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#627 Cape Reinga (New Zealand)

20021120-84 Cape Reinga (New Zealand).jpg Thumbnails

View at Cape Reinga (New Zealand) with on the left the lighthouse.

Cape Reinga, official name Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua, is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand. Cape Reinga is more than 100 km north of the nearest small town of Kaitaia. State Highway 1 extends all the way to the Cape, but until 2010 was unsealed gravel road for the last 19 kilometres. Suitable vehicles can also travel much of the way via Ninety Mile Beach and Te Paki stream bed. The "Te Rerenga Wairua" component of the name in Māori language means the leaping-off place of spirits. The "Reinga" part of the name is the Māori language word meaning the underworld. Both refer to the Māori belief that the cape is the point where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld.

The lighthouse at Cape Reinga was built in 1941 and first lit during May of that year, replacing a lighthouse located on nearby Motuopao Island, which had been built 1879. In 1987, the lighthouse was fully automated and the lighthouse keepers were withdrawn.
The previous 1000 watt light has since been replaced with a 50 watt flashing beacon.


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