Te Paki Sand Dunes – Cape Reinga, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

Te Paki Sand Dunes

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Mounds of fine golden sand that can rise nearly 500 feet tall. 

19
31

These sand dunes make you feel as though you have just set foot on Mars. When amongst the dunes, all you can see is sand, sand, and more sand.

These dunes are located next to the iconic Ninety Mile Beach (which is actually only 55 miles). They cover an area approximately 6.2 miles long, and some individual dunes reach heights up to 490 feet. These dunes are made up of fine sand, which was carried by a westerly wind from the Tasman Sea and accumulated here. The dunes are bordered by the coastline on three sides.

If you’re adventurous and don’t mind the possibility of consuming sand, bring your own sled or rent one at the entrance for some exhilarating sandboarding. A proper “sandboard” is preferable as anything too thin or flimsy could be uncomfortable on the way down. That being said, you may see some crazy souls going down on old real estate signs so getting creative is always welcome. 

Know Before You Go

As you drive down the side road towards the dune (about 3.5km off highway 1), you'll see a massive car park. Be sure to lock your car and only take what you need with you as you don't want possessions to be lost to the dunes. Sunglasses are a MUST or you will get sand in your eyes. If you've got goggles, even better. As for clothing, anything comfortable will do so long as you don't mind it getting covered in sand and sun protection is key.


Also note that you need to be in reasonable enough fitness to climb the dunes.


As you drive down the main highway towards the sand dunes, you will pass a few stands with rentals available. Don't go for the first stands! Boards can be rented right at the dunes ($15/day), or just before turning down the road that leads to them ($10/day). The rental place will hold a piece of ID from you so you bring the board back and the smaller stands only accept cash.

Community Contributors
Added by

June 10, 2022

Make an Edit Add Photos
Want to see fewer ads? Become a Member.
From Around the Web