Cape Reinga New Zealand is a crown jewel, the spiritual and stunning northern tip of the country. For Maori, Cape Reinga is where a person’s spirit comes after death and departs for their eternal home. For visitors, it also offers spectacular ocean views including an impressive meeting of two seas.
Although driving to Cape Reinga is easy, bus tours from the Bay of Islands are really popular. In a day trip, the tour will drive on the sand along the ninety-mile beach, allow time for sliding down the giant sand dunes, visit the lighthouse, stop for lunch, and include plenty of legends and stories.
Check Pricing and Availability on a tour to Cape Reinga
(from Auckland or from the Bay of Island)
|3-Day Bay of Islands Tour & Cape Reinga||Auckland||3 day commentated tour by coach
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
White sand beaches
Accommodation in Paihia
Cruise to Cape Brett
|Cape Reinga & 90-Mile Beach Tour||Paihia||Sandboarding
Cape Reinga lighthouse
Puketi Kauri Forest
90 Mile beach
|Cape Reinga Tour and Scenic Flight||Paihia (minibus and plane)||Scenic flight
|Bay of Islands Skydive||Paihia or Kerikeri||Skydive over the bay of islands
40 seconds freefall from 12,000 ft
|2 to 4 hrs|
|Far North Tour with 90 Mile Beach & Cape Reinga||Paihia||Sandboarding
Cape Reinga lighthouse
90 Mile Beach
The Meeting of the Seas
At Cape Reinga, two oceans meet. To the west and separating it from Australia (2000km away) is the Tasman Sea. On the east is the southern Pacific Ocean. The line at the meeting of the seas, where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific Ocean is clearly visible at Cape Reinga.
A Maori Legend
Cape Reinga marks the separation of the Tasman Sea from the Pacific Ocean. For Maori, these turbulent waters are where the male sea Te Moana Tapokopoko a Tawhaki meets the female sea Te Tai o Whitireia.
The Whirlpools where the currents clash are like those that dance in the wake of a waka (canoe). They represent the coming together of male and female, and the creation of life.
A closer view of the meeting of the seas:
More Cape Reinga Images
Practical Information on visiting the top of the North Island
- While often thought of as the most northern point in the country, it isn’t. Surville Cliffs are the actual most Northern point and sit 30km east of Cape Reinga.
- It takes about 90 minutes to drive the 120km from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga. There is so much to see and do along the way that most people allocate at least a full day, stopping to eat, to swim, to drive on the beach, to sandboard or to walk through the ancient buried forest.
- Cape Reinga is on sacred grounds and should be left undisturbed. The welcome sign also asks visitors to follow the tikanga (custom) of not eating or drinking while you are here.
- Cape Reinga is considered to be the most spiritual place for all Maori
- There are many walking trails from here ranging from the 10-minute walk to the lighthouse to the stunning 3-4 day Te Paki Coastal walk.
Where to Stay in Cape Reinga
There are not a lot of options. Most people visit as a day trip from the Bay of Islands or take an extended hiking/camping trip staying in their own tents. If you prefer a bed, these are our recommendations.
Tekao Lodge is the closest location, although 42 km from the top. A backpacker style accommodation with some private rooms with their own bathrooms.
Pukenui Lodge is 70 km from the Cape. Here you will find both lodge and motel options, or stay at the nearby Pukenui Campground.
We opted to stay 129 km away in Cable Bay at the Golden Sands Beach Front Apartments. It was lovely. We had our own two bedroom unit, right on the beach. If you don’t mind the drive, it is our top recommendation.
Have you been to Cape Reinga? Have you seen anything like the meeting of the seas?
***Don’t miss our recommended self-drive itinerary around the top of the North Island (from Auckland to Cape Reinga). And if it’s your first visit to New Zealand, you will want to read this. ***