Top 3 Cape Reinga Stops You Should Visit
Cape Reinga holds a great significance to New Zealanders in two ways. The first, is that it’s on the northernmost tip of the country, where you can see the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The second, is that the indigenous Maori people consider it sacred. According to their tradition, it’s where the souls of the departed leap off to their journey into the underworld. But do not be scared; it’s not like you will see ghosts or anything. It just means that the place is worthy of respect.
Either way, this place is something you shouldn’t miss in New Zealand (NZ). Next time you’re visiting the beautiful North Island, make sure you stop by. And also check out these magnificent spots along the way.
The Lighthouse of Reinga is among the first things you should see. You can visit by doing a quick 10-minute hike, which is literally at the end of State Highway 1! Once you get to the lighthouse, the magnificent view greets you and all of your senses. Your eyes, ears, and even your nose will have a field day with the spectacular scenery. A wide expanse of ocean is where you can see the Pacific and the Tasman Sea meet.
If you’re wondering if you can go up the lighthouse, it’s not open to the public. Still, it doesn’t take away from the charm of the cape. The scenery is still amazing to behold, and calming too. You can feel all the stress of big city life wash away into the waves.
Te Paki Sand Dunes
Most day tours to the cape include a visit to the Te Paki Sand Dunes, and for good reason. There’s a simple but ever-present thrill involved in sliding down enormous dunes. These dunes are so massive, you have to see it to believe it. And it only requires a quick detour off the main road to the cape!
The dunes are close to the Te Paki Stream, where you can see a flurry of local wildlife. Once you get to the car park, you’ll see the facilities where you can rent sand boards.
But before you go up the dunes, here are a few tips:
- Bare feet are an absolute must. Why? Simple! it’s easier to go up the dunes without having to worry about your footwear. However, make sure you visit at a good time of day so the heat won’t be intense enough for the sand to resemble a hot plate. Also, sliding down barefooted means you won’t have to worry about losing a shoe once you go down. Seriously, do it. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Other things you should remove are jewelry. All of it, and we mean it! There’s no point enjoying a slide down the dunes if you’re worrying too much about losing your bling. Lose one, and you’ll never, ever find it again. Unless you’re crazy enough to dig through all the sand!
- Since losing stuff while sliding down is inevitable, get rid of that GoPro on the selfie stick. Have a companion stand at the bottom of the dune to take a video of you sliding down. You get your video and you don’t lose your expensive camera. Everybody wins!
Tepaki Coastal Track + Toputaputu Bay
This bay is among the most scenic ones in the cape. It’s also quite accessible given the cape’s penchant for impossible to reach locations. You get a pristine, almost untouched beach for camping, swimming, and relaxing. The best thing is, you can reach the beach via a stunning day walk, where you can snap as many photos as you want.
That day walk is called the Tepaki Coastal Track, which lasts four days. Be sure to bring about camping gear with you, as Toputaputu is one of the many stops throughout the trek. And once you reach the beach, you will get to relax for a bit. There aren’t too many people around, which will help you enjoy some much deserved quiet time. Well, who wouldn’t want to experience the calming sounds of the sea and the fresh air? It’s an experience almost unlike any other.
Only three stops? The list might sound simple, but the thing is, they’re all must-visit locations in or around Cape Reinga. You won’t be short of spectacular views and an unforgettable experience. Come visit on your next trip and see what else in store!