Cape Reinga - located at the bottom of the world but at the very top of New Zealand. It's where  two oceans collide. The stunning Bay of Islands is a popular base to visit Cape Reinga on a day tour from Paihia to Cape Reinga. It's time to explore the northernmost tip of New Zealand.

Cape Reinga Lighthouse

By User:Gadfium (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cape Reinga Day Tour

It was an early start as we boarded the air conditioned bus and headed to our first destination: the Puketi Kauri Forest. We took a short walk through the forest and the 2,000 year old trees. We then stopped by the seaside town of Taipa Beach for morning tea before heading towards the Cape.

Cape Reinga is a significant location within the Maori culture and is believed to be the departing place of spirits on their journey to the homeland, Hawaiki. As we arrived at Cape Reinga, we felt like we were arriving at the very edge of the Earth. Looking out to the ocean where the Pacific meets the Tasman Sea with literally nothing else in sight. We ventured to the famous Cape Reinga Lighthouse which provided fantastic photo opportunities 290 metres above sea level.

Meeting point of Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Taputaputa Bay was our next stop, and it was a beautiful surf beach! We stayed here for lunch and had the option to chill out or play Rugby, Frisbee or Beach Cricket!

Our next destination: Te Paki Stream for some Sand Boarding! We grabbed our boogie boards, walked up the HUGE sand dunes and sandboarded down the slopes. This was amazing and the views were spectacular!

Sand Surfing Te Paki Sand Dunes

Te Paki Sand Dunes at Te Paki Stream by Bernard Spragg.NZ - license

One of the best parts about the Cape Reinga Day Trip, is that the coach is able to cruise along the sand highway (the beach is actually a registered highway) of 90 Mile Beach.

The driver (who I must note was informative throughout the entire trip) revealed that the beach is not actually 90 miles but 55 miles! The most common theory as to the incorrect name is that years ago missionaries used to travel along the coast by horseback under the assumption that horses could travel 30 miles in one day; As the journey took 3 days it was named 90 mile beach. I just love this story. It is now believed that the horses took longer to travel due to the sand! Regardless, the name remains and the beach is absolutely stunning!

The tour was amazing and Cape Reinga is most definitely a must see!

Paihia, and the Bay of Islands, are an absolute must visit location in New Zealands north island. Doing a day trip to Cape Reinga from Paihia is, in my opinion, another absolute must. If you have the time, then base yourself in Paihia for a week so you have time to chill out and explore the Bay of Islands and the surrounding area, including Cape Reinga!

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