After miles and miles of travel on a narrow road in the jungle, we landed on a hill with this marvelous view of Hokianga Bay. The great Maori chief Kupe landed here and the first group of Polynesians made the bay their home. The tiny town of Omapere.
Yes, these are real sanddunes, an entire peninsula made of sand dunes. European sailors did not find this bay for a long time because its entrance is hidden by the dunes that extend into the ocean. Many shipwrecked trying to negotiate the shallow entrance to the estuary which is also buffeted by winds. Mouse over title for a satellite photo on Wiki.