Te Paki Coastal Track

Te Paki Coastal Track - Tapotupotu Bay to Cape Reinga

Te Paki Coastal Track

Tapotupotu Bay to Cape Reinga


20 Rankers Reviews

17 Face-to-Face

7 Walking

1 Kaitaia

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Tidal stream at Tapotupotu Bay
Tapotupotu Bay - primo!


5 km one-way | 3 hours one-way

The dramatic sheer cliffs, sandy beaches of Tapotupotu and Sandy Bay and the views from Cape Reinga to North Cape are the highlights of this walk.

The beaches along the way are great for swimming, fishing and relaxing.


Tapotupotu Bay is reached by turning right onto Tapotupotu Road, 2.5km before Cape Reinga. It is 3km along the winding unsealed road to the bay.

The track starts from the orange rectangle on a post at the western side of the bay.

The track exits above the eastern side of the carpark at Cape Reinga.


The Te Paki Coastal Track is a 48 km 3 day tramp traversing New Zealand’s northernmost tip.

The descriptions here have broken the tramp into bite size chunks, with Cape Reinga at the fulcrum.

This is the first in a trio of walks ending at Cape Reinga.
1. Kapowairua to Pandora
2. Pandora to Tapotupotu
3. Tapotupotu to Cape Reinga

The track is marked with orange posts.

For 20 minutes follow the track through grass to the ridge, where it enters low scrub (20 minutes). The 20 minute descent to Sandy Bay is steep, from where it is a 30 minute steady climb to Cape Reinga.

In places the track hovers on the cliff top. Beware of strong wind gusts.


Cape Reinga is 3km south of Surville Cliffs, which are one kilometre north of North Cape. However, Cape Reinga is the most northerly accessible point on the mainland of New Zealand.

Around 5 million years ago, the Aupori Peninsula, including Te Paki, was a series of islets, an archipelago separated by shallow seas. With the onset and waning of Ice Ages, sea levels fluctuated and large sandspits formed, sculpted by the prevailing south-westerly winds. Te Paki thus became joined to the greater North Island landmass, but still retains an island character. It feels like a different land.

Polynesian History

To Maori the area around Cape Reinga is sacred. After journeying up Ninety Mile Beach, a spirit will climb a high hill called Haumu and bid farewell to the land of the living. It drinks from the stream called Te-wai-o-ngunguru (‘Waters of the Underworld’) and travels down the exposed root of the legendary pohutukawa at Cape Reinga. From there it travels to the Manawa-Tahi (Three Kings Islands), meaning ‘last breath’, and on to Hawaiki.


Feature Value Info


DOC Northland

Central government organisation


North IslandNorthlandKaitaia


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 20.

Joannda's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

This hike has been one of our absolute favourite activities in Northland. The coastline is stunning here. The 5km took us about 1.5hrs one way. Stopped at Sandy Bay for a swim on the way back but the beach at Tapotupotu Bay is nicer. Bring plenty of water and cover up. It’s mostly exposed with little shelter. Water refills possible at Cape Reinga toilets (treated water)

Reviewed over 1 year ago

The Olivers's avatar

The Olivers

Ranking: 10/10

The walk from Tapotupotu to the lighthouse was one of our favourite far north activities - views were amazing and worth the climbs.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Jan Christoph's avatar

Jan Christoph


Ranking: 10/10

Very nice walk! We saw dolphins jumping in the water!

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Sylvie Smets's avatar

Sylvie Smets


Ranking: 9/10

We hiked from the Tapotupotu DOC campsite to Cape Reinga in two hours admiring breathtaking views of the coast. The track is well indicated and comfortable. It is exciting when you first catch a glimpse of Cape Reinga's lighthouse!

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Pauline Fontenay's avatar

Pauline Fontenay


Ranking: 9/10

Amazing walk, the view is amazing even on a cloudy day.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Philipp Schauerbeck's avatar

Philipp Schauerbeck

Ranking: 10/10

Although we only did a small part of the walk, it has been a fantastic experience. The two climbs were rewarded by overwhelming views of little solitary bays. There are DOC campsites along the walk.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in November 2015

Ben Buffler's avatar

Ben Buffler


Ranking: 10/10

A really nice track of 2 hours. A beautiful view all along the track.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Fanny DeBon's avatar

Fanny DeBon


Ranking: 9/10

Excellent track, hidden bays, walking on the 'aisle' or in the bush. Loved this track.

Reviewed about 7 years ago and experienced in December 2014

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Florent Bouillon's avatar

Florent Bouillon


Ranking: 10/10

Up and down, up and down, but it is great, you cross different types of country and the Cape Reinga is peaceful.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Agathe Dupuis's avatar

Agathe Dupuis


Ranking: 10/10

Amazing views! So beautiful! A little bit difficult especially with big sun but was worth it.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Andreas Jung's avatar

Andreas Jung


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful nature, walk goes up and down, easy five hours with return. Views over Sandy Bay, Spirits Bay and more, track goes to the lighthouse - north of the north.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Petra Kurcova's avatar

Petra Kurcova

Czech Republic

Ranking: 10/10

Almost like heaven.

Reviewed over 8 years ago

Andre and Marina's avatar

Andre and Marina


Ranking: 8/10

Start at the DOC campsite Tapotupotu to Cape Reinga. It is a lovely coastal walk to Cape Reinga (10km return), do not forget your bathing clothes and take a rest at Sandy Bay.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner