Yes, we know! You have to drive quite a bit to get to the northernmost point of New Zealand. But we think it is worth it. When you have a bit of time on your hands, do not skip Cape Reinga. It is a magical place with tons of history and amazing views. Walk to the iconic white lighthouse and see two oceans collide.
When you want to see it all, you definitely spend a day or two at the northern tip of New Zealand. With its stunning coastal scenery it will warm everyones heart. You are probably wondering by now what you can do at this beautiful place. Here are a couple of incredible things to do:
Cape Reinga Lighthouse Walk
The one thing you have to do when you are at Cape Reinga is the Lighthouse Walk. This 1 km walk from the carpark to the white lighthouse is accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Wheelchairs and buggies will roll easily on the wide and sealed walkway.
Enjoy the outstanding views and pay respect to the Maori tradition. See the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet in a foaming swell of broken water. On a clear day you might be lucky enough to see the Three Kings Islands on the distant horizon.
It is here where the Maori believe the spirits of there loved ones will cross over to the underworld. It is needless to say that this is a deeply spiritual place for them. Please pay respect to the surroundings.
It is a popular place for day visitors, so please go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It is the best chance to beat the crowds.
One of the most scenic and most accessible beaches in the Cape Reinga area is Toputaputu Bay. Enjoy a picnic, splash in the waves or even camp the night at the beach’s campsite.
It is a very scenic campsite, from the Department of Conservation. There is a nearby lagoon, that is suitable for swimming. The site has 45 sites, cold showers and tap water (treat before use). It is in our opinion one of the most beautiful places to pitch your tent. Tapotupotu campsite is the perfect place to relax, enjoy and explore the great Far North.
Te Paki Coastal Trek
This amazing coastal track is a great way to start exploring the far north. You will see beautiful and unique landforms and spectacular views. Be prepared to do some ascending and descending! You can camp at DOC campsites along the way. Make sure you bring something to treat your water.
The track follows the coastline from Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) on the North Eastern Coast, past Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) and Cape Maria van Dieman, and finishes at Te Paki Stream on the West Coast. From there, you can continue along 90 Mile Beach all the way to Ahipara.
You can attempt the whole track or choose one or several track sections that suit your fitness level and areas of interest. You can find more information about the track on the website of the Department of Conservation.
Giant Sand Dunes
It is time for some action! Grab yourself a body board for a few dollars at te bottom of the giant sand dunes or bring your own. Climb until your legs say ‘no’, lay on your belly on the board and of you go into the unknown. Tip! Keep your mouth closed. You will thank us later.
You will find the entrance to the Giant Sand Dunes 19km south of Cape Reinga off State Highway 1 down Te Paki Stream Road. There is a car park at the end for vehicles that are not suitable for driving on the sand.
You can book some great day trips by bus to Cape Reinga, 90 Mile Beach and the Giant Sand Dunes here.