Ninety Mile Beach (New Zealand)
|Ninety Mile Beach|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||80 km (49.7 miles)|
|Route outline (key)|
Ninety Mile Beach is a beach which extends for approximately 50 miles along the west coast of New Zealand towards the northern tip of Cape Reinga. It is also a public road, although it is not always passable at high tide, so traffic is discouraged at these times. In the UK, Ninety Mile Beach was made famous by featuring in a Top Gear race when Jeremy Clarkson drove along it, trying to beat James May in a yacht. However, despite what is depicted in the show, all rental vehicles are banned from the beach, and there is a 30kph speed limit in force. As such, the easiest way for tourists to experience the beach is to book on a bus trip which travels along the beach.
The beach road is most easily accessible from the southern end near Paparore, approximately 5km from SH1, and there is a small car park located here. Much of the time, the beach looks like any other beach - its vast length is hidden by slight turns in the coastline, and perhaps even the curvature of the earth. However, there are undoubtedly times when the beach is busier with traffic. On the approach to the beach there are a series of large warning signs, advising traffic of the dangers of using the beach, and recommending four wheel drive vehicles.
The northern end of the beach road is not so easy to negotiate, as the entrance/exit road follows the Te Paki stream through the dunes. Much of the time, this appears to be a fairly small trickle, but after rainfall it can be a much bigger stream, which is only passable by off road vehicles.
|Ninety Mile Beach (New Zealand)|