danger sandboarding Te Paki – Backpacking Tips

Sandboarding an activity to do in New Zealand

Today we want to talk about a topic that is mentioned in nearly every travel guide. Today we are talking about the very popular sandboarding in the Te Paki sand dunes in New Zealand.

Sandboarding is great fun, but there is a lot to keep in mind so you don’t get hurt. Please stay safe and think before you board.


How to properly sand board

Just lying on your stomach, head forward on the board (braking and balance with your feet). Start with short distances at the beginning (10m) and then increase slowly, only one person per board. Are you unsure or have respect, then leave it in case of doubt or stay on short routes. Sand is hard and the faster you are, the sooner you burn yourself or seriously hurt you.


Huge dunes, ideal for sandboarding

Personal report by our guest blogger Teresa.


First hand, I would like to quote a review of a backpacker who unfortunately was not so lucky and got seriously injured while surfing the Te Paki Sand dunes. The article is here to show you that it is dangerous if not done right. The article is to remind you that you have to take care of yourself. Have fun while reading and have fun sand surfing with care.


Must do on the North Island, sandboarding Te Paki:

When it comes to the must do’s of the North Island, sandboarding is on every list in the Te Paki sand dunes near Cape Reinga. One year ago we went there, borrowed body boards and headed for the sand dunes. The board rental did not explain how to properly sand board. And even with the sand dunes itself no (or no clearly legible) notice was appropriate, how to drive on the board. So we just slided down the sand dunes, as we thought; sometimes on the stomach, sometimes with two people sitting on the board. Then the following happens: the board twisted and we are, rapping several times, the steep sand dune down. In doing so, I broke three cervical vertebrae and only passed millimetres of paraplegia or death. My trip has so first stopped in the hospital and then ended with 5 months wearing collar. I will have to deal with the consequences of the accident all my life. I've never intended to publish my story and I definitely do not want to feel sorry for it, but during my trip I met several people who were more or less injured while sandboarding. Only a few days ago, two backpackers with serious injuries were flown to hospital. This is the trigger for this post, hoping that people will read that and get an idea of ​​how dangerous sandboarding can be, even if it does not seem that dangerous. Most body board rentals do not bother to point out and explain that you really should just be lying on your stomach and may be starting with the shorter slips on the sand dunes before you go to the big longer ones. And since nobody feels responsible either, to attach signs to the sand dunes, after all, this post now points out. I do not want to come across like a moralist, I would have only liked to have read such a text before my accident, and then this would not have happened. Take care when you go sandboarding. Yes it is great fun! Enjoy the adrenaline kick but do not overdo it! Enjoy your stay in New Zealand.

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giant dunes

Sandboarding New Zealand


Thank you

Thank you for sharing your experience with us Teresa. Hopefully this contribution helps to avoid some accidents.


What is your experience with sand surfing

If you also have an experience in sand boarding, share it with us. How did you feel, where did you do it, how did you like it? We appreciate your comment underneath this article. Let all other readers also participate. Many thanks for sharing enjoy your travels and stay safe!


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