Cape Reinga is known as one of the most northern points of New Zealand; the Maori people call it Te Reinga or Te Rerenga Wairua -- meaning that the Maori believe this place is the where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld. For a long time, you won't be able to see much more than the green and yellow mountains dotted with sheep, but when you get to the end of the road, it seems like you've reached something mystic -- you only see the vast ocean and you're high above it in a rocky mountain. Try to get there by sunset and you won't regret it.
From Cape Reinga, you can see the place where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean -- the main landmark in Cape Reinga, the lighthouse right in the end of the peninsula, offers a good view of the clash of both seas.
Cape Reinga is literally in the middle of nowhere, so the nearest small town is a hundred kilometers south -- you'll have a bit of a drive (from Pahia to Cape Reinga, you can expect almost three hours' drive). If you have the time and a good 4WD, you can get to the cape via Ninety Mile Beach, a nice beach with huge sand dunes where you'll have a lot of fun for sure. There are tourist buses that make the journey form Pahia to Cape Reinga in a one-day tour (seven hours), which means you will spend six hours in the bus -- too much time for a one-day tour. Do it only if you don't have any other option, because you'll enjoy it more traveling on your own.
It will be hard for you to find a vacancy in Cape Reinga's hostels during the summer months -- between December through February -- when this place gets more than a thousand visitors per day. In the other months you shouldn't have any problem. The few hostels in Cape Reinga are usually perfect for an overnight -- have a good night's sleep and get moving again the next day.
Hi, I'm CoffeeMarks,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Cape Reinga hostels. Welcome.