Continuing the Northland adventures, we drove north from Paihia towards Cape Reinga stopping at Kerikeri town in the morning. Kerikeri is the largest town in Northland and is well known for its horticulture and farmer’s market. We stopped by the Old Packhouse Market and visited the Mission Station. This station is home to New Zealand’s oldest surviving building – the Stone Store and Kemp House.
Just after lunch we set off from Keri Keri and headed towards Matia Bay. It was a DOC campground site with a scenic view, which seemed to be a perfect pitstop to cook ourselves some dinner before heading up further north to call it a night.
Fuelled ourselves, had a drink, laughed with the wind in our hair, ran a cold shower in a toilet with no door and set off towards Rarawa Beach Campsite. The idea was so that we’ll have just about 60 more kilometers of driving to be done the next morning before we catch sunrise from Cape Reinga – New Zealand’s northern most tip where you witness the Pacific Ocean meeting the Tasman Sea.
Note: For freedom campers (like me), picking up a copy of a DOC brochure at any I-site would be your best bet in guaranteeing yourself a peaceful night of sleep without the worry of a district council officer knocking on your car window at 7am and leaving you with a $200 fine for illegal freedom camping.
All seemed to be going fine and under control, despite my wariness of driving after dusk sets. It was slightly after 10pm when we pulled into the rather deserted campsite. There was no one except for a family of about 5 huddled around a picnic table under a huge shelter. We stepped out of the car with just a torchlight, no phones, just a torchlight to find our way to the toilet before heading to bed. 5 seconds after stepping out of the car and slamming the door shut, I realise my friend slams his door shut as well with the key left in the ignition holder. HOW.VERY.SMART!
Time Check: About 10.30pm
Temperature Check: 17 degrees
Attire Check: T-shirt + Shorts
Freezing our asses off from the cold, we walked over to the Mauri family to use their phone to give Automobile Association (AA) a call to come and rescue us. The hour long wait for AA was spent trying to laugh about the situation with the family who ended being our life – savers and of course, counting our lucky stars we bought AA insurance. I CANNOT imagine what would have happened had we been the only campers at the campsite that night.
I slept that night so very grateful that the universe had somehow conspired for us and smiled knowing I now live to narrate this adventurous travel story to everyone back home. 🙂
All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.