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East Coast  Escapade   - a 3   day New Zealand Tour

East Coast Escapade

Whakatane, Whale Island, Ohope, Opotiki, Pacific Coast Highway and Te Kaha, …​

Hit the Pacific Coast Highway with us and enjoy a short break for 3 days exploring the eastern side of the Bay of Plenty. Sparkling coastlines, rugged bush and sweeping beaches abound as we take our time and get to know this very unique region of the country. There's a lot packed into our 2 night - 3 day trip. Ride the rail trail at Awakeri, take a tour of the "house that came home" at Maatatua marae in Whakatane. We head offshore for a short cruise to  see Moutohorā - Whale Island plus plenty more sights onshore during our short trip along the coast to Whakatane, Te Kaha and Waihou Bay.

Date TBC

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 then continue on to Whakatane where we have a couple of great new inclusions added.

Our first is to Awakeri Rail Adventures - here we travel along a piece of New Zealand’s rich rail history and experience the natural beauty and adventure from the comfort of a rail-cart, cleverly adapted to be self-driven along the rail tracks - it's easy and a lot of fun. Our rail adventure today now also includes a 'sausage sizzle' at the bush cafe!

Next we visit one of the most unique marae in New Zealand - Mataatua - known now as 'The House That Came Home'. We will be invited into the world of the Ngāti Awa people as we discover the legend of the Mataatua Wharenui.  

Our journey begins as we are welcomed onto the marae through the ancient ritual of pōwhiri. Marvel at the intricacy of the carved representations of the great ancestors of Ngāti Awa before two of the most famous traditions of the tribe are brought to life before your eyes in Hiko, Legends Carved in Light – the award-winning Mataatua visitor experience. Our visit will conclude with an invitation to share some traditional kai.

Should the marae visit be unavailable then we have a great 'Plan B'  arranged with a visit to a local brewery for a brewery tour and beer tasting.

Tonight we stay at a Whakatane motel and enjoy dinner at a top local restaurant.

Day 2 - Before departing Whakatane we will take a short 2 hour cruise out to see 

Moutohorā/Whale Island. This pest-free oasis is home to a number of New Zealand’s rare and endangered plants, birds and reptiles.  While we do not go ashore on the island there will be plenty of stops along its coastline and our expert wildlife guides on board will aim to show you as much of the abundant wildlife as possible.  This is a new inclusion in the tour but is weather dependant, so can not be guaranteed to operate on all trips.

We then head back to shore and continue eastward along the coast road to Ohope which is a our location for lunch at a local cafe (lunch is at your cost). After lunch we continue along the coast, past the tranquil oyster beds on Ohiwa Harbour as we take in the scenery of the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Our destination is to a little known area of preserved native bush, a remnant of a once extensive forest, set aside as a reserve in the early 1900's. An expert guide will take us on a short walk to a giant Puriri tree, estimated to be over 2000 years old. This hollow tree was used as a resting place for the bones of the Upokorehe Iwi (Tribe).

Leaving Opotiki we get our first taste of the coast road, as tonight we will stay in the old whaling settlement of Te Kaha, at our ocean side resort hotel.

What's Included:

  • 3 days of touring

  • 2 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary by your guide

  • All breakfasts and dinners

  • Ride the rails on the Awakeri Rail Adventure

  • A Sausage sizzle at the 'bush cafe'

  • Maori Cultural visit to Mataatua Marae

  • 2 hour cruise to Whale Island

  • Lunch at Waihou Bay

  • Guided walk through native forest

  • The Opotiki Museum & 100 year old shops

  • A visit to a macadamia nut farm

  • Plenty of stops along the way

You will see:

  • Stunning scenery throughout

  • Whakatane and Ohope Beach

  • Ohiwa Harbour

  • Te Kaha

  • The historic church at Raukokore

  • Waihau Bay

  • Plus a few extras along the way!

Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

Single Person Supplement is $195

DAY 3 - After a leisurely breakfast, we look forward to a day enjoying the drive along the Pohutukawa lined coast, providing breathtaking views over the Bay of Plenty. We visit 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, with samples available to taste and purchase. Further along we stop at the much photographed and perfectly situated Anglican church at Raukokore, before heading to Waihau Bay for lunch (included today) at the historic hotel overlooking the bay.

It;s now time to retrace our route back to Opotiki we pay a visit to the town's extensive (and some say eclectic) - museum. Here you can view the history of Opotiki and the surrounding area on the museum's three levels, with an amazing collection of all things New Zealand, including farming, household, vehicles, , business, instruments and much more. We also visit the 100 year old Shalfoon and Francis Grocery and Hardware Stores just along the road. Opened in the late 1800's, this a truly remarkable step back in time and is now part of the Opotiki Museum experience.

Departing Opotiki we retrace our route back to Tauranga to arrive early evening. 

All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.


* 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.

The boat cruise to Whale Island is weather dependent so we can not guarantee it will be available for all trips. Our alternative is a visit to a local brewery for a tour and beer tasting.

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