Cape Reinga is the ultimate northern New Zealand experience. See two oceans collide and discover ‘the 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 deceased Maori leap from this tree into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.
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.
From Kaitaia, the drive to Cape Reinga takes about 1.5 hours each way. Guided coach tours depart from Kaitaia and Paihia (Bay of Islands) daily. As well as taking you up to the Cape, these trips travel along the popular 90 Mile Beach, bringing Maori and early European history to life on the way.
For those short on time, scenic flights depart from the Bay of Islands, flying to the Cape and along both coasts of New Zealand.
Being a sacred site, eating is not permitted at Cape Reinga. However if you're looking for a good picnic spot, take the turn-off to beautiful Tapotupotu Bay, 5km before the Cape.
Functional facts: No population; fuel, meals and camp sites at Waitaki Landing (19 kilometres south).
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