Friday, January 15, 2010

Cape Reinga to Bluff in one year

Cape Reinga and Bluff have to be two of the top 10 'must sees' in New Zealand. One of my highlights of 2009 was getting to travel the entire length of the country and visit both of these kiwi landmarks for the first time in my life. In January'09 I went on a road trip north with my family and was stunned by the beauty of Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island. As well as the wairua and physical beauty of the place, it was impressive to see the way that DoC have developed the place for visitors.

Then in the October holidays while speaking at the ILT conference in Invercargill I paid my first visit to Bluff- at the bottom of the South Island. And once again stood beneath the iconic signposts. This time it was cold, bleak and Wintery, but this created a great counter point experience. It was then that I realised how privileged I have been to have seen both places inside one year. And was reminded of a post I had done the year before after a trip to the West Coast of the South Island. New Zealanders really need to get out and see this great country before heading overseas.

This Summer we again headed north, to spend our Summer at the beach in Henderson Bay in the Far North. Because it is only a 45 minute drive to Cape Reinga we decided to go up there after dinner to see the sun set. A couple of dozen people had the same idea and most had brought cameras (and tripods) and were there to take creative photos. It was quite a fun, camp atmosphere as people started talking to each other and even helping each other frame up their shots. Whether looking through a lense or huddled together on one of the bench seats, the sun setting over the place where the Tasman and Pacific Oceans meet that should be on everyone's bucket list.

And when the sun finally set, the solar powered light beamed out from the lighthouse on the cliff top, lighting the way as most wandered back up the path to their cars and a few seemed to be settling in for the night.