"At Cape Reinga interest always has been focused on the small promontory and, more particularly, on a certain pohutukawa tree which grows out of its eastern side. According to ancient lore, this was final departure point for the spirit of the Maori. It was said that the spirit, after travelling up the west coast to a spot a few miles south of Cape Maria van Diemen, continued overland to the western end of Spirits Bay and eventually reached the pohutukawa tree. There it descended the roots and entered the sea. (This tree is reputed to have been in position for about 800 years and is said never to have blossomed.) The spirit surfaced at Manawatawi (the Great King Island) and, after a farewell look at the land of the living, descended again to the depths and continued its journey to the other world."