How Long Is Ninety Mile Beach?

When asked “how long is ninety mile beach” you would think that the answer is obvious … 90 miles or about 145 kilometers.

But NO … our Northland beach known as ninety mile beach is actually just fifty five miles long!

That’s just under 90 kilometers long.

So How Did The Beach Get The Name “Ninety Mile Beach”

When early missionaries had to travel the beach via horseback, they assumed their horses could travel 30 miles each day. It would take them three days to travel the length of the beach, so they ultimately named it the ninety mile beach believing that it must be about that long.

The problem with their calculation was they did not consider the fact the horses traveled slower in the sand.

So this is how they got the measurement wrong.

About The Beach

Ninety mile beach is the strip of sand that stretches from Ahipara to Scott Point.

It is an awesome strip of beach that I have personally traveled twice – once as a child and then quite recently when I took my own children on the trip.

As well as being a beach it is also officially a highway, but is really only suitable for 4WD vehicles and only safe to drive only at specific times of the tides – with signs say it is hazardous particularly 2-hours either side of high tide.

Many of us prefer to travel the beach by bus, and there are a number of tour operators that offer the trip. Don’t forget to go and see Cape Reinga where two oceans collide – the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

There are some great places in New Zealand to explore, and great stories to learn.

My name is Stuart Wills and you are reading this on my blog.

This post forms part of what I call my “interesting facts about New Zealand” which is something that I hope gets shared about to help educate and entertain people.