[Far North] Cape Maria van Diemen


So Blue.


Just Unreal!!!

Infinite times we've said this over the past week up in the Far North. Especially during the walk to Cape Maria van Diemen, which has utterly, completely, 200% captured my heart. 

The walk was just AMAZING! Every step we took, the view was spectacular. Just unreal.

It was an incredible six-hours return walk, starting from Cape Reinga towards Cape Maria van Diemen. The weather that day was blissfully cloudy, because there was no shade at all throughout the entire walk. 

We set off on the walk without knowing what to expect at all.

And we were rewarded with an incredible range of landscapes. From a beautiful collage of bushes, to cliffs plunging into the ocean, to a surreal expanse of rocks and sand dunes, and most of all, to an endless stretch of beach.

Walking along the beach, I was reminded of the beach scene in the movie, Contact. Which I later looked up, was taken in Pensacola, Florida. The ocean, the sea, the water retreating from the beach, was all blended together into one, each reflecting off each other. Why is the ocean blue? Because the sky reflects the ocean. Why is the sky blue? Because the sky reflects the ocean.

We were mesmerized by the waves rushing after one another, crashing on the shore with such force, as if in slow motion. We were awed by thinking about the marine life that must be dwelling beyond these waters, and we are so minuscule and insignificant just occupying this tiny portion of land above the water, yet causing so much destruction to our planet without knowledge to the abundance of life under the water. Inevitably, our conversations included talking about Waterworld, about Interstellar, about Contact. 

[The beach scene from Contact]

About what kind of marine animal would you like to be? 

I think a SEAL would be a good idea, probably. Seals live in colonies with their families, they swim gracefully in the water, they play, they have fun, they get to lie in the sun, living in and out of the water. 

The beach seemed infinite, for hours we seemed to be treading on the same spot, not advancing at all, especially on our way back. With the ocean on one side, the bushes of Cape Reinga ahead us, and the formidable sand dunes behind of us, with Cape Maria van Diemen long behind in the distance. But it was all so captivating, if it wasn't for having walked for hours already, I think I could probably stay there at the beach all day, being in this vastness and just watching the waves - "the greatest show on earth".

It was quite a complicated feeling when I later visited Muriwai Beach around Auckland that I realized that apparently most of the beaches along the west coast had this surreal effect and the thundering waves. Yet being at this part of the coast with the sand dunes was like being in a mixed world of beach, desert, and ocean. 

The sand dunes were sometimes pristine white, sometimes surprisingly saturated red, sometimes incredibly rugged. Newly formed mounds from fresh breezes, softly crunching underneath our boots, beckoning us to make our mark in this landscape, to tread through them, to draw on the sands, to roll on them, to even run like crazy like children of the wild, and only to have all our footsteps erased at the end of the day, starting anew, as if we were never there, as they have always been, not calling for attention, humble and modest.

In the face of nature, we are so small, so insignificant, and I couldn't help respecting this land even more.

The sand dune experience was to repeat itself the next day when we visited the Te Paki sand dunes, except to be doubled by its scale and awesomeness. 

[sneaking in some pictures of the Te Paki sand dunes]

All in all, this was easily one of my top 5 favorite places in the North Island so far! 



It wasn't until much later that I learned that this trail we were on was the very beginning of the Long Pathway - Te Araroa. The very one which I myself will embark on soon, for the South Island part!

"Out here in the world you get a taste of true distance, a hint of the reality of your existence as a speck of nothing in an incomprehensibly vast and beautiful universe."

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