"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cape Reinga - The Top of the Island...sort of

Cape Reinga is the northernmost point of the North Island…almost. Turns out that the Surville Cliffs 30 km away is actually the northernmost tip by a hair - a detail we've chosen to ignore since we didn't find that out until we had already driven 20 km of desolate gravel road and hiked all the way down to the lighthouse at Cape Reinga. Details schmetails.
However, the Cape is significant for more than its latitude. The Maori revere it for its spiritual significance as the departure point for spirits headed to their ancestral home. Signs along the path even ask visitors to respect the spirit of the place by refraining from eating and drinking along the path. So after I read the first sign 500 meters down the path, I wolfed down my sandwich and L&P soda like a good tourist.

We dug the view at the tip of the Cape where two oceans meet – the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The churning white froth and waves offshore look like waves hitting a long underwater reef, but it’s just the collision of the two bodies of water. It’s weird to actually see that oceans have separate currents and directions, and they’re not just one big blob of water.

The collision is so vivid here that it inspired Maori myths about the Male and Female halves of the ocean meeting in a violent concussion of creation. I just thought it looked like good surf.
by Shawn Forno
Famous Cape Reinga draws over one hundred thousand visitors each year to this far flung northwestern most tip of the North Island of New Zealand. Situated just three kilometers south of the actual northernmost tip of the island – located at the Surville Cliffs...read more

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  1. Nice, it's a beautiful spot isn't it? and you guys had great weather. I hope you camped at the DOC site and saw the stars.

  2. Dude. Best. Stars. Ever.

    I freaked out on how bright they were. Carolyn actually had to tell me to calm down.

  3. That bottom photo of both of you looks amazing!! I can picture it on some sort of tourist guide lol

  4. Gosh, every picture you guys take is awesome...totally captures the moment for me...
    How the heck did Carolyn get that high in the air...awesome...total tourist pic for sure! :)
    Love you guys...

  5. What can I say, Amber. She's got hops.