A couple of worthwhile short walks radiate from the Cape Reinga car park: both form part of the much longer Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway. All are described in the DOC leaflet Cape Reinga and Te Paki Walks, containing a useful map of the area, and are available at Kaitaia and elsewhere. Beware of rip tides on all the beaches hereabouts and bear in mind the wild and unpredictable nature of the region’s weather. Arrange with one of the more local bus tours for pick-up.
Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway
(38km one-way; 2 days; constantly undulating). This spectacular and increasingly popular coastal hike starts at Kapowairua (Spirits Bay), heads west to Cape Reinga, continues to Cape Maria van Diemen, swings southeast to the northernmost stretch of Ninety Mile Beach, and then finally past the impressive dunes of Te Paki Stream. You need to be fit and self-sufficient: the only facilities are a couple of DOC campsites, and some ad hoc camping spots with no guaranteed water. Fresh water from streams is limited and you’ll need mosquito repellent.
(3km return; 200m ascent on the way back; 50–90min). Eastbound walk through scrub and young cabbage trees to a pretty cove. You can continue to the lovely Tapotupotu Bay (a further 3km one-way; 1–2hr).
Te Werahi Beach
(2.5km return; 200m ascent on the way back; 40min–1hr). A gradually descending westbound walk that keeps Cape Maria van Diemen in your sights as you go.