Cape Reinga lighthouse (A1)

Cape Reinga Lighthouse and tracks to Sandy Bay and Te Werahi Beach, Far North New Zealand.

GPS: -34.428810 172.680912

Cape Reinga overview

Cape Reinga overview

Cape Reinga details

Cape Reinga details

Cape Reinga lighthouse

Cape Reinga lighthouse

Cape Reinga lighthouse signpost

Cape Reinga lighthouse signpost

Where the seas meet.   The waves of the Tasman Sea criss-cross with the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

Where the seas meet. The waves of the Tasman Sea criss-cross with the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

Looking south from Cape Reinga towards Cape Maria Van Diemen

Looking south from Cape Reinga towards Cape Maria Van Diemen

The view from the track down to Te Werahi Beach from Cape Reinga carpark

The view from the track down to Te Werahi Beach from Cape Reinga carpark

As touristy as this classic lighthouse can be (150,000+ people per year), the fact remains that this lookout is truly both beautiful and unique. Cape Reinga is the most scenic lighthouse in NZ because there’s a lot more to look at other than just a horizon line.  The seas, Tasman and Pacific, do actually meet here (as most tourism promo states) and it’s neat to watch the waves explode into each other creating angling lines of spray.  Also notice the peculiar checkerboard pattern where the waves criss-cross on the beach below.

The famous Pohutukawa tree of Maori legend, visible on the east side of the rocky cape extending north from the lighthouse, is reputed to be 600-800 years old and represents the legendary departure point for Maori spirits on their way to their afterlife in Hawaiiki. Your spirit may also depart if you’re enjoying some rare solitude at Cape Reinga when a gaggle of tour buses arrive and belch a wave of snap/yap-happy tourists.  In summer it’s hard to escape the tour-bus arrivals (the buses are those that race up 90-Mile Beach at low-tide, often from as far away as Paihia).  Your best bet for minimal crowds is early morning or late afternoon.

For a bit of a walk you can head down from the carpark towards either Te Werahi Beach or Sandy Beach—each route is about 20-30 minutes down…but be prepared for the 180m climb back up. Te Werahi Beach is the best for a long, scenic, and often people-free beach walk. Sandy Beach is a delightful small cove.

One Response to “Cape Reinga lighthouse (A1)”

  1. Janice Mexted Says:

    It’s even wonderful through winter when you can watch the weather come in from the ocean or sea. The meeting of the waters changes too as it moves from one side to the other of the Cape. We were watching three different squalls complete with lightning and nearly didn’t it make it back to shelter before they turned and dumped on us. Mad fun !!!

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