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Cape Reinga, Waipoua Forest

Bryce Dallas Howard’s New Zealand Escape


By —— Bio and Archives--February 14, 2018

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Cape Reinga – Bryce Dallas Howard walks along Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean
Cape Reinga – Bryce Dallas Howard walks along Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.

For Bryce Dallas Howard, an escape to New Zealand’s sub-tropical Northland offers the chance for self-discovery and reflection. Bryce, who has had a close connection with New Zealand since childhood, says she finds the epic coastal landscapes on the narrow northern tip of New Zealand to be transformative. Sandwiched between the mighty Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea, this has been home since ancient times to the Maori tribe that first settled the shores of New Zealand.

“Visiting Northland gave me a different appreciation of New Zealand because that’s where I discovered how special and unique Maori culture really is. Meeting the locals has given me a deep sense of connection to the spirit of the land.”

“Experiences are so much more meaningful and powerful when you know the culture and history.”

“I walked in the ancient Waipoua Forest beneath trees that are thousands of years old and learned about how Maori respect and revere the natural world; I witnessed the wild roar of the oceans as they meet at Cape Reinga, literally on the tip of New Zealand, and saw the great Hokianga Harbour with its gigantic sand hills where the first Maori explorers landed. Those are sacred places and you can feel that.”

“From dipping my toes in the waters of the Bay of Islands to running my fingers through the sand of Ninety Mile Beach or gazing at the night sky above, this is a place where I feel intimately connected to the world.”

“I think it’s the significance of the area coupled with the natural beauty that’s unique to this region, which is so powerful and eye-opening.”

“On the western coast, you have these long, long beaches that just go on forever. One is called Ninety Mile Beach and you can drive down it in a road vehicle because it’s actually considered a highway – not much like a Californian freeway.”

“The Bay of Islands must be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places that I’ve ever been to – little sandy coves with gorgeous beaches, dozens of private islands and pods of literally hundreds of dolphins diving in and out of the glistening water. There’s a feeling that nature’s made peace just for you – it’s transformative.”

Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, is known as the birthplace of New Zealand – the place where Maori first welcomed European arrivals, and where tribal chiefs signed the Treaty that inspired the modern nation. 

“The local people were so warm towards me, generously sharing their culture. Looking up at the sky at night, seeing the stars, it was amazing to reflect on how people crossed these oceans to find a home here.”

“I feel a spiritual connection here – mind, body, soul in harmony. It is a truly special place.”

Bill Matthews, Footprints Waipoua Tour Guide, greets Bryce Dallas Howard with a hongi, a traditional Maori welcome
Tane Mahuta – Bill Matthews, Footprints Waipoua Tour Guide, greets Bryce Dallas Howard with a hongi, a traditional Maori welcome

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