Northland - Day 3 - Mangawhai Heads to Uretiti
- Distance 28.3km
- Max Elevation 100m
Northland - Mangawhai Heads to Uretiti Ride Profile
We continued our Northland tour from Mangawhai. We rode north, climbing up a long gorge of traditional New Zealand bush, with tree ferns and conifers. After the long climb we had a fast descent down into Bream Bay which has a stunning beach with golden sand and turquoise sea. We were tempted to swim but there was still a cold wind.
Another climb and descent took us into Waipu Bay and after a further 10km we arrived at the town of Waipu. Here we stopped for lunch and to do some shopping.
We went to visit the Museum that tells of how 900 settlers thrown out of Scotland during the clearances, followed the Rev McLeod first to Nova Scotia, then to Australia, before finally finding their paradise at Waipu. We didn't go in as we are too tight to pay the $8 entrance fee.
After Waipu we joined Highway 1. It was busy and fast with heavy trucks passing frequently. Mostly there was a decent hard shoulder (except for bridge crossings). New Zealand drivers do not like to have to use their brakes unless absolutely necessary and there are frequent road safety signs reminding them to slow down. Unfortunately cyclists are not a reason to slow down.
We stopped at the DOC camp site at Uretiti, which is between the road and the sand dunes with direct access to a beach several kilometers long. We swam and walked on the beach finding lots of shells, the odd dead fish and even a dead baby penguin. Ah!
The only thing that spoilt the whole view was New Zealand's only Oil Refinery, at the north end of the estuary.
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