90 Mile Beach is exactly what it sounds like, except that it’s not really 90 miles long… It’s something like 76 Miles long.
But someone called it 90 Mile Beach, and the name stuck.
80 years ago, 90 Mile Beach was basically a non-productive and sandblown piece of land, which was slowly being re-claimed by the ocean. But someone got the idea that they could build hills from the sand and plant native grasses there to both slow the erosion and to start to change the land. 15-20 years after that, a bush that creates good fertilizer and soil when it dies was planted inland, with the coastal area being left with just grasses.
15-20 years after that, they were able to plant and grow pine trees.
Today, on the peninsula where 90 Mile Beach is, 30,000+ acres of pine trees are growing, and people are now able to start growing tropical plants and fruits like avocadoes and mangoes.
For me, the 90 Mile Beach area is a fascinating study in what can be accomplished by humans (in countries where it is secure enough to do so) are able put our funds, and policies in place to create something for the long-term, working in partnership with the planet and creative productive capacity where there seemingly was none before.
And, it’s just a lot of fun.
Who wouldn’t want to get in a bus and drive on 76 Miles of beach which is technically classed as one of New Zealand’s major highways?
During our time on 90 Mile Beach, we saw an incredibly rough Tasman Sea, blowing plankton and green algae onto the beach.
We also saw a coast guard boat race through this incredibly rough sea. Apparently people come from many parts of the world to participate in this race every year. This was an especially choppy ocean for the race, and we witnessed some well-trained coast guard people struggling with (but navigating through) what seemed to me to be impassable waves. All of their support vehicles drove on the beach in the direction opposite us. There were maybe 150 support vehicles, and it was fun to pass so many cars on the beach.
We also saw a heard of wild horses. Apparently there is a herd on ninety mile beach and in the forests of 90 mile beach that at any given time ranges in size from 100-300 horses. Seeing so many of the horses on the beach is apparently quite rare, so we were glad to experience it.
Definitely go to 90 mile beach when you get to New Zealand. It’s quite fun to get to drive on a beach classified as a major highway.