The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4 (August 1, 1933)
A Beautiful Corner of New Zealand
When taking a holiday many people prefer a spot “far from the madding crowd.” The scenery round about the Ninety Mile Beach is very beautiful, and awe-inspiring. From the Bay of Ahipara, one gets a magnificent view of the beach, with the Camel Mountain in the distance.
Many travellers going north to Spirit's Bay take a road which opens out upon the beach at a more northerly point than Ahipara, missing this beautiful bay, girt with bush-clad hills, and boasting of a boarding-house, furnished bungalows, and shacks for renting, and two general stores. Enough civilization to ensure a healthy holiday. Half a mile inland there is a post office; mails coming in and going out three times a week.
If not exactly for speed motoring, (except at certain tides), the surface of the beach sands is perfect for the ordinary motorist. Mile upon mile of beautiful sand, flanked on the one side by dunes covered with flax plants and lupins, and on the other, by the Tasman Sea.
The toheroa is found in myriads on the beach, and easily dug up, being so near the surface. In amongst the sand hills is a factory for tinning the toheroas for the world market.
On a plateau above the bay, lies a gum field. Many fortunes have been made and lost there. Men from all ranks and stations in life; of all types of character; of many nationalities have tried their luck there. Fascinating stories are told by the older inhabitants who have watched the ebb and flow of humanity climbing to the gum fields. At the present time of course, circumstances are not as thrilling as of yore.
A train leaves Auckland daily for Whangarei and Otiria Junction. Service cars meet trains at both stations, and carry the passengers through the Mangamuka Gorge (seventeen miles of the most beautiful scenery—the bush in that gorge has many varieties of ferns) to Kaitaia, ten miles from the Ninety Mile Beach.
The journey can be done in one day from Auckland, but it is better to stay the night in Kaitaia and go out to the beach by daylight. The roads are good metalled ones in that district.
Botanists, artists and writers would find much to interest them when paying a visit to Ahipara, and ornithologists would strike a wonderful hunting-ground amongst the sand dunes, where there are many birds unnamed by the ordinary student of nature. Without a single hobby beyond reading, the Ninety Mile Beach would be found a most romantic spot to spend a holiday in, and a pleasantly warm one too: the climate there is delightful in the winter.
One wonders if Sir Malcolm Campbell is keeping this spot in his mind's eye knowing the Daytona Beach is taboo for the time being.
From Messrs, Booth, MacDonald and Co. Ltd., Christchurch, to the Goods Agent, Christchurch:—
Our thanks are due to those officers of your Department who so willingly assisted us in railing to Lyttelton a very urgent consignment, a straw press, consigned to the s.s. “Awahou.” Without your co-operation in this matter a sale may have been lost us, the very life-blood of this firm. The press was trucked and despatched to Lyttelton by the 11 a.m. passenger train, thus ensuring speedy connection with the “Awahou.” This was a smart piece of work, and we cannot allow the occasion to pass without expressing our great appreciation of the Railway organisation.