Surreal Cape Reinga
Though I knew very little about Northland before hitting the road north, I knew that I definitely wanted to visit Cape Reinga. Admittedly, I did not even know what was so special about New Zealand’s northwestern most point other than it’s geographical location. I just knew that I wanted to be at that point.
After some last minute research right before making my way to the country’s northern tip, I learned that Cape Reinga is a very sacred Maori place. Maori oral tradition says that when one dies, his or her spirit departs the Earth from the ancient tree growing out of the rocks at Cape Reinga and leaps back to their original home of Hawaiki.
The route to Cape Reinga is a straight shot on Highway 1 going north from Auckland, with many detour options along the way to places like Whangarei and the Bay of Islands. I was so fortunate to have immaculate weather the day I visited because the sun was blazing and I wore shorts for the first time in weeks.
After entering through the gates, take a right to head toward the iconic Cape Reinga lighthouse and see the tree. The path winds around the green hills and with stunning views of the coastline. Reaching the lighthouse, standing and looking out the visible collision of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean is a surreal collection of moments. There is something mystical about standing at a point with very few tourists and knowing it holds such an incredible significance to so many people and has been sacred throughout that people’s history. Even after recognizing that significance and feeling the vibrations I still knew that had I not even begun to touch the surface on this place’s importance.
If you can only visit one place in Northland, New Zealand this is the place. This is your sign. Go there.