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Eastland / East Cape 

Also known as the East Cape this hilly North Island region is the most easterly in New Zealand and reaches out to the Pacific Ocean. It includes the city of Gisborne and the towns of Opotiki and Wairoa. Kaiti Beach has been identified by Maori as being where the first migration canoes landed and where Captain Cook made his first landfall in October 1769.


  The east coast is best known for its high annual sunshine hours, stunning coastal scenery, beautifully natural beaches and glorious country gardens. An area of high Maori population, it is one of the best places in the country to discover Maori heritage including beautifully carved meeting houses and painted Maori churches to children riding horses bareback on the beach. The region is also one of New Zealand's prime grape-growing regions, renowned for its Chardonnay wine.  
Main attractions & activities

  Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun each day. Its surf beaches and long hot summers have always attracted New Zealanders on holiday and there is a range of surf school options operating in Gisborne. Tour options include scenic, historical, cultural heritage plus 4WD and Quad Adventure. Horse Treks take riders through farmland and native bush with breathtaking ocean and country views, followed by an exhilarating ride along the beach. Professional trout fishing guides are available and excursions can range from one to six days including some of the best river fishing spots available. Several charter boat operators cater for deep sea fishing and diving. The area also has some of the country's best surviving carved Maori meeting houses and churches.

 The tiny East Coast settlement of Whangara was the setting for the Whale Rider movie and you can take Whale Rider tours which depart six days a week and take about two hours. You can see where filming took place and hear some of the unique and fascinating stories of one of Ngati Porou's most famous ancestors.
South-west of Gisborne is Te Urewera National Park, the largest wilderness area in the North Island, with magnificent walks and trails centred on beautiful Lake Waikaremoana. It is the largest untouched native forest in the North Island. The Urewera region is the home to the Tuhoe people, (The Children of the Mist).
To get there

  There are daily flights to Gisborne airport from Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua. Intercity bus services also operate to Gisborne from a range of centres within New Zealand. Travelling time by car from Whakatane is 5 hours and from Napier 4 hours, 25 minutes.


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