Cape Reinga is also known as Te Rerenga Wairua in Māori. It means the leaping-off place of spirits or the underworld. According to mythology, they believe the cape is the point where the spirits of the dead journey travel to and leap off into the underworld to their ancestral world called Hawaiki where they spend the afterlife below the roots of an 800-year-old tree called a pohutukawa. Because the site is sacred, no eating is permitted. If you're looking for a good picnic spot, turn off 5km before the Cape to beautiful Tapotupotu Bay.
Check out this amazing footage. Four minutes of breathtaking views of how Cape Reinga looked as the Ashmore sailed round and headed south to Auckland back in 1882.
The Ashmore sailed around the Cape where the Tasman Sea converged with the Pacific Ocean. It was their last two days of their 102-day voyage.
Bus trips take you to the Cape and along the 90-Mile Beach from both Kaitaia and Paihia, the Bay of Islands. While Cape Reinga isn't the most northern point of New Zealand, it is not a scientific reserve like North Cape so it is open to the public.
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