Cape Reinga Lighthouse

Aupouri Peninsula

Aupouri Peninsula - Ninety Mile Beach, Cape Reinga lighthouse and Maori legends make the Aupouri Peninsula and intriguing place to visit.

The 100km long Aupouri Peninsula is New Zealand's most northerly location. It contains some of the most symbolic places in Maori culture, as well as a couple of famous modern day landmarks. Rather unusually the Aupouri Peninsula is also home to New Zealand's Dalmatian population with welcome signs in some towns written in English, Maori and Serbo-Croat.

Cape Reinga

Strictly speaking Cape Reinga, at the tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, is not quite the most northerly point in New Zealand. Despite that it has become the start point for the classic North-South road trip along the length of New Zealand, finishing on Stewart Island. The Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide here and whip up 10m waves in a windswept fury - and that's on a calm day! No wonder the Aupouri Peninsula's much-photographed Cape Reinga lighthouse has played such a significant role for shipping over the years.

Ninety Mile Beach

New Zealand's most famous beach, which contrary to what its name suggests, stretches for a mere 55 miles along the Aupouri Peninsula. A popular destination for tourists to admire the huge sand dunes and ride down them on sand toboggans. Other sand-based activities such as sand yachting, surf-casting and quad bike racing are popular. In March every year the beach hosts a series of marathon running events, including an ultra marathon along its entire length, to celebrate a Maori legend. Runners from all over the world travel to this big Aupouri Peninsula event to compete.

Maori Legends - gateway to the spirit world

According to Maori legend the spirits of the dead depart for the mythical underworld at Cape Reinga, the tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, through the roots of an ancient pohotukawa tree. This point is known as Te Rerenga Wairua and the tree is not surprisingly a popular subject in tourist photos. Another Aupouri Peninsula Maori legend tells the story of the mythical runner Te Houtaewa who ran the length of Ninety Mile Beach to collect a basket of fruit. The annual marathon events held on the beach celebrate this mythical feat.

Sand surfing

For those seeking thrills on the Aupouri Peninsula the dunes around Te Paki at the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach, are especially popular for sand surfing - riding sand boards down the slopes of great sand dunes. Fun and thrills are guaranteed for all ages and sizes.

Fishing

The Aupouri Peninsula claims to be the best place in New Zealand for sea fishing. Even beginners, it is claimed, have a 95% chance of a good first catch. With two coasts easily accessible from each other and plenty of operators offering beach and boat-based trips the opportunity to 'cast a line' is too good to miss for many.

Other New Zealand Peninsulas: Banks PeninsulaCoromandel Peninsula