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“A trip with variety”

Explore - Dune Rider Cape Reinga
Ranked #14 of 49 Tours in Paihia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Explore the landscape on this full day adventure to Cape Reinga. Drive along the sand highway of 90 Mile Beach as the ocean roars alongside you. Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the Far North on this adventure to the top of NZ.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Maroochydore, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
149 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“A trip with variety”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

Our tor guide was Paul and he had a difficult job because it was raining more than half of the day. He re-organized the day's schedule to try and pick the breaks in the weather and he did it well. There were a few short stops throughout the day to visit an ex-amber digging site and a traditional place plus a fish-shop. The order of things was changed and we arrived at the dunes soon after the rain stopped. No doubt it was a little slower sand-boarding but it sure was easier climbing those high dunes. I left them all on the sand-boarding dune and continued to the top, and towards the river for great views .................. good hike too. It was dry at Cape Reinga too and we walked out to the light-house. Some of also climbed the higher hill nearby for different views. Soon after the bus left there it started raining again, for the afternoon, but we were off for a late lunch...........that was the bad part of the day..........you'd need a chainsaw to cut the meat and you'd need to be really hungry to eat the cold chips [I suggested they change their restaurant/cafe arrangement as this one may be getting a little slack if they are not relying on reviews and repeat customers]

Visited January 2014
Thank Lornainaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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225 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Brilliant value for money!!”
Reviewed February 6, 2014 via mobile

a fun packed day from the off, the guide had so much knowledge of not just the main attractions but little places on the way. the sandboarding was amazing and going to the peak of NZ was as well.

Thank greglawson1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“The guide was the main issue.”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Overall the tour was what I expected. With the exception of what happened specifically on my trip, I'd probably give the overall tour a 3.5. However, with what happened on my specific trip, I gave this tour a 1 star which would average it out to 2 stars. To me, the difference between this tour and other tours is that on this tour you go the Gumdiggers Park and on other tours you go to a forest where you see live kauri trees. You basically stop at Kauri Kingdom which was interesting in that they have a gallery upstairs if you like modern art and they have a lot of wood carvings (with a back room where there are some "windows" so you can see work in progress). To get to the gallery, there is the magnificent staircase carved inside of a large kauri tree. You can also get some snacks and drinks here. Plus, at the front desk you can get an ink stamp on a postcard. You then head over to Ninety Mile Beach and spend some time there. Overall nice stretch of clean beach (damp sand during the visit there). You also see their version of the hole in the rock in the distance. You then do some sand boarding down a very large sand dune. This was really fun - looks scary but it's a must. The larger the hill, the better just be prepared for the walk up. Off to the Cape Reinga Lighthouse - scenic landscape and there's a photo op with signs pointing to different cities. You can see the contrast in color (assumed this is where the Tasman meets the Pacific). There is also a buffet lunch which was delicious - you get both meat and vegetables and can easily go back up for more veggies. You then head over to Gumdiggers Park. You see 3-4 live but young kauri trees (honestly, wasn't even sure which the guide was referring to because you are in the bus and when he says "look right" or "look left" it's not clear what he is referring to). You then walk over to a massive dead kauri on its side where he provides information as to its demise and then you walk along some path where there are holes everywhere. This part was extremely uninteresting. There are tea trees and massive buzzing noises which are freaky because I automatically thought it was the sound of mosquitoes. Still not sure what the bugs were as they were heard and not seen. There is a very educational movie at the end - however you don't spend much time there because we didn't even get to watch the whole movie in fear that the bus would leave. The shop owner is friendly. There are also some gumdigger boots out in front for a photo op. Off we went to the Mangonui Fish Shop. They give you some free wifi with your purchase and it's a nice setting. The restaurant juts out over the water and there are some nice views. The fish was a snapper and it was decent but not the best I've had. The garlic tartar tasted a little strange to me and I love garlic so that was disappointing. If you are planning to do a cruise around the Hole in the Rock - be sure to do a combo tour & save some money.

The reason this tour was disappointing is because in the beginning right as we left Kauri Kingdom, I asked the guide about 2 things: I asked him about a special stamp the post office gives out and he told me Kauri Kingdom gives them out and that we'd stop there again later towards the end of the tour in case anyone needed a bathroom break. We never stopped there again and when I asked him about it, he told me they stopped giving out that ink stamp (I assume to make me feel like I didn't miss out). However, in asking Kauri Kingdom about it afterwards, they mentioned they still do and was kind enough to email me a copy of the special ink stamp. Extremely friendly and helpful place! My second issue is that I asked him whether we'd be digging for pipis on the beach. He said yes; however when we got to the beach, he never mentioned oh here's where we dig for them, this is what you look for, nothing. So when I was there, it didn't even occur to me that we'd make only 1 stop and that if we didn't dig for it on our own, there would be no other stops to do this. I asked him about this later and he said, well there was a guy there with a bucket of pipis already dug up. However, did he mention this to me or even to the group? No and this was knowing I had asked about it. Instead he told me he told the guy to give it to the next bus. Uh WHY? Well, if this is not offered and will be passed up on the tour, then please don't add this to the description of your tour on the website. This is one activity I wanted to try on this tour as a friend mentioned they were delicious. The fact is that the guide, did not even bother mentioning these things would not happen when he knew I specifically asked him about it at the beginning of the tour. Then he told me something that just plain was not true as verified later which simply put seems wrong. I did email the company about this and received no response.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank missslayer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Worth every cent ”
Reviewed January 29, 2014 via mobile

Traveling with young children can be a challenge especially on long days however this particular day was a breeze! Our pickup and drop off was at our hotel, spot on time, early start round 7:15am but needs to be to fit everything in. bus was comfortable with good temperature control. Every part of this particular trip is well thought out and planned. Gum diggers was interesting as was every other stop. Lunch was a lovely added extra compared to other trips and dinner at the end at the fish and chip shop was well planned, with the driver calling ahead to order. The history, the cape, ninety mile beach and the sand dunes were a hit with our kids. This trip is fun, informative and not to be missed- well worth every cent!!

1 Thank kiwifamily2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“''would not miss it''”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

Great way to see some magnificent sights and learn about the history of the Northern Region of NZ, Very early start but it needs to be, it is a long day. What puts the edge on the Dune Rider is the actual Bus, it is specially designed just for this sort of tour where you go off road and it is very comfortable and air conditioned. The driver was very informative and a great laugh, he also seemed to be able to keep ahead of all the other tour buses and new all the best vantage spots for the Beach and the Giant Sand Dunes etc., There is far too much activity involved in the trip to properly review here, but all I can say is this is one of the best organised day trips we have ever been on. The Gumdiggers, Sand Dune Surfing, Cape Reinga, Kauri Kingdom and to round it off Fish & Chips for Tea. Must mention 90 mile beach, incredible, never travelled at over 70 mph in a bus on a beach that is flatter than the M1, great experience. Well worth the slightly higher price if not just for the Bus.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank blackpool065
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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