Cape Reinga lighthouse
PHOTO: Simon Lieschke | Creative Commons

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Introduction

The famous landmark sits at the tip of the Te Paki Recreation Reserve. A highly significant area to Maori, it marks the point from which Maori wairua (spirit) return to their traditional homeland.

Highlights

See the iconic lighthouse and Motuopao Island from Cape Reinga.

Place overview

Activities

  • Camping
  • Walking and tramping

Facilities

  • Information panels
  • Toilets
  • Check clean dry
    Stop the spread of didymo and other freshwater pests.

    Remember to Check, Clean, Dry all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.

  • Kauri dieback
    Help stop kauri dieback

    Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forest.

In this section

Find things to do and places to stay Cape Reinga /Te Rerenga Wairua

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About track difficulties

Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) visitor facilities

New facilities at Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) make your visit a memorable experience and give you a greater appreciation of the mystery and spirituality of the whole area.

Completed in March 2009, the $6 million upgrade of the visitor facilities was a result of a close working relationship built up over the years between DOC and local iwi and kaitiaki (guardians) of the area, Ngati Kuri.

The waharoa (gateway).
Portico / waharoa

A concrete portico or waharoa (the gateway) leads to the beginning of the new walking track and initially only shows glimpses of Cape Maria Van Diemen and Motuopao Island. As you walk through the portico, the entire vista opens up before you, and Te Werahi Beach appears.

Specially designed panels on the portico’s interior depict a historical map, thought to be the first known map of Aotearoa to be drawn by Tuki Tahua over 200 years ago. The roof on top of the portico is made from certified sustainable wood – eucalypt and cedar.

Red chip sealed track.
Red chip sealed track

The 600-metre red chip sealed track, which depicts the red colour of the earth at Te Rerenga Wairua, leads from the carparks to the lighthouse. You can enjoy expansive views of the area, particularly of North Cape, Spirits Bay and the rocky coast of Sandy Bay.

The car parks are now sealed and provide better traffic flow and parking for tourist buses and cars. The carparks are set low so that the panoramic views are hidden from visitors, until they enter the portico, where the magnificent views begin to unfold as they make their way down the track to the lighthouse.

Sealed carpark, new toilet block, and portico.
Sealed carpark, toilet block, and portico

New toilets, adjacent to the carparks, are an environmentally friendly design that reduces water usage. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in place of sinks.

Interpretation signage at key spots helps you to learn more about the geology, ecology, history and culture of the area.

Over 60,000 native plants grown from seed collected from Te Rerenga Wairua were planted and are beginning to grow. Planting will continue throughout the next few years.

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    About this place

    Getting there

    From Kaitaia it is a 1 hour 30 minutes drive north on SH1.

    Contacts

    Kaitaia Office
    Phone:   +64 9 408 6014
    Address:   25 Matthews Ave
    Kaitaia 0441
    Email:   kaitaia@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details
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