Cape Reinga walk to lighthouse
Image: Benhi Dixon | Creative Commons


Access to popular Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua will be limited over the coming weeks as important repair work gets underway, the Department of Conservation announced today.

Date:  25 August 2023

The area was damaged during the May 2023 weather events, and repairs are expected to take 4-6 weeks to complete.

DOC Kaitaia Operations Manager Meirene Hardy-Birch says though there may be disruptions, most of the time visitors will still be able to access part of the area around the lighthouse and signpost and experience the vast and breathtaking views from this site and access the car park and toilets.

“On occasion the track may need to be closed for 1-2 hours while the contractor moves machinery or materials along the track,” says Meirene.

“The safety of visitors and the contractors working at site is a priority which is why restrictions will be in place where needed.”

Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua is a place of great significance to Māori and suffered damage during severe weather in Northland in early May 2023.  

Te Paki Recreation Reserve including the viewing area near the lighthouse at Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua were affected, and the track was temporally closed for assessment by engineers, then reopened with a barrier around the damaged area to keep visitors safe.

DOC and local iwi Ngāti Kurī have been working together to determine the work programme and have engaged local iwi contractor Far North Roading to undertake the repair work. The work is planned to start at the end of August and finish late September depending on the weather.

Sheridan Waitai from the Ngāti Kuīi Trust Board says while repair work at Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua is a positive step, people need to remember cyclone damage is extensive across the whole Te Paki Recreation reserve and has affected several walking tracks, and it may take some time to get the full range of visitor experiences (walking tracks) back in place and safe for visitor use by this summer season.

For more information check the DOC website for alerts before your visit.


Work is already underway on two storm damaged roads in Te Paki, Tapotupotu Road and Te Paki Stream Road.

Tapotupotu Road enables access to Tapotupotu campground. It has been closed since May due to road damage and is expected to be open by 25 August. Te Paki Stream Road which accesses the giant sand dunes remains open while work is ongoing. 


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