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Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga is deeply seated at the heart of the Maori culture. This so-called place of leaping is the soul's departure point for the spirit world. When the soul leaves the body, it travels to Spirits Bay where it descends the pohutukawa tree and dives into the water headed for the mythical Hawaiki.

At the most northern point in New Zealand Cape Reinga Lighthouse stands protectively above the pounding convergence of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean, a coming together which has been known to generate waves 10m high. Given a fine day, you might be able to see as far as the Three Kings Islands.

There are a few day walks available to you from Cape Reinga. If you take a 2hr return trip heading east from the cape you'll cross Sandy Beach, cliffs and eventually find yourself at Topotupotu Bay. Alternatively, you can head to Te Werahi Beach and a five hr return trip will take you to Cape Maria van Diemen.

The Wagener Museum at Houhora is interesting simply for curiosity's sake. It's an odd collection of some 50,000 items with anything ranging from kitchen gadgets to antique musical instruments, like the gramophone, to Maori artifacts and last but not least the world's largest collection of chamber pots (about 500).

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