of Cape Reinga Bus Tour
a Bus Tour to Cape Reinga
Tours, Attractions and Events in the Bay of Islands
and Accommodation in the Bay of Islands
Reinga is a legendary place in New Zealand and a spot most
New Zealanders want to visit at least once in their lives.
Reinga is right at the top of the North Island and looking
out from the lighthouse you have nothing but ocean ahead
for thousands of kilometres.
looking out that way you can see where the Tasman
Sea collides with the Pacific Ocean and the battle between
the powerful currents is an awesome sight.
is also a place where the native Maori believe their souls
leave New Zealand for the return journey to the fabled Hawaiiki
- their homeland.
to Cape Reinga is easy.
can take your car or, if you want to be in true holiday
mode, hop aboard one of the many tour buses that head that
advantage of a bus tour - we took the Fullers
Cape Reinga Wanderer - is you can relax, have things
of interest pointed out to you, get to see the sights and
have a drive along another famous part of New Zealand -
the specially designed tour bus down the 93-kilometre-long
surf coast also saves you the risk of having your car bogged
- or destroyed (see photo below) - by what can be a very
dangerous stretch of sea and sand.
you are going by bus then it means a reasonably early start
at 7.15am, although Fullers can pick you up from your hotel
stop along the way was at the Puketi Kauri Forest where
you can see beautiful old trees that have been growing in
the area for an average 800 years each.
path down to the prize specimens is easy and will take about
really is a peaceful spot and there is something magical
about giant kauri trees.
there is nothing magical about the nearby toilet, which
is basic to say the least. Alex our driver said Fullers
has been trying to put in a decent set of facilities for
years but the approaches have been waved away.
make sure you've been to the loo before hopping on the bus
for this part of the journey.
up it's brunch or coffee - and a loo - at the Ancient Kauri
Kingdom in Awanui.
place has some pretty impressive carvings done by chainsaw
and also features gifts and furniture made from kauri wood
that is around 45,000 years old.
check out the huge kauri stump through which stairs have
been cut to the second floor.
you travel further north you cross between the Tasman Sea
coast and that of the Pacific Ocean four times, which is
no great surprise in that this area of Northland is about
12km wide and is one giant reclaimed sandspit.
fills us in on the geography of the area and how during
the Great Depression work gangs of unemployed men were sent
there to improve the land. They did a good job.
at Cape Reinga is quite interesting as you can't see it
when the bus pulls up, but then you climb a rise you can
look across the water to Cape Maria van Diemen and down
to Cape Reinga and its lighthouse.
there before me was the meeting of the oceans, a mass of
mid-sea breakers and powerful waters. It was impressive.
an all-too-brief half hour at Cape Reinga it was back on
the wagon for our adventure down 90-Mile Beach.
time of your hitting the sands depends upon the tides and
so you either go up to Cape Reinga that way, or back down
it on the return journey to Paihia.
get on to the beach itself you need to navigate the Te Paki
quicksand stream but this allows another stop to do some
sandboarding down the giant sand dunes there.
is the personal instructor and then even the oldies were
heading up the golden sands to throw themselves down for
a taboggan back down.
looked great fun but, sigh, someone had to take pictures!
on the bus it is out on to 90-Mile Beach and it has to be
said the bus handles the trip superbly.
need to get my four-wheel drive to this place loomed large
in my mind but for the moment it was very pleasant to let
someone else do the hard work.
down the beach we had a stop to look around and experience
the feeling of 90-Mile Beach and then it was on to the highway
again, a coffee stop at Ancient Kauri Kingdom and being
dropped off at either our accommodation or the Maritime
Fullers Cape Reinga Wanderer trip to Cape Reinga is a long
day - about 11 hours - but is a no-hassle way to see New
Zealand's coastal tip.
driver, Alex, was terrific although I think he may have
a sadistic streak.
Te Paki I raced back to get photos of other sandboarders
under a strict "five-minute" promise. As I staggered
back on board having run a mile (it felt like 10) through
stream and deep sand (sob) he said wryly "Oh, I guess
I could come back to pick you up."
Alex ... for a top day.
a Bus Tour to Cape Reinga