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90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

London, United...
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90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

Hi guys,

So following alot of advice on here, I have revised the south island plan and am making progress on the North!

So, I am now thinking the 3rd - 6th of Jan (4 days), starting in Owera on the 3rd.

The options I see is driving from there up to 90 mile beach on the 3rd. Spending the 4th self exploring and then driving to Bay of Islands on the 5th, staying to the 6th before heading back to Auckland.

Another option I am considering to reduce us driving is Owera - Bay of Islands on the 3rd, and then taking one of the many coach tours to 90 mile beach and cape Regina for one day, staying in the Bay of Islands area until the 6th before heading to Auckland early evening. It feels a lot less rushed, and means we will get to drive on the 90 mile beach, see Cape Regina, sand surf etc - a hectic one day but no driving for us and more time based in Bay of Islands.

Would we be missing out on any 'must sees' by taking the coach trip to 90 mile beach / Cape Regina, rather than driving ourselves and basing for 2 nights? Given our time, anyone in the 'know' think the coach idea is actually a good compromise to fit in 90 mile beach etc

As always, your help has been fantastic and very much apprecited!

Becky :)

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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1. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

Hi Becky,

Take the second option and enjoy your coach-tour from Paihia. You will actually gain more 'must sees' on this journey with experienced and knowledgeable drivers who will point out places of interest at a leisurely pace (for you). The buses can use the beachfront to drive along (according to tides) which is a memorable bonus.

Enjoy your visit to Northland.

Nelson-Tasman...
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2. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

Definitely coach. You ll pass a number of cars that got stuck in soft sand!

Rochester
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3. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

I recently spent three nights in Paihia and drove north for an hour and a half to take Harrison's Cape Runner tour. It's only $50 per person and is a full day, well worth it.

australia
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for New South Wales, Noosa
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4. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

There is so much to see and do in Northland. Not just BOI. Between Pahia and Kaitaia especially is excellent scenery, but also the west side of Northland. And just so many short interesting stops.A circuit drive is excellent. I did 5 nights Auckland to Auckland. Still didn't see everything.

Can a tour of 90 Mile be joined at Kaitaia.

Edited: 17 April 2014, 23:57
UK
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5. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

Our car hire agreement ( a couple of months ago) specifically stated that we were not allowed to take the car on to the 90 mile beach. Presume this will be much the same for other car hire companies? We took a tour in a smaller coach.

Edited: 18 April 2014, 17:25
Feilding, New...
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for Rotorua
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6. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

We stayed at a very pleasant campsite in Awanui (near Kaitaia) at the junction of HW10 and the road to Cape Reinga. We caught the Harrisons bus outside the campsite and departed at the same point after a great day out. No worries about tides, sinking sand but all the delights of this tour including opportunities to slide down sand hills. Would recommend.

after a great day out

Whangarei, Northland
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7. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

The coach trips are definitely a very good option for seeing 90 mile beach and Cape Reinga - I am not a big fan of coach tours, but that is one of the few times where I would suggest it as a good option.

Having said that, driving yourself up to that area is also still quite do-able and having your own transport always makes things more flexible and relaxing. It depends on what you want to be able to do once you are up there - you can drive yourself to Cape Reinga no problem, and you can drive down to the beach (if you go to Te Paki, you can pick up sandboards from the yellow caravan that is set up there). You CAN'T DRIVE ON THE BEACH, so if you specifically want to be able to whizz down the beach then you'd have to take the coach trip.

London, United...
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8. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

Excellent, thank you very much guys, coach trip it is!

Now just to decide whether to get a tour with pick up from Paihia or drive ourselves up to Kaitaia and grab the tour from there!

The ones from Kaitaia are $50 (inc lunch) and the ones I have found from Paihia are around $120-$135 no lunhc inc (and of course, a longer trip!) but not sure if the extra $70 - $80 a person (and there will be two of us!) is economical and would be checper to drive the 1.5 hour trip in the morning to Kaitaia and grab a tour from there? I doubt anyone has done both, but any recommendations on either one option?

Becky :)

UK
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9. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

We stayed at Coopers Beach and the tour, which originated in Pahia, picked us up from/returned us to there. It was cheaper than the advertised price and included lunch. Maybe you could get a similar deal?

Edited: 19 April 2014, 23:26
London, United...
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10. Re: 90 mile beach - coach tour or self drive?

Ah ok, do you remember the name of the tour company? I have found two that depart from paphia but they neither inc lunch and as mentioned, over double the price for the extra 1.5 hr journey :)