Road trip to Cape Reinga (3 days)

10 June 2018
cape reinga NZ

For the Queen’s birthday’s long weekend I made a road trip in the Northland with the aim to reach Cape Reinga. This is the northernmost point of New Zealand!

  • First step : Whangarei falls

425km separate Auckland from Cape Reinga. Having 3 days ahead I made a relaxed journey. I first went to Whangarei Falls. I already had the opportunity to visit this city but having no van at the time I didn’t go to see this falls. It was a rainy day but it doesn’t matter to see a waterfall 😊

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Then I eated a fish & chips at Jovial Judge Tavern in Whangarei (already tested and approved!) And I took the direction of my free camps in Ohaeawai (found via Wikicamps application). It’s not the most quiet and friendly one but it’s fine, safe and its location in the middle of Northland is just perfect!

  • Second step : Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga is located at the northern end of New Zealand. On the road I stopped to take a free shower in Kaitaia. FYI, you take electricity by turn it on and you could have only 4 minutes of warm water. Then you have to wait 6 minutes to have warm water again. I had a lot of luck that a couple uses the toilet at the same time because impossible to unlock the door from the inside !! However, from the outside it’s easy 🙄.

For that day I was lucky to have a great weather, even in winter! A mini walk from the car park will take you to this (small) lighthouse. From there you can see the small rock of the far north (with its tree that resists all storms!). And if you look in south direction you will also have a beautiful view of the sand dunes!

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On the way back I ate a fish & chips (yes again) at the famous Mangonui shop. They are made with fish caught during the day and a nice terrace makes a good point of view for the Sunset!

One of my favorites in the area was the beach at Cable Bay. Indeed the sand is golden, it’s really sublime!


I tried to go to the free camp near Totara but it was a meadow (flooded) in the middle of the woods and it didn’t seem very safe to spend the night alone. It must be nice in summer to go with some friends but there… So I went back to the same free camp as the day before, a sure value!

  • Back to Auckland and report

On the way back I stopped to see the Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri. Unfortunately I didn’t see a beautiful rainbow 😏. I also made a stop at the most famous toilets in New Zealand, designed by Hundertwasser himself!

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After nearly 1000km in 3 days I returned to Auckland, happy! I wasn’t cold in my van (though not isolated) as the temperatures are not very low in this area. I think that heating up 1-2h before stopping sleeping helps warm the van. In road trip you live according to the sun and get up at 8am a day off didn’t bother me at all! Whereas if you try to get up at such a time in town I do not promise to be in a good mood 😂

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1 Comment

  • Reply Les Catlins - Pour les fans des animaux - Travel and run Sunday December 9th, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    […] la mythique photo de la signalisation. Il s’agit de la fin de la route 1 qui débute à Cape Reinga. En dehors de cela, pas beaucoup d’intérêt touristique dans le coin (et surtout quand il ne […]

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