Cape Reinga, New Zealand
This place is magical, and spritual to the maori. Once you stand there at the Cape you will see why. It's best if you travel there by car, avoid the day triper buses if you can, and allow yourself some time to do the walk from the cape down to the beach below. The climb back up is a little steep but well worth the walk.
Infact there are many walks that you can do at the cape, some may take a couple of days to complete. Have a look at the Department of Conversation website to see what options there are. try www.doc.gov.nz
Cape Reinga is the most northern tip of the country. Its past ninety mile beach and the road becomes a dirt road for some time before you arrive.
Oh my, it will take hours to get there and back. But you get to see this post and see the Tasman Sea meet the Pacific ocean. You actually see the two seas meet.
Other than that, its windy and nothing much to do than maybe hike a bit. But there are MUCH better hikes down south.
According to Mâori mythology, the spirits of the dead travel to Cape Reinga on their journey to the afterlife in the spiritual homeland of Hawaiki.
At Cape Reinga they depart the mainland by leaping off the ancient pohutukawa tree on the cape which is over 800 years old
They turn briefly at the Three Kings Islands for one last look back towards the land, then continue on their journey. Reinga means the leaping-off place and Te Rerenga Wairua means the leaping-off place of spirits.
Cape Reinga is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand and 90 mile beach.
The cape separates the Tasman Sea from the Pacific Ocean. From the lighthouse it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean clash to create unsettled waters just off the coast.
Cape Reinga is often mistaken as being the northernmost point of the North Island. North Cape's Surville Cliffs, 30 km east of Cape Reinga, are slightly more northerly. Just slightly to the west of Cape Reinga is Cape Maria van Diemen, which was discovered and named by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642 and thought by him to be the northernmost point of the newly-discovered country he named "Staten Landt".
My trip there was a really good example of how the weather can change here. All along 90 mile beach it was breezy and sunny. We stopped for lunch for about half an hour a few miles from the cape and by the time we got there there was thick cloud freezing wind and horizontal rain. reminded me of summer at home in the UK!
The Ninety Mile Beach, actually, about ninety kilometers long (keep it in mind/see below), is one of the most intriguing places I have been to in New Zealand. As you get there you see a black board with information on tides and a road sign with the speed limit - which applies to the beach! Now and then you see a car passing by and also some bus tours. I finally understood why there is that extra piece of paper to sign at car rental offices that ensures that you will never (ever!!) drive the vehicle on a beach ;) This rule, however, does not apply to jeeps. If you decide to be an evil doer keep in mind that you will see some cars half buried here and there. Make sure you have gasoline, that you won't forget that precious info on the black board AND that you don't get too close to the water. Also, there are not too many spots to go back to the road...
At the very end of the peninsula that includes the beach, and after a final stretch of some 25 km on a busy dirt road you will find magical Cape Reinga from which, according to Maori beliefs, souls depart for Hawaiiki, the spiritual home of Polynesians. This is also the place where Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet. A very special site...