East Coast and East Cape    - 6   day New Zealand Tour

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Whakatane, Opotiki, Pacific Coast Highway, Te Kaha, Lottin Point, Hicks Bay, East Cape, Waihou Bay, Tokomaru Bay, Tolaga Bay, Gisborne & much more……​

Hit the Pacific Coast Highway with us and enjoy a relaxing 6 days exploring one of New Zealand’s most untouched regions – the East Coast.  Sparkling coastlines, rugged bush and sweeping beaches abound as we take our time and get to know this very unique area of the country. We will stay at 3 stunning locations along the coast road, plus 2 nights in Gisborne, with plenty of time to enjoy some great local activities. So come and join us on this extraordinary trip.

DAY 1 After picking you up at your door, we head east to begin our adventure, stopping at our favourite cafe enroute for a cuppa and cookie to get introductions made. We continue through Whakatane and Ohope – hopefully catching a glimpse of White Island puffing in the distance, past the tranquil oyster beds on Ohiwa Harbour as we take in the scenery of the Eastern Bay of Plenty before our first destination close to Opotiki.  

Here we visit a little known area of preserved native bush, a 5 hectare remnant of a once extensive native forest that was set aside as a reserve in the early 1900's. An expert guide will take us on a short walk through this stunning forest glade to a giant Puriri tree, estimated to be over 2000 years old. This hollow the tree was used as a resting place for the bones of Distinguished Dead of the Upokorehe Iwi (Tribe).

We now head into Opotiki town to visit its extensive and some say eclectic, Museum. Here you can view the history of Opotiki and the surrounding areas over the three levels of the Museum. It has an extensive collection of all things New Zealand, including farming and household implements, vehicles, early pioneer photographs, instruments and almost everything relating to the region. Experience the 100 year old shelves and original fixtures and fittings from Opotiki's Shalfoon and Francis grocery and hardware store, opened in the late 1800s, a truly remarkable step back in time. We provide a light lunch at the museum today. Leaving Opotiki we get our first taste of the coast road, as tonight we will stay in the old whaling settlement of Te Kaha, where we enjoy dinner at our oceanside hotel.

 

DAY 2 After a leisurely breakfast, we look forward to a very relaxing day enjoying the drive further around the coast. The road snakes along the pohutukawa lined coast, providing breathtaking views over the Bay of Plenty. We will make a visit to a Macadamia Nut orchard where the owner will give us an insight into this non-native tree, now being grown in New Zealand with great success, samples usually available to purchase.

As we continue, time for a short stop at the much-photographed and perfectly situated Anglican church at Raukokore, before heading down into Waihau Bay for Lunch [included today] at the historic hotel. Then we head out past Cape Runaway before arriving at Lottin Point for our overnight stay at this tranquil location off the main highway. Here we will dine at the in-house restaurant overlooking the bay and look forward to tomorrow’s exploration.

 

DAY 3 After a relaxed breakfast with the ocean at our feet, we head further around the East Coast, a shorter drive but along some exhilarating roads. Our first stop is at a local Manuka Honey business where our host will give us an unusual and entertaining explanation of how their bees make honey. We then continue on to Te Araroa to see New Zealand’s oldest Pohutukawa tree, a magnificent sight, then out along the coast road to the famous East Cape lighthouse, location for our included picnic lunch. Maybe try the 781 steps [we counted them!] to the top if you dare, otherwise admire the endless views from New Zealand most easterly point. After a great day we return to Hicks Bay, and look forward to visiting more of the East Cape tomorrow.

 

DAY 4 We make our way to Gisborne – but not before we see plenty more of this rugged coastline. Our first destination is to the ornately carved church at Tikitiki, this amazing building is part of the East Coast story, time here to take in the atmosphere and history of this special place. Further on are more interesting settlements such as Te Puia Springs, Ruatoria and Tokomaru Bay, once a thriving ocean side settlement, but today it is our refreshments stop at Cafe35 where you may want to try their famous Paua Pies!.

Any trip around the East Cape should not miss the 660m long wharf (New Zealand’s longest) at Tolaga Bay, a sight to behold, maybe take a walk to the end if you want. Departing for Gisborne we pass the famous surf beaches at Wainui, take a detour up to the lookout over the city for breathtaking views, before arriving at our harbourside hotel, with time to browse the city central area in the afternoon if you want.  Staying two nights in Gisborne allows us time to explore more highlights of this our most easterly City. 

DAY 5 We begin the day with a short cruise on the MV Takitimu, this historic vessel is believed to be the oldest pilot boat in New Zealand still operating. Our qualified skipper will tell us the history of the boat and also some maritime stories as we cruise the calm waters [usually are in the morning] of Poverty Bay.

Back onshore, we then head along the coast to Tatapouri where you will see the famous Stingray feeding operation. Though you will stay on shore, our hosts will explain the eco-program they operate and the stories of the Tamariki (Children) of Tangaroa (the Maori God of the Sea), whilst we immerse ourselves in the local culture and magical marine surroundings. A light lunch is included in our visit here. 

The Gisborne region is renowned for its dry, sunny climate, fertile soil and its coastal position bringing cooling afternoon sea breezes, a characteristic of many of the world’s great wine growing regions, so a visit to one of the vineyards to taste some top quality wine is always a must do activity on our East Cape tour, so you can taste and buy before we head back to our hotel.

 

DAY 6 Our last day has one more highlight before we head back to Tauranga, a visit to the world renowned Eastwoodhill Arboretum. This is the National Arboretum of New Zealand and encompasses over 131 hectares planted in exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings. The collection is regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator. We take a Jeep tour with the curator to learn about its history as well as the trees and then a garden walk with one of the expert volunteer guides before our included light lunch.

Then our route home takes us through the scenic Waioeka Gorge, through to Opotiki and on to Tauranga. You’ll be dropped at your door with a smile on your face – having enjoyed a memorable visit to a special part of the country.

* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.

Whats Included:

  • 6 days of touring

  • 5 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service [home pickups]

  • Quality Air-conditioned vehicle

  • Fully guided with commentary 

  • Five light lunches

  • Five Breakfasts and dinners

  • Guided walk through native forest

  • The Opotiki Museum

  • A visit to a Macada Nut farm

  • A cruise aboard a historic Pilot Boat

  • Eco-marine project at Tatapouri

  • Eastwoodhill Arboretum Tour

  • Manuaka Honey business visit & talk

  • Wine tasting at a top quality winery

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • Ohiwa Harbour

  • Te Kaha

  • The historic church at Raukokore

  • Waihau Bay & Cape Runaway

  • Lottin Point

  • East Cape Lighthouse

  • Hicks Bay

  • NZ's oldest Pohutukawa tree

  • Tikitiki ornately carved church 

  • Tolaga Bay and the longest wharf

  • Gisborne

  • Waioeka Gorge

  • plus a few extras along the way!

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

Hinterland Tours

PO Box 4678 Mount Maunganui South

and at

117 Newton Street Mount Maunganui

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Tel: 07 282 7663

info@hinterlandtours.co.nz

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