New Zealand's northernmost point, Cape Reinga, or Te Rerenga Wairua in Maori, is a popular stop for many visitors on a tour around New Zealand with its iconic lighthouse and spectacular display of ocean currents where the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet each other.
The journey from Auckland to Cape Reinga is around 400km and takes around 6 hours, so it is simply too far to visit in one day. Many visitors generally visit Cape Reinga from the Bay of Islands on one of the Cape Reinga day tours.
If you are self driving New Zealand, and have sufficient time, Cape Reinga is a place where you can easily spend a few days and toally unwind amid arguably the country's most spectacular coastal scenery.
Off the beaten track camping
Some of Northland's finest campgrounds are to be found near Cape Reinga at Tapotuotu Bay and Spirits Bay. Both campgrounds are DOC administered and have pretty basic facilities, generally with long drop toilets. Water is available on taps (boil before usage) and there are cold showers available at Spirits Bay. However, those amenities are not the reason you should stay here, but it's the unparallelled remote and wild beach camping experience you should be seeking.
The beaches of Tapotupotu Bay and Spirits Bay both have the feeling of being "at the edge of the world". If visiting New Zealand is still not enough to provide you such an experience, then this is where you should stay for a night. The coastal scenery is nothing short of breathtaking, the white sandy beaches and its crystal clear waters will simply invite for a swim, and there are excellent short walking tracks getting you to higher ground with sweeping coastal views.
Te Paki Coastal Track
The 48-km, three to four day Te Paki Coastal track starts at Spirits Bay and then follows the rugged coastline of Cape Reinga before descending to Te Werahi and Twilight beaches. The track traverses a variety of beautiful and unique landforms, and offers spectacular views of the cape region without the crowds of the Cape Reinga lighthouse.
This hike is one of the North Island's finest and is currently being considered for addition to New Zealand's Great Walks.
Self-sufficient camping is available at the Pandora, Tapotupotu, and Twilight campsites.
Some of Northland's best fishing
The area around Cape Reinga is certainly a worthy bucket list location for fishing. What's so awesom about the fishing here is that there are so many different species to catch during various periods of the year.
You can surfcast along the beaches, rock-fishing along the rocky mainlands, diving for crayfish and other shellfish, the options are aplenty for the keen angler.
Unspoilt and wild remote beaches
If you ever fancied feeling like Robinson Crusoe on a remote island, camping around Cape Reinga is a must-do for you!
Massive sand dunes
A short drive off the main road about 20 minutes before Cape Reinga, near the Te Paki Stream, are massive sand dunes for some serious fun. Any type of sliding board here will suffice to slide down the massive sand dunes and some great fun for the entire family. Sandboards are for hire at the entrance of the Te Paki Recreation Reserve as well along the main road on State Highway SH1.
The scenery here is equally stunning and for all you knew you could be in the Sahara desert, such are the size of these massive yellow sand dunes.
Other great places to visit and things to do in New Zealand
More articles to help you plan your New Zealand vacation