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Paradise 4X4 VIP Personalised Day Tours

Mangonui, New Zealand
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Paradise 4X4 VIP Personalised Day Tours
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Robby G C wrote a review Jun 2015
Toronto, Canada78235 contributions1894 helpful votes
+1
This is the best tout we ever had! We were picked up at our bed and breakfast and we had a tour all over the top of the Northern peninsula. It lasted all day and we sure enjoyed every activity. We ate breakfast at a beach and lunch at another beach. Everything was provided for us and we had nothing to worry about! The highlights of our trip in chronological order: 1.Rarawa Beach Near the town of Ngataki there is a beautiful white sanded beach. Supposedly many locals like to sure here. However I saw many riding on a motor bike or having a picnic in the dunes. It’s true though has waves. It sure is nice to walk in the ocean barefoot. The white sand is so fine that it makes it a pleasant experience. Another nice feature, there aren’t too many people on that beach, so everyone can have their privacy. 2. Cape Reinga On one of New Zealand's most northerly shores lies a fascinating area: Cape Reinga. The Cape Reinga lighthouse graces the view of two mighty bodies of water, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, as they come crashing together. The roll of their waves beat mercilessly upon the many beautiful beaches surrounding the cape. It is an astounded view! The fauna in this region can't exactly be considered "towering". The area is subject to nearly constant heavy winds, and as a result, it is renowned for being an place where Bonsais grow naturally. There is this one tree, however, that continues to spread its lofty branches high into the sky, soaring way above any of the other plant life in the region. It is a lonely Pohutukawa tree (also called a "Christmas Tree" due to the fact that it breaks out into beautiful red blooms around Christmas time each year). The Pohutukawa's branches are gnarled and twisted, defying the heavy easterly winds, and the scientists have to stand and scratch their heads, wondering how such a tree could even exist. But not only does it stand tall now, it has been standing tall for the last 800 years! Though they have tried, the intense winds haven't been able to bring it down! Cape Reinga is located at the northernmost area of New Zealand, approximately 60 km north of Kaitaia. 3. Te Paki Sand Dunes The dunes at Te Paki Sand Dunes are humongous! So humongous that all tourist busses stop here, to allow their passengers do some sand boarding. It is quite a trek to climb those dunes, but once at the top, going down on a board is an exhilarating experience, to be done over and over again, if there is time! This place has also a wide range of native plants and animals. It is really worthwhile to stop here. Bring a board with you if you can! 4. Tapotupotu Beach We had the privilege to have lunch at Tapotupotu Bay. Before eating I went to take pictures of this picturesque beach. Nearby there was a rustic camping ground. It seems it was quite cramped. It is the most northerly campground in New Zealand. However the bay was so beautiful! The dunes added some ambience with its many plants and there was also one mighty tree nearby that enhanced our experience at this beach. 5. Ninety-Mile beach The Ninety-Mile beach is a beautiful beach on the North island of New Zealand. Surrounded by dunes, flat sand and an active Tasman Sea, it attracts all kinds of people. However it is far from being a safe place, especially if someone decides to swim in the sea. It is renowned for its left hand surf breaks and its beautiful sunsets. This beach is mostly a highway, at least during low tides. Busses, jeeps and even cars drive at outstanding speeds there! Some people sunbath, but there weren’t many when we were there! In late February or early March they have there a five day fishing competition. Everyone out there hopes to catch the largest snapper. When we first arrived there with our tour group, we stopped near a huge dune, where we were able to sled on it. It was quite fun. A memory never to forget! Interestingly enough the Ninety-Mile beach is only 55 milrs long. Maybe it is called so, because many drive at 90 miles an hour on that beach? Still, it is an amazing beach! 6. Northland Region Ancient Kauri Kingdom An unique shop in the Northland that attracts myriads of tourists! Our tour guide stopped here for us to peruse through this store. I was amazed by the many wood products. Some were quite expensive, others were more affordable. They had some huge wooden statues. We bought a wooden frame and a bookmark, as a souvenir of New Zealand. All these wooden products come from ancient Kauri woods that are found in the swamps in the Northland of New Zealand. Most of them were buried there for thousands of years. They guarantee all of their products the age, quality, authenticity and workmanship and naturally for being manufactured in New Zealand. We were amazed by the huge wooden staircase, all carved from a very old kauri stump that had to be dragged out of the swamps and transported to the location of this store. I have no idea how they transported it, as it was 140 tons, the largest swamp kauri log ever found. When trying to extract this tree in one piece, it snapped the 2 winch ropes (They could sustain 90 tons each!). They had no choice but to cut 110 tons off and pull that one out first. The remainder 30 tons was pulled out afterwards. They were able to cut a 50 tons section to turn this section into a staircase. Carving this monstrosity took a lot of effort and a lot of sweating! First they had to pour a half meter thick reinforced concrete pad, to keep the log upright. It took 500 hours to carve the staircase with a chainsaw. Quite impressive, don’t you think! We saw many other attractions that were all quite outstanding.
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Date of experience: December 2014
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Christina L wrote a review Jun 2014
Magdeburg, Germany14 contributions8 helpful votes
If you don't want to spend the money for this trip don't do it. If you are willing to pay extra for an awesome day out, with a private tour and amazing food, do it! We organized everything with Julia by e-mail and had no problems at all. We payed a deposit through paypal (200 NZD) and the rest at the end of the tour. she picked us up at our accomodation in Ahipara and because the tide was in, we drove the main road up to cape Reinga. On the way we stopped several times. At a beautiful beach Julia sent us for a walk and she sent up a table and freshly baked scones for breakfast. We also had tea and coffe. The scones were awesome! At the cape she pointed out the way for us and we went on exploring. We had all the time we wanted and were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery. After the cape we drove to a little bay nearby, where Julia set up lunch for us. There was warm chicken, 3 different salads (a green one, potatoe salad and a seafood one), bread, juice and a chilled bottle of New Zealand wine. The food was very good (and I'm a picky eater)! We then went on to the Te Paki stream (yes, they drive in the water!) and watched the people that went sand tobagganing. We could have gone, but decided not to. After that it was time for the 90 mile beach. Julia likes to drive fast and she did! It was an awesome experience and we even got to drive her car along the beach as well. Since that is not allowed in Germany we had never done that and it way definately a highlight. On the way back to Ahipara we stopped at the ancient Kauri kingdom, where Julia was able to get the car cleaned off and we strolled around the store and workshop. Julia dropped us off at about 4:30 (pick up was at 9). That was a long day for us, because there were so many different impressions on the trip. Julia is a Maori herself and will tell you all you want to know about the Maori culture. She is very communicative and has a good sense of humor. She literally knew someone in every village we traveled through! She also knows a bunch of good scenic lookouts that she will stop at on the way. We really enjoyed out day with her and were glad we decided to do it!
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Date of experience: May 2014
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Billton wrote a review Jan 2014
Sydney, Australia171 contributions43 helpful votes
+1
Note: the previous review was written, Arnold has died and Julia has taken over the business. You can find the details on Cape Reinga in my review of that attraction, titled "A grand day out" - this review is about Paradise 4X4 VIP Personalised Day Tours. We organised the tour with Julia via email and all the arrangements went smoothly. Julia picked us up from our Mangonui B&B at the arranged time and we headed off for Cape Reinga. Julia is Maori from one the tribes/clans that are closely associated with the Cape Reinga and the West Coast, so she has many direct family connection to that land. Because of her standing with the local Maori, she was able to show use some things that were very special. Julia also knows the area very well and was able to give us a great insight into the significance of many aspects of it to Maori culture. She is a great communicator with a good senses of humour. Morning tea and lunch were provided at locations well away from the "bus tours" and there were both delicious and satisfying. This is an expensive day out but it was well worth it, as there is much about the Cape which is not at all obvious without an experienced guide. Thanks Julia!.
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Date of experience: January 2014
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Mummygaot wrote a review Feb 2012
Surrey England2467 contributions76 helpful votes
This is not a cheap option but it is the best way to enjoy Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga. We were up early to catch the Rawene ferry across to Kohukohu to drive up to meet Gordon with his 4x4 at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom at Awanui. Gordon drove us first to Ninety Mile Beach in order to drive the length of it before the tide came in.He started to tell us a bit about the area and the beach and how often he'd had to tow people who'd got stuck in the sands.Within minutes,we came across just one such van,its wheels deeply embedded.Gordon with his trusy stretchy tow rope got the van out.We were well impressed! On we went up the beach until we reached a part known as The Bluff.Here,we got out to stretch our legs and take photos of the waves crashing over the rocks .Gordon meanwhile was setting up the table for our morning tea/coffee.We enjoyed his wife's delicious home made scones in such a wonderful setting. Next stop was by a stream and sand dunes nearby to a pile of recently uncovered ancient toheroa shells.Gordon waded across the stream to get me one as a souvenir. We walked up over the dunes and were fortunate to spot some of the wild horses which roam these parts.It was lovely up there. He drove us up the Te Paki stream which was exciting in the 4x4.I can't imagine it being quite the same in a coach.We stopped at the area where sand tobagganing takes place.We had no desire to participate but it was fun to watch for a while.We also took advantage of the 'facilities' whilst there. These are long drop toilets so no flushing or running water.I believe there was hand sanitizer available. From here we drove straight up to Cape Reinga.From the carpark,Gordon pointed out the path to the lighthouse and left us to wander down and explore.There were wonderful views of beaches as we strolled down and seeing where the Tasman meets the Pacific is fascinating.We also took note of the spirit tree,the ancient Kauri tree from where Maori believe their spirit leaves for the underworld. From the cape we drove back down the west coast stopping for views along the way.All the time Gordon was filling us with facts about the land and people.When we came to Great Exhibition Bay we stopped at a lovely beach--Rawawa.Here,we paddled in the Pacific whilst lunch was prepared.And what a feast it was....cold chicken,seafood salad,potato and kumara salad,beetroot salad and mixed green leaves.Served with delicious home made bread and a bottle of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. Gordon knows when to be discreet.He sat away from our table over by the car with his own rather more modest lunch.As this was also prepared by his good cook of a wife I am sure it was just fine and suited him. From then on it was a straight run back down to our car with more tales on the way.We said our 'goodbyes' at 4pm.Having met him at 9am this was just right I thought and we had to drive back to the ferry which we caught at 6pm. This was a brilliant day out and we were tired out by it all so and early night was then called for. I can highly recommend this tour.
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Date of experience: December 2011
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