A Travellerspoint blog

2014 - East Cape of New Zealand

Heading into a remote part of NZ.

View 2014 East Cape on nzhamsta's travel map.

Friday 27 December
A long driving day starting in Whangarei via Auckland (to pick up rest of the camping stuff from home), south to Ohinemai and a cross country jaunt to Tahuna in order to miss the Hamilton traffic, lunch at Matamata, through Rotorua and then around Whakatane to Opotiki for some shopping and then on to Te Kaha, A total of 599km in a little under 9 hours.

The camp site is very sheltered and I pitched my tent in a quiet area. The camp shop also doubles as the village's fish and chip shop and they were very nice indeed. However there were enough chips to feed an army and I ended up throwing away about half of them. I also managed to run over some over my groceries when I shifted the car so all my breakfast yoghurt had tyre marks on the very flat tubs.

My car and tent.

Te Kaha Bay.

Sunset over Te Kaha Bay.

White Island in the distance.

Saturday 28 December
Woken by a bloody rooster and some tuis in the trees by my tent. Due to the aforementioned accident with my breakfast things, dry toast and tea had to suffice.

Early morning at the camp site.

The rest of the day was quite lazy.

People fishing near the hotel in Te Kaha Bay.

Due to impending rain, I upgraded myself to one of the cabins they had available.

Sunday 29 December
Another early start for some reason and so I meandered slowly up the road towards Hicks Bay and Te Araroa.

Papatea Bay.

The Raukokore Church.

The Raukokore Church.

The Raukokore Church.

The Hicks Bay camp site.

Low cloud at Te Araroa.

There was a thunderstorm arriving shortly so again I managed to upgrade myself to a motel unit. The village of Te Araroa doesn't have much there except for a reasonable coffee shop that also sells manuka honey. The beach is about 100 metres from the camp site and is wild and rugged and so I had a short walk along it until the rain arrived. It fair hammered it down all afternoon and all night. From my nice dry unit with a comfortable bed and a decent tv showing some cricket, I decided that I had made a good call concerning the upgrade.

Monday 30 December
I decided I did not want to stay the second night so I called the Te Puia Springs Hotel and made a booking there. The rain hadn't let up so it was a a waste of time staying. I stopped in Ruatoria for a decent breakfast / lunch and to do some shopping. Te Puia is a small village with a hotel, a shop and a few houses. The hotel was very old but the family who own it are slowly renovating it.

The hotel.

Dinner was at the Tokomaru Bay pub, about 15km south. The fish and chips were excellent.

A miserable day at the Tokomaru Bay pub.

The owner of the hotel was a very friendly old Maori guy and he opened up the bar for the couple of guests. The pool table got a bit use and the beers were good.

Tuesday 31 December
After brekkie (which was basically help yourself in the hotel's kitchen) I said goodbye and carried on down the coast to Tolaga Bay. This is 40km or thereabouts and the camp site is quite popular. The village doesn't have much except a couple of decent cafes. Given it was New Years Eve, there were fireworks at midnight.

Coastal East Cape.

The surf rescue teams at Tolaga Bay.

The beach at Tolaga Bay.

Looking back the other way toward the wharf.

Tolaga Bay.

The longest wharf in New Zealand.

The beach at Tolaga Bay.

The headland across the other side of Tolaga Bay.

Wednesday 1 January
After brekkie and a few chores (sweeping out the tent and doing the laundry) I found out that here is a walkway from the camp site up and over the headland to a bay where Captain Cook landed back in 1769. It takes a couple of hours to do it if you are not in a rush. The first section is quite steep until you get to the scenic viewpoint at the top. The downhill section is through bush the whole way so it cools down nicely.

The view back over the village of Tolaga Bay and the Uawa River.

The Cooks Cove Walkway.

The hole at Cooks Cove.

The hole in the rock at Cooks Cove, looking back through to Tolaga Bay.

Down at Cooks Cove.

Cooks Cove from the top of the walkway.

There is not very much at the bottom except a small bay, an information board and cows grazing.

The walk back was much easier. A lazy afternoon and dinner at the Tokomaru Bay pub again.

A sunny day at the Tokomaru Bay pub.

Thursday 2 January
Packed up the tent which was nice and dry and then drove from Tolaga Bay to Gisborne. Couldn't find a decent cafe so went without. From there I drove along SH2 to Opotiki. This is a very scenic road, especially the northern section which goes through the Wiaoeka Gorge.

Lunch with my uncle in Whakatane and then onto Rotorua.

Posted by nzhamsta 13:00 Archived in New Zealand

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