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Explore NZ Travel Blog

Exploring Cape Reinga in the Bay of Islands


In the windy, subtropical sunlight sits the Cape Reinga lighthouse. Alone, it gazes over the horizon, as if it was guarding this beautiful and magical land of ours. If you travel as far north as you possibly can, you’ll find yourself at New Zealand’s northern most tip. This is Cape Reinga.

As a Kiwi, this was one of the places I most wanted to visit. I drove up in one of our Corolla Sedan’s, which is great for touring the country in comfort. Off the tip, you stand there and look into the distance, knowing that out there is a completely different world. You sense that anything is possible and that the opportunities fordiscovering what is out there are absolutely endless.

The Lonely Lighthouse

Cape Reinga is full of rich Maori History, culture and tradition. It has been told by the Maori people, that this was the place where the spirits leapt from the ancient Pohutukawa tree off into the blue, to journey to their final resting place. It is also the dividing line between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, where these two mighty oceans battle for supremacy.

As you make your journey up the Northland Region to witness this untouched land, take a tour via Ninety Mile Beach. This exhilarating and incredible beach includes a combination of sand dunes, giant Kauri trees, and quicksand streams, to make the trip to Cape Reinga one you’ll never forget. The actual length of the beach is 96 kilometres (about 60 miles) but most don’t care about the facts. It’s more the scenery of this naturally beautiful location that makes this trip so special.

There are many adventures to be had at the Cape, from bus tours and kayaking to fishing and sand surfing.  This New Zealand destination is perfect for the young and old. To visit Cape Reinga is a must. Take the coastal walk at the end of Ninety Mile Beach and discover what looks like a landscape from another planet. There is even a bus tour that drives along Ninety Mile Beach.  It’s definitely worth a visit, for those looking to explore one of nature’s best.

GO Play activities in this area

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    Dune Rider Cape Reinga

    Explore the landscape on this full day adventure to Cape Reinga. Drive along the sandy highway of 90 Mile Beach as the ocean roars alongside you. Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the Far North on this adventure to the top of NZ. Experience the rush of speed as you sandboard down glistening white sand dunes at Te Paki Stream.

    Maritime Building, Marsden Road, Paihia. Tel: 0800 365 744

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    Discover Hokianga.

    Journey in to a unique part of New Zealand. Which was first discovered by Kupe the voyager. Visit the 2.8 million year old Wairere Boulders and the Waipoua Forest, and meet a national icon. The mighty Kauri Tree Tāne Mahuta on a full-day tour from Paihia.

    Maritime Building, Waterfront, Paihia. Tel: 09 402 7421