With the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, Cape Regina has both fascinated visitors and been revered by the Maori for centuries.
They consider Cape Reinga the jumping-off point for souls as they depart on the journey to their spiritual homeland. The spirits climb the roots of the 800 year old pohutukawa tree and descend into the underworld to return to their traditional homeland. Departing the mainland, they turn briefly at Three Kings Islands for one last look back towards the land, then continue on their journey.
The lighthouse stationed at Cape Regina is quite possibly the country's most photographed and is certainly an Iconic symbol as the first thing visitors travelling by ship see. Offshore, you can witness the immense power of two mighty oceans merging together. The currents of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean clash together in a foaming swell and the sight can be quite violent with eruptions of water quite frequent. The effect can be quite eerie and unforgettable, magical and entrancing.
On its west coast, the wrongly named, Ninety Mile Beach is a continuous stretch lined with high sand dunes, flanked by the Aupouri Forest. It is more accurately 88 kilometres long. The forest is quite unspoilt and home to a wild horses and pine trees grown for their timber. There are several walks in the area to explore this awe inspiring place ranging from a short stroll to 4 hours.
The best way to experience it is to take a guided tour from the Bay of Islands. They will take both along state Highway one and then back via Ninety Mile beach where you can try your hand at sand boarding down one of the dunes. More information can be found at the Bay of Islands Visitor Centre.