that drop off secretly into the thick brush just past the shoulder that doesn’t exist. Sounds fun, no?!
Our campervan was a champ, at high rates of speed (grin, like so fast mom….30-50kph), no one could even keep up to us! Ok, just kidding. The speed was 100, but no one was capable of much faster than us anyway. I would like to say we made it out unscathed, but Mr Campervan got a little itty bitty boo-boo.
You know how when you drive into a parkade and you duck just to make sure you don’t scrape your roof? Well, it doesn’t work… and it sure didn’t when I tried to lean to the right when we crossed one of many narrow one-laned bridges. Clip. Uh oh. Our van now displays a nice white paint streak from the bridge down its side (sorry no, photo evidence. hopefully Josh can give it a wee buff and diminish the ouches considerably before we have to return it.
“At the end of the road, go straight”….Onward, without knowing the extent of the damage, we proceeded just as Madam GPS suggested until we came to another “stellar” beach. I quote Josh here because he was “stoked” about this one. Deep blue sea, check. Soft sand, check. Surfing, check. Vibe, check. Campervan parking, a critical check.
All the stars aligned and we spent the afternoon at Sandy Beach, with a picnic lunch, some beach poking, a few great photo ops, and of course, you guessed it, some wind. It wasn’t there when we arrived but by the time we left, it was blowing us chilly. We had attempted the beach tent, but bailed part way through its pitch.
Onward still, we opted out of any of the campervan parks we saw on this circle route and came back to Whangerei to our familiar top 10 park for just one night. Free showers, familiar faces, and a bit of free wifi, and with an empty lot we’re good to stay. It was quite a long day of driving, and the kids did really well. Zo slept the whole drive time, and Ry played games, ate snacks, and watched Puffin Rock.
For dinner, we had a nice wind-free picnic on a rare find picnic table in an even rarer piece of shade, for a perfect end to the evening. Ry crashed immediately once her head hit the pillow, despite windows and drapes fully open, bright as day…and I almost had to put Zoe down to bed naked as it was THAT hot in the camper at 8pm. Summer problems…. we are not complaining.