Cape Palliser

I woke up and made a sunrise trip to the lighthouse. I got there a little late, but the view was still magnificent. Great free place to stay.

On the drive to Cape Palliser, I passed through a town called Masterton. There must have been a strike, as teachers with signs lined the outside of the roundabouts. The signs were asking drivers to honk to show their support. A symphony of car horns rang out, and with each blare the teachers cheered. If you’re reading this teachers, I wanted to honk, but roundabouts take 100% of my concentration.

I hope they get their raise.

I made it to Cape Palliser, finishing the drive on a narrow dirt road that, at one point, passes through a creek.

The lighthouse has been operating since 1897, and it takes some 250 steps to reach the top.

Upon nearing the top, the tempest that had me wavering on the walk up now caused (I would find out) the metal guard rails to shake, creating an eerie, metallic sound. I was glad it wasn’t a banshee, like I had assumed.

What stuck me about the view from the top is the color of the water. I couldn’t tell if it was a different shade of blue than normal, or if the black sand made it appear so.

I went swimming in the (cold) ocean on my way out of the area.

Castlepoint

I wish I had studied more about the Vietnam War.

The day began back in Woodville. I packed up early and made my way down to Castlepoint.

The town is seated between idyllic beaches, and is known for its lighthouse, operating since the early 1900s.

The trek up to the lighthouse is a nice ten minute walk.

The Deliverance Cove track, next to the parking lot, leads you on top of a massive hill overlooking the lighthouse and surrounding features (see header).

On the way, I met an older kiwi couple. The man was intent on discussing US politics, and was pleased to find me humoring him.

After I got back down, they invited me to have a beer and continue the discussion. The man had just watched a Netflix series on the Vietnam War, and had all sorts of questions for me. I did my best to answer them, though it seemed like he got more out of asking the question than listening to my answer.

I caught the sunset sharing a beer with a Czech man and a pair of French guys. The kiwi couple joined us thereafter.

Quite a friendly parking lot.

Cape Reigna and Overestimation

I realized I had overestimated my hiking prowess on the way back up to the lighthouse.

Turns out every step you take downhill in one direction, you have to take uphill on the way back.

The trail was one of many hikes near Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of the North Island of New Zealand.

All of the side trails were too long to do in a day (apart from a quick thirty minute one), so I decided I’d go down one until I started to get a little tired, then turn back. After about an hour, I turned back. Ten minutes later, I realized my mistake.

I made it back to the lighthouse and climbed down in front of the lighthouse, where a nice perch exists for the sure-footed.

The lighthouse is nestled high above sharp cliffs with dreamlike beaches down below. The sapphire water spread for miles.

The lighthouse (and northern tip) are sacred places for the Maori, and you can feel the magic looking out into the ocean.

I escaped right as a few tour buses showed up hauling dozens and dozens of (other) tourists to see the lighthouse.

I made it back to the campsite and crashed hard.

P.S. Linglong tires or bust.