Lighthouse at Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Lighthouse at Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Cape Reinga is located in the North West region of the Aupouri peninsula, at a distance of about 100 kilometers to the north of Kaitaia. Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, named this cape in the year 1642. Cape Reinga is said to be a demarcation between the east Pacific Ocean and west Tasman Sea. You can watch the tidal race from the lighthouse when both these seas clash, thereby forming unsettled waters just away from the coast. Similar to Britain’s Land’s end, Cape Reinga too holds great spiritual and historic significance.

Cape Reinga Trivia

The cape derives its name from the Maori term Reinga implying the “Underworld”. It is also named as 'Te Rerenga Wairua', implying “leaping-off place of spirits.” Staunch believers of the Maori mythology hold an opinion that the spirits of the deceased travel to Cape Reinga so as to return to their conventional homeland i.e. Hawaiiki-a-nui following the Maori style funeral or tangihanga. It is also believed that they do so by using the spirits pathway or Te Ara Wairua. They are supposed to depart the mainland at Cape Reinga before which they turn at the Three Kings Islands so as to give a final look to the land. Cape Reinga enjoys a moderate climate and shares an equal balance of sunny, windy and cloudy days.

Activities At Cape Reinga

If you are on a way for a Cape Reinga tour then ensure planning your activities accordingly. Activities at Cape Reinga include outdoor recreation where you are free to enjoy anything and everything starting from enjoying the striking views, tramping, swimming, bird watching, surfing the waves, fishing, well the list goes on. The eastern coast of Cape Reinga serves as a home to sandy dunes and beaches meant exclusively for water sports, scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing. Some of the must sees in Cape Reinga include Cape Reinga lighthouse, archaeological sites and scenic reserves.

Cape Reinga Attractions

  • Ninety Mile Beach - going for a long drive along the ninety mile beach is certainly an unforgettable experience. When you are driving across the beach you are sure to come across warning sign boards mentioning that driving on the sands is hazardous.
  • Te Paki Stream- while you are driving along the ninety mile beach you will come across this 3.5 km stream. This stream is located between the ninety mile beach and the main road that leads to Cape Reinga.
  • Cape Reinga Lighthouse - The Cape Reinga lighthouse…how can you miss out on this! You are not allowed to go inside it but then there are some beautiful views that you can check out from this tourist spot. The lighthouse was constructed as early as 1940.
  • Twilight Beach - Twilight Beach is located on the west of Cape Reinga. Twilight Beach provides two sites for self-reliant camping. You will find a small campsite at the north side the beach, amongst the rushes with a small stream.
  • Surville Cliffs - the Surville cliffs are referred to as the northern point of New Zealand. They are located at a distance of 30 kilometers to the east of Cape Reinga.
  • Cape Maria van Diemen – The Cape Maria van Diemen beach and headland are the first tourist spots that will come to your notice even before you reach Cape Reinga.
  • Te Werahi Beach - A fine mist hangs over the water off the Northern Island of New Zealand thereby leaving the landscape in the milieu indistinct while in the forefront the magnificence of Te Werahi Beach at Cape Reinga in Northland comes into view. This sandy beach surrounded by green hills is a must see.
  • Tapotupotu Bay - A drive down the remarkable sharp gravel road from Cape Reinga will lead you to Tapotupotu Bay. You will also find here a grassy park region where you can take some rest, have your lunch and finally go for a swim.

How To Reach Cape Reinga

Most travelers discover Cape Reinga by opting for the Twin Coast Discovery Highway that starts, as well as ends, in Auckland. The route allows you to discover both coasts, but driving can be tedious and lengthy as Cape Reinga is separated from Auckland by 425 Kms. A campervan is a remarkable way through which you can combine freedom with comfort. Active people with lots of time can try out adventurous options like cycling. However, in general, tourists can follow the on-road option by hiring rental cars to reach Cape Reinga or book air tickets - the nearest airport being the Kaitia Airport. Here you can board Air New Zealand flights operated by Eagle Airways to reach Auckland in just 45 minutes. If you are planning to fly from Other parts of New Zealand into Cape Reinga then it is advisable to fly in to Auckland or Whangarei which has excellent connectivity.

Know more about other Places to Visit in New Zealand here.

Published On: Friday, September 27th, 2013