new zealand vacation, accomodation, travel information, flight, car rental

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cape Reinga, "The Leaping Place"

At the northern end of North Island of New Zealand lies Cape Reinga. It is often mistaken as the northernmost point of North Island. However, that privilege really belongs to Surville Cliffs which is some 30km away.

Cape Reinga is sacred to the Maori. In Maori language, Cape Reinga is known as Te Rerenga Wairua, which means the leaping-off place of spirits! In Maori belief, the spirits of the deceased would make their way to the cape and from this point, the spirits depart the mainland and make their journey in the afterlife to their spiritual homeland in Hawaiki. As they depart, they turn briefly at the “Three Kings” islands for one last look towards the land and then continue on their journey.

My New Zealand Vacation, Cape Reinga, Pano30
(click for larger photo)
The famous mailbox on the right
Cape Reinga, May 2006

New Zealand is often perceived as having lush greenery but at Cape Reinga you will discover a desert of giant sand dunes and quicksand! You will see the sand dunes on the left side of above photo. The “Three Kings” are the islands off the coast.

One of the things you may wish to do is to drop a postcard at the Cape Reinga mailbox. It is shown on the right of above photo. Postcards dropped at this mailbox will bear the special postmark “Cape Reinga”. There are no tourist shops around here so purchase the postcard and postage stamp prior to making this trip.

Continuing from the right of above photo is the Cape Reinga Lighthouse. While this area certainly looks like a nice picnic ground, out of respect to Maori, all visitors are requested to refrain from food and drinks on this sacred land.

My New Zealand Vacation, Cape Reinga, Pano31
(click for larger photo)
Cape Reinga Lighthouse, May 2006
Want more info? Search Google!
the web this blog