Ideal duration: 1-3 Days
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Tucked away at the northernmost tip of New Zealand’s North Island and a 200 km drive away from Auckland lies the quiet fishing town of Cape Reinga. Cape Reinga holds cultural significance to the Maori tribes. A distinctively curved pohutukawa tree is believed to be the acting medium for the spirits of deceased Maori tribesmen to travel from the physical realm of earth to their ancestral home of Hawaiki. In fact, the name Cape Reinga is a reflection of this belief and is a derivation of a Maori phrase that may be translated as ‘the leaping-off place for Maori spirits. As a consequence of how spiritually important Cape Reinga is to the Maori people, it is forbidden to eat there or host picnics or any such activity.
The view from the precariously perched lighthouse at the end of Cape Reinga is simply nothing short of staggering. A complete, unobstructed and panoramic view of not just one, but two, water bodies coming together from a vantage point such as this is truly breathtaking. On one side you have the Tasman Sea merging seamlessly with the mighty Pacific Ocean on the other. The two oceans can even be distinctly told apart from each other due to their different colours, creating a real treat for the senses. 90-Mile Beach is named so for the almost 90 miles of unbroken, golden coastline that snakes up the west coast of the North Island, right up until Cape Reinga. Adventurous visitors may even drive up most of the way along the beach.
While the true northern tip of New Zealand’s North Island may be slightly further ahead of Cape Reinga at North Cape, it has been designated as a scientific research station and is not accessible to the public. Scenic flights that begin from the Bay of Islands are popular activities for visitors that want to take in New Zealand in its stunning entirety.
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