Cape Reinga 'Te Rerenga Wairua'
Out to sea lies the Columbia Bank maelstrom where the Tasman and the Pacific meet - sometimes producing waves more than 10 metres high.
Cape Reinga is the ultimate northern New Zealand experience. See two oceans collide in a spectacular visual feast and discover the spiritual ‘place of leaping’, where Maori spirits begin their final journey.
At the Cape the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, in a spectacular swirl of currents. At the northernmost tip of the cape is a gnarled pohutukawa tree, believed to be over 800 years old, and according to Maori oral history, the spirits of Maori deceased leap from this tree into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.
Reaching the iconic lighthouse at Cape Reinga is a popular travellers goal, but what takes most by surprise is the journey itself is as exciting as the destination. Guided tours depart from Paihia (Bay of Islands) and Kaitaia in the Far North daily and travel the popular 90 Mile Beach as well as the road north bringing the fascinating gumdigging, maori and early European history to life. A popular way to see the remote and stunning Cape Reinga area is a ½ day guided tour departing Bay of Islands with scenic flights along the west and east coasts of New Zealand.
While it’s not quite the most northern point of New Zealand (North Cape is further north, but it’s a scientific reserve and not open to the public), Cape Reinga is definitely the end of the road. The visitor facilities at Cape Reinga have recently been updated with interpretation signs along the walkway and a fully tarsealed road. Enjoy some cool, green solitude in the Aupouri Forest – you might even see Aupouri’s wild horses.
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