Cape Reinga Lighthouse. Image Courtesy Explore NZ
Maori called Northland Muriwhenua or Land’s End; and right at the tip, Cape Reinga was declared the tapu (sacred) place, where the spirits of the dead departed on their journey to the after-life in the spiritual homeland of Hawaiiki. They were said to leap from the 800-year-old pohutukawa tree that grows (for immortality according to Maori mythology), in a rocky cleft on the tip of the cape. Hence the alternative Maori name for the cape: Te Rerenga Wairua, or the leaping-off place of spirits. The Maori word reinga means underworld, or abode of departed spirits. The only two images I have of this area currently are of the Cape Reinga lighthouse and nearby Cape Maria van Diemen, which is just to the west of Cape Reinga and looks a little similar.