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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 7 (February 1, 1932.)

The Great Beach Speedway

The Great Beach Speedway

The so-called Ninety-Mile Beach, in the Far North, is attracting special attention this summer, as a place of test for the fastest motor-cars and their fearsome kin. It is timely to point out that actual map measurement considerably reduces the length of the great speedway. It is really not more than sixty miles at the outside, and beyond that the way to Cape Maria Van Diemen along the West Coast is barred by rocks, and the route is inland over the sandhills if one wants to reach the tip-top of New Zealand.

This modern Mecca of the high-power speedsters, driving terror into the tender hearts of the toheroa, who have hitherto had this long sandy expanse to themselves, is called the Wharoa by the Maoris. The name signifies a far-extending line. It is a place of many poetic legends, for all its desolation. Along this surf-beaten Wharoa passed the painful souls of the Maori dead, journeying the last long journey to the gate of Spiritland, at Cape Reinga, the ghostly flitting-away place for Hawaiki.