Great Exhibition Bay , the secret beach!!!


How many times do I have to say thank you to Cheryl and Karl , my super nice hosts in Te Kao ( almost the northern tip of New Zealand ). It was worth working hard in exchange for this unforgettable lifetime experience….   The Great Exhibition Bay!!!

You can see the huge white sand dune from the road on the right hand side when you drive to the Cape Reinga (the top of the north island ). But only few people actually get to see it. If you can reach it then you are a true New Zealander.

The reason ” The Great Exhibition Bay” became a hard to access beach is not only because the landscape is blocked by the ocean and sand dunes but you also need to swim or kayak for hours to get there! There is also a big steel fence, which you need permission by the Maori who owns this land to get in! Even if you get permission, you still need an off road car for a very rough road!

From the lonely planet website ;

“On the east coast, Great Exhibition Bay has dazzling snow-white silica dunes. There’s no public road access, but some tours pay a koha (donation) to cross Maori farmland or approach the sand by kayak from Parengarenga Harbour.”

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(Only our 2 cars were there for more than 3 hours)


(See how big and wide the white sand dunes are)

This made “The Great X” remain pure and natural, without the risk of being damaged by tourists. So I felt very honored to have had the chance to visit this Gem of a beach. The reason we could get in is that Cheryl was a teacher who previously taught the Maori kids in Te Kao school and was admired by many of the student’s parents. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Cheryl…..


(Different shades of colors in the water, plus a clear blue sky )


(We were not the only ones who enjoyed relaxing on the beach but we also decided to do some fishing , where of course there was no other competitors! )


(Only us, What a great moment! )


This is Jean, an important Maori lady who caught the Kahawai fish. Can you believe she is 85 years old at the time the photo was taken!

Again this is the time I really appreciated traveling using a host network. You could not buy this experience with money, to do it you had to win Cheryl’s heart(She told me that she brought only a few helpers to this beach) and by working hard , having a nice smile ^__^ and being good company I was one of the chosen few!


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