Visit this stunning lighthouse at New Zealand’s northern tip and watch the churning currents where two oceans merge.
Stand at the top of the cliffs by Cape Reinga Lighthouse and watch the swirling currents of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy sweeping views across the beaches and visit the 800-year-old tree that is one of the most sacred Maori sites in New Zealand. Extend your stay and camp a night or two at one of the excellent campsites nearby.
Cape Reinga Lighthouse was built in 1941. Though the building itself is not open to the public, its squat, white tower is a well-established New Zealand icon. Visit this picturesque spot to enjoy the spectacular views and sense of wilderness. It is the most northerly point accessible by to the public by road on the North Island.
Arrive to the lighthouse’s parking lot and stroll along the boardwalk to the lighthouse. Several viewing areas around the base of the building offer magnificent views back down the coast. Look out to sea and you’ll witness the mesmerizing sight of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meeting. The strong currents and swirling waters are particularly impressive when there are large swells.
Make sure you visit the nearby beaches. At Spirits Bay, you’ll find a large, gnarled pohutakawa tree, said to be over 800 years old. The Maoris believe this is the point from which the spirits of deceased relatives return to their homeland. Spend a night at the campsite here or at nearby Tapotupotu Bay and enjoy clear views of a star-speckled night sky.
Hikers can use Cape Reinga Lighthouse as a base from which to explore the coastal path that traverses around the island’s northern tip. Countless secluded bays and spectacular vistas can be found on this peninsula route.
Cape Reinga Lighthouse is free to visit and open year-round. Make sure you bring your own snacks or a picnic, as dining options are limited, especially in winter months. Several tour companies include the lighthouse and a scenic drive along the sands of Ninety Mile Beach in charter tours of Northland.