The East Coast region of New Zealand is the first place to welcome the dawn of each new day. Also known as Eastland, this region is located in the north-eastern corner of the North Island. Most of the settlements are dotted along its secluded coastline, The interior is mostly forested hill country, consisting of rugged sheep and beef stations, the Ruakumara Ranges and the Te Urewera State Forest. Gisborne is the main centre for the East Coast Region and is also the place where Capitan James Cook first set foot in New Zealand.
Get ready to slow down as you enter one of NZ’s more remote regions. Be aware that around any corner there could be a shepherd with anything between 1 and 10,000 sheep being herded towards the meat works. You will receive plenty of waves from the locals, and the scenery is stunning to say the least.
The East Coast Region was one of the first places that the Polynesian discoverers settled. Today there is still a predominantly Maoripopulation. There are lots of Marae and Pa sites throughout the region, and their cultural presence is very strong here.
Its well worth taking the East Cape road. The 230 km trip from Opotiki around the cape to Gisborne takes you through some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the country. At Torere and Hawai Beaches the driftwood is stacked up at the high-tide line. There are adventure jet boat rides up the Motu River, as well as some excellent fishing and hunting. Te Kaha and Waihou Bay are two fishing towns, and at Lottin Point is one of the few places that you can try land based big game fishing.
Hicks Bay, Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay are a few of the many beautiful beaches worth checking out along the coast. Keep an eye out along the roadside for fresh crayfish, which are abundant in the Pacific Ocean here. You can buy them cooked from the locals here very cheap, and they taste great.
Gisborne is the main centre for the region. it’s a laid back city with some superb beaches up and down the coast. Gisborne has many vineyards and produces some first class wines. The fertile soils and the mild climate make this a great place to grow fruit and veges, so orchids and market gardens are abundant.
The Mahia Peninsula juts out of Eastland south of the Poverty Bay. This is where you will find some great surfing options. There are some fantastic reef, point and beach breaks on both sides of the peninsula. it’s a great place for a holiday. There is plenty of activities and attractions to keep the enthusiastic enthused.
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