On the way back

Hello, it's us again. We made it up to Cape Reinga, the Land's End of NZ, and it is a suitably windswept and desolate place at the tip. 34 degrees south, and nothing north of it until you hit the Bering Strait. On the way back we called in at the massive sand dunes of Ninety Mile Beach, which is a bit of an exaggeration - seventy miles would be more like it. People actually drive all the way along it at low tide, they even run coach trips. Alas, rental vehicles are prohibited.

Today we called in on NZ's largest tree, a Kauri some 50m tall with a girth of 13m, enough to give the most determined tree-hugger the heebie-jeebies. The state highway to get to it meanders in a series of u-turns and hairpins through dense bush. It's posted as 100kph speed limit but only a fool would do more than 60, and that's on the straight bits. Gas pedal to brake every 15 seconds for about 40 km in all.