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Feel the very essence of New Zealand in a charming and unspoilt part of the country where bountiful vineyards cloak the sun-soaked hills, white-sand surf beaches beckon and authentic Maori culture is alive and well.

Eastland rewards visitors with a taste of soothingly slow-paced life. A place where barefoot children ride two-up on ponies and marae are still integral for communities, Eastland offers an unpackaged glimpse into Maori culture. But don’t think you’ll leave contemporary comforts behind – Eastland’s sophisticated side is evident in vineyards producing top Chardonnay and in the main centre, Gisborne, where café and surf culture blend.


Download the Gisborne & Eastland section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013

Gisborne & Eastland (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2013) (1025)

Highlights

Te Urewera National Park The North Island’s largest area of untouched native forest offers fantastic hiking. Mount Hikurangi At 1,754 metres, this is the fourth highest mountain in the North Island, and is a great spot to watch the sunrise. The mountain is sacred to Maori, so take a guided tour. Maori culture Home to numerous marae and meeting houses such as the richly carved Te Poho o Rawiri, Eastland is one of the best places in New Zealand to experience authentic Maori culture. East Cape Lighthouse This remote lighthouse on the easternmost point of the mainland is a 22-kilometre drive from Te Araroa. Tolaga Bay Home to the longest pier in New Zealand, 660 metres in length, and Cook’s Cove, where Captain Cook visited in October 1769 to gather supplies. Superb Chardonnay New Zealand’s very best Chardonnay wines are grown here. Vineyards offer wine-tasting or dining amongst the vines.

Destinations

Te Kaha Whaling history and lovely beaches. Hicks Bay Beautiful bay popular for swimming and surfing. Ruatoria Centre of the Ngati Porou tribe. Tokomaru Bay Golden-sand beach and several marae. Tolaga Bay Historic wharf, swimming beach and start of Cook’s Cove Walkway. Gisborne Surf and café culture combine in the region’s main centre.

Getting There and Around

Air Gisborne Airport offers daily services from Auckland and Wellington with Air New Zealand. Flights to smaller North Island destinations are available with Sunair [www.sunair.co.nz]. Road The Pacific Coast Highway winds around the edge of Eastland on its way from Auckland to Hawke’s Bay, while State Highway 2 offers a more direct route from the Bay of Plenty through to Gisborne. Coach lines operate between Gisborne and Auckland, and there are regional shuttle and bus services. Many parts of the region are remote, so clients might want to consider renting a vehicle. Auckland to Coromandel [168 km; 2 hr, 25 min] Hamilton to Coromandel [162 km; 2 hr, 20 min] Tauranga to Coromandel [170 km; 2 hr, 25 min] Rotorua to Coromandel [218 km; 3 hr, 5 min] Thames to Coromandel [54 km; 45 min]

Making the Sale

  • Eastland is a great place to sample Kiwi rural life – a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway is a journey into another world.
  • Although it is remote, the main centre of the region, Gisborne, is a busy town with a vibrant café culture.
  • Eastland is renowned for its excellent beaches – the conditions draw surfers from around New Zealand.
  • Like other beach communities, Gisborne can get busy in summer.
  • Visitors can experience local history and culture on the Tairawhiti Heritage Trail.

 

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