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.
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.
North Island ▷ Northland ▷ Kaitaia
Showing 13 reviews of 19.
The walk from Tapotupotu to the lighthouse was one of our favourite far north activities - views were amazing and worth the climbs.
Very nice walk! We saw dolphins jumping in the water!
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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!
Amazing walk, the view is amazing even on a cloudy day.
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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.
A really nice track of 2 hours. A beautiful view all along the track.
Excellent track, hidden bays, walking on the 'aisle' or in the bush. Loved this track.
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Up and down, up and down, but it is great, you cross different types of country and the Cape Reinga is peaceful.
Amazing views! So beautiful! A little bit difficult especially with big sun but was worth it.
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.
Almost like heaven.
Andre and Marina
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.
An amazing walk through the hills to Cape Reinga - we did the shorter way because we did not have enough time left. Sandy Beach Walk is also great.
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 😍