Cape Reinga is as far north as you can drive. See two oceans collide and discover ‘the place of leaping’, where Maori spirits begin their final journey.
Reaching the iconic lighthouse at Cape Reinga is a goal that many travellers set themselves. 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.
Here 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. 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.
One of the most popular ways to see the remote and stunning Cape Reinga area is a guided tour with scenic flights along the west and east coasts of New Zealand. Departing from Paihia daily this 1/2 day tour is a spectacular experience and great option to avoid a long road trip.
Functional facts: No population; fuel, meals and camp sites at Waitaki Landing (19 kilometres south).