Surf Highway 45: Taranaki Road Trip – Day 48
A road trip on Surf Highway 45
It’s Day 48 on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year where we are challenging ourselves to do 365 Days: 365 Activities. Today, we are doing a Taranaki road trip down the awesome Surf Highway 45 – a place with epic mountain and coast views as well as historic Maori sites!
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Today, we’re going to take a road trip in Taranaki. And this road trip is Surf Highway 45.
But before we go on our [New Zealand] road trip, Robin needs to take the campervan to the mechanics because all weekend it’s been dripping some sort of oil from underneath it making a nice little oil puddle in the street. I’m going back to Ducks & Drakes quickly, picking up Laura, and today we are exploring the Surf Highway 45. So the Surf Highway 45 runs from New Plymouth down all the bottom of the Taranaki region. Following obviously the coast. Let’s go, Surf Highway 45 woo woo.
First place we go to is literally like 12 minutes out of New Plymouth. We’ve heard there’s a really great beach called Oakura Beach and Oakura Beach stretches as far as the eye can see. Oakura Beach is really really really long I really like it. And with the sun a little bit low this morning it gives a really great reflection on the white water that washes on the sand. And it’s pretty stunning.
Then we head back in the campervan for a stunning drive. So the drive from Oakura Beach to the Cape Egmont Lighthouse is simply mind-blowing. You can see all the farmlands you can see the mountain and all along the mountain range you know the weather is beautiful, can you believe it winter right now? can you believe it?
There’s only one campervan when we get to the [Cape Egmont] lighthouse so we pretty much have this place to ourselves for the time being. We have a quick walk along the coast where the Cape Egmont Lighthouse is. You get a really awesome view from coast and then you see the lighthouse and then the next layer is some more hills and the next layer is Taranaki and it’s just a super stunning place to be. You’ve got the sea, you’ve got the rocks you’ve got the cliff you got the farmland, you got the lighthouse and you get the view of the beautiful mountain. Literally that view embodies what Taranaki is all about and we’ve got to spend some time here and just embrace.
The lighthouse was pretty the view was beautiful we spent in my opinion not enough time there cos I would actually liked to have seen the sunset or the sunrise from there. Sadly there is not a campsite here so you can’t stay overnight but I mean it’s worth driving really early in the morning and we may do that later on.
But we have to get back on the road and make our way back to New Plymouth but not without seeing a few more sights along the way. Now, if you go on BackpackerGuide.NZ we have a handy little article 15 Places to Stop at on Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45 so I’ve been using this article all day. I knew there was a shipwreck here. Shipwrecks are cool. We don’t actually get chance to see many like remains of historical sites or anything in New Zealand it’s a young country because it was populated much later in the life of the world compared to other countries so this is like a really cool and unique thing to go see. So I was planning to have a nice little walk on the beach with Laura but she saw a few surfers which she considers as wildlife. She ran over there to try to take pictures of them. So I was left behind packing all the gears and carry them back to her. Because that’s fair, right?
What you guys up to tonight? Want to go party?
We have one more historical site we want to see on the surf highway today, so back to the campervan and drive to a pace called Te Koru Pa. We are going to Koru Pa which is a historic place where there used to be a fortified village from the Maori. this is to show that it is a public walking track and they also point you in the right direction. Thank you Laura for that insight on the public walking rights. You can also find a full article on public walking rights on BackpackerGuide.NZ just use the search bar on the top right corner and type public walking rights and you’ll find the article just like that.
So we’re on our way to a historic reserve a maori pa site which is basically the remains of where a fortified maori village used to stand. We get to the entrance of Koru Pa and there’s an archway which is carved with maori carvings and also has a big information board to show you an artist’s impression of what this pa site may have looked like along with some information about Koru Pa and one thing to note is that Koru Pa is one of the oldest pa sites in New Zealand. it was established in the 1300s. The walk through the forest is very short until we arrive to the first remains of the koru pa. The slight rectangular scoop before you is all that remains of a small house or wharepuni near it’s centre is a rectangle of stones placed on edge in which embers and hot stones from the outside fire would have brought in and placed in the fireplace. It would have been brought in. pakapahi the house the fireplace is traditional form. It seems like a few pieces of rock but you get great explanation on the signage that is displayed around and you can also feel the atmosphere. It feels different in this forest. You can feel a presence and an ambiance and it’s really really unique.
He’s leaving me behind. No. I feel like i’m running so slowly. Come back. Come back. Oh my God. this is ridiculous. Stop! Argh!