If off the beaten track grabs you then the East Cape Caper is what you want. After travelling east from Auckland to the Hauraki Plains stop, and have a jolly morning tea in amongst the pretty water lily ponds, at the Waihi Watergardens. In the evening staying in Whakatane on the waterfront, opposite the wharf, and dining at the Wharf Shed cafe is a delightful distraction.
There are lovely views to enjoy down the coastal highway, passing by White island and lunching at Tui Lodge, on the way to Hicks Bay. There are visits to local attractions, and then on to the surfies haven of Gisborne, and the first place in New Zealand to see sunrise.
While in Gisborne visit the Eastwoodhill Arboretorium, a huge 65 hectares of trees and shrubs- wow!
Continue on to Rotorua, via the splendid native forests of the Waioeka Gorge. In Rotorua your accommodation has views over the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. You might like to go for dip!
While in Rotorua you will visit the Museum, a Maori lakeside settlement and enjoy lunching by Lake Tarawera, before journeying through race horse countryside of Cambridge on the way to the City of Sails, Auckland.
Your driver/guide meets you in the morning. We’re heading Eastwards! Down the southern motorway and over the Hauraki Plains to the Waihi Watergardens, for morning tea in a café in the midst of water lily ponds. The Sand Rock café on Mt Maunganui beachfront is our lunch stop. Continuing south we drive through Papamoa to Te Puke and a Kiwi fruit orchard tour by special transport. We continue to Whakatane, and our waterfront motel just opposite the Whakatane Wharf where we dine this evening at the Wharf Shed C.
After breakfast we drive to Ohope Beach and down the coast to Opotoki. There are stunning ocean views along the dramatic coastal highway. Forty-eight kilometres offshore, White Island, an active and sometimes steaming volcano, is in view. At Te Kaha, an old whaling settlement, we take the Maungaroa Scenic Drive to Copenhagen Road and Tui Lodge, where Rex and Joyce Carpenter host us for lunch. After a leisurely lunch we continue along the coastal road to Waihau Bay and Hicks Bay, our home for the night. We dine in at Hicks Bay Motel Lodge this evening.
We visit the East Cape Manuka Company, Te Araroa’s huge pohutakawa tree and St Mary’s, a beautifully decorated church built in 1924 as a memorial to the soldiers of Ngati Porou who died in World War I. Mt Hikurangi, snow capped in winter, and the first place in New Zealand to see the sunrise dominates the landscape as we drive south. The tumbling down buildings at the northern end of Tokomaru Bay – the harbourmaster’s house, the freezing works and the New Zealand Shipping Company – are relics of the days when the sea provided easier access to the Cape than roads. We drive out to Anaura Bay for lunch at “Rangimarie” to enjoy Judy Newell’s hospitality and magical views across the bay. Stunning beaches and coastal landscapes lead on to Gisborne. Your hotel is located in the heart of the city. We dine at the hotel tonight.
Time to relax and enjoy discovering the pretty seaside town of Gisborne (population 30,000) including the wonderful surf beaches that draw the summer crowds. We visit the granite memorial at Kaiti Bay that marks the spot where Captain Cook landed in 1769 and also Tairawhiti Museum which features major Maori and Captain Cook displays. After lunch we drive out to world-renowned Eastwoodhill Arboreturm, 65 hectares of trees and shrubs. A special vehicle is arranged to transport us around the gardens. We dine at the hotel this evening.
We leave Gisborne and drive through the beautiful native forests of the rugged Waioeka Gorge. We stop for lunch in Opotiki before travelling on to Rotorua, passing Lake Rotoma and Lake Rotoiti. Your superior hotel room has views over the Whakarewarewa Thermal reserve. You could perhaps enjoy a dip in the thermal pool. We dine in the hotel this evening.
This morning we visit the Rotorua Museum housed in the Bath House opened in 1908. There are fascinating displays, including an audiovisual experience of the Tarawera eruption. We also visit the Maori lakeside settlement at Ohinemutu and enjoy a farewell lunch at Pounamu Lodge in a beautiful setting at Lake Tarawera. Our homeward journey passes through Cambridge before continuing on to Auckland arriving in the late afternoon.
Tour Prices 2015/2016
|Single Supplement ( extra ) NZ$500|
Departure Dates 2015/2016
|Nov 13th 2015 - Nov 18th 2015 G|
|Feb 11th 2016 - Feb 16th 2016 G|
A: Available G: Guaranteed Departure C: Closed