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 Māori 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.
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 Māori, so take a guided tour. Māori 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 Māori 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.
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. 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]