Cape Reinga at sunset. © nazar_ab

Cape Reinga: where two oceans meet

It’s like a lightning rod for all that is exciting about this wild country.

The black-and-white lighthouse at Cape Reinga can justifiably be termed ‘iconic’, and while the lighthouse keepers are gone, its role as a beacon that draws over a hundred thousand visitors a year to this amazing spot ensures it has a special place in all our hearts.

Here, at the top of the country, you can witness a rare and powerful thing – the meeting of two bodies of water, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The tides race each other in a display of awesome ocean strength as you stand on the bluff, buffeted by the inevitable breeze and wowed by the beauty of this spot. A sweep to the left takes in Cape Maria van Diemen, the name a legacy of the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who literally put this country on the map, and to the right, the beautiful arc of Spirits Bay, its name underpinning the sacred cultural aspect of this amazing place.

Maori believe that Cape Reinga is where the dead depart for their final journey and there is a certain feeling at this busy spot that reinforces that belief, adding another layer of experience on even the sunniest days.

Cape Reinga gathers up so much in one place: a literal and figurative stepping off point for exploring the country, harnessing spectacular views of mind-blowing (and hair-blowing!) natural power with deep cultural significance that offers a key to Aotearoa itself.

It’s also a site that’s fully spec’d for the modern traveller (flash loos included!).

It’s a stunning drive – or bike ride – over sealed roads from Kaitaia. Even better, ditch the car, grab a shuttle and arrive the ultimate way: along the sands of Ninety Mile Beach. Now you’re travelling!

Explore more...


Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Things to do

Cape Reinga Te Rerenga Wairua Lighthouse Walk

Enjoy outstanding panoramic views, see the meeting of two mighty oceans and pay respect to the place where Maori believe the spirits of the dead meet the underworld.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Things to do

The Far North: the tail of the fish

North of the Bay of Islands, things get a little wilder. This is Muriwhenua, the tail of Maui’s legendary fish, the northernmost tip of the country. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Things to do

Cape Reinga: wild and unforgettable

As you approach Cape Reinga the land narrows, affording glimpses of Northland’s east and west coasts as you climb the high, lonely road that eventually winds down to the Cape itself. Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in Far North District

4.5 /5
From $105
4.5 /5
Loredo Motel

First in comfort and hospitality. Spacious, refurbished units (11 ground-floor) with kitchen facilities (sleep 2-8). Amenities include direct-dial telephones, flat-screen TV, Sky TV, outdoor swimming . . . More . . . 

From $105

Book now

Book now

4.2 /5
From $120
4.2 /5
San Marino Motor Lodge

Absolute beachfront. Quiet location. Fabulous sunsets! Tranquil safe bay with golden sands and beautiful pohutakawa foreshore only metres from your beachfront unit. . . . More . . . 

From $120

Book now

Book now

4.4 /5
From $36
4.4 /5
Best Price Around
Taupo Bay Holiday Park

Welcome to Taupo Bay Holiday Park, MangonuiNorthland at its best – magnificent beach, warm welcome – Taupo Bay is a secret to be discoveredWelcome to . . . More . . . 

From $36

Book now

Book now

4.3 /5
4.3 /5
Best Price Around
Pukenui Lodge Motel

New Zealand's Northernmost Motel, 40km north of Kaitaia - Check out our webcam on www.pukenuilodge.co.nz. Situated on the water's edge and set amongst beautiful tropical . . . More . . . 

Book now

Book now