Dusty Ride To Cape Reinga Almost Over


Sealing the last remaining 19 kilometres of SH1 – to Cape Reinga in Northland – is now in its closing stages with work beginning on the final five kilometres to Waitiki Landing where the sealed section of the national highway currently ends.

When the project is finished, SH1 will, for the first time, be 2022 kilometres of sealed highway from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

Weather permitting, sealing and associated widening of the road is due to be completed in May.

Work on the $19.5m project began in September, 2007.  “The clouds of dust that plagued drivers heading for the Cape will soon be a thing of the past,” says NZTA”s Wayne McDonald said.  “Not only will driving be more enjoyable, but safer too with clearer visibility for motorists to see cyclists and pedestrians”.

The 19 kilometre section was originally a farm track and was never designed as a state highway.  Its narrow width and sharp curves were unsuitable for the increasing volumes of traffic going to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach .

Mr McDonald noted that visitor numbers to the Cape are growing 5% every year, and sealing that final 19 kilometres will help cope with that growth.”




  1. ingolfson says:

    Of course they forgot a cycle track… shame, if this had happened after John Key’s great initiative, they might have included one!

    I rather liked the fact that it was a gravel road. Made you really feel like you were going to the ends of the Earth. Though admittedly, if it’s hot and dusty, the drive may not have been that pleasant.

  2. joust says:

    Cycles and larger vehicles can hopefully share that bit of the road fairly amicably. Partly because there’s such a small amount of traffic - and you’re all going to the same place.

    The seal makes such a difference to the trip though - its excellent. Plus it wasn’t fine metal but much coarser and made for pretty slow progress.


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