13 Eastland Must-Dos© NZPocketGuide.com
13 Eastland Must-Dos

13 Eastland Must-Dos

© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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The Top Things to Do in the Eastland Region

Eastland, also known as the East Cape, is a North Island region many forget to explore during their time in New Zealand pretty ironic when it was one of the first places in New Zealand to be discovered by Maori and Europeans! Nonetheless, if you love tranquil lakes, rainforests and love the coast more, then Eastland is a must-visit. The highlights of Eastland are spread out, so the best way to discover these gems is by car or the hop-on hop-off bus. With that in mind, here are the Eastland must-dos!

For more things to do in the region, head on over to 10 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Gisborne or 9 Pacific Coast Highway Walks You Can’t Miss.

1. Watch the Sunrise from the East Cape Lighthouse

The most eastern lighthouse in the world has a perfect view across the ocean to see the sunrise. You’ll be one of the first to see the new day from this lighthouse.

Location: East Cape Lighthouse, down the East Cape Road just outside of Te Ararora.

13 Eastland Must-Dos© NZPocketGuide.com

2. Take the Tiniroto Road

Between Wairoa and Gisborne, Tiniroto Road has many awesome stops along the way, such as Te Reinga Falls, Tiniroto Lakes and Donneraille Park.

Location: Between Wairoa and Gisborne

Wilma Verburg on Wikipedia© Wilma Verburg on Wikipedia

3. Find Tranquillity at Lake Waikaremoana

This freshwater lake is so stunning it has one of New Zealand’s Great Walks going around it! It is a must-visit in the Te Urewera.

Location: Te Urewera

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Observe from the Kaiti Hill Lookout

Get a birds-eye-view of Gisborne and Poverty Bay where the Maori first encountered Captain Cook, the British explorer. A fun fact about the Captain Cook statue at the lookout: he is actually wearing an Italian uniform rather than the British one. Fail!

Location: Gisborne

Pseudopanax at en.wikipedia© Pseudopanax at en.wikipedia

5. Hike, Snorkel and Surf and Mahia Peninsula

Surf, crayfish fishing and the walks are just some reasons to visit this peninsula. Not to mention the picturesque coastline! Check out more things to do in 11 Mahia Peninsula Must-Dos.

Location: Mahia

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

6. Relax in the Morere Hot Springs

Surrounded by rainforest and soaking in the hot mineral pools: this is a good way to relax after a day of travelling. While you are there, the Nikau forest walk is also a must!

Location: Morere

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Bike on Some of the North Island’s Best Trails

Make Opotiki your base if you want to take on the Motu Trails. Take the historic Motu Road trail, experience the natural beauty of the Pakihi Track, and the coastal gem of the Dunes Trail.

Location: Opotiki

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Walk the Longest Wharf in New Zealand

A quick stroll along this 660m (722 yards) is something to tick off the list when taking State Highway 35 around the coast of the East Cape.

Location: Tolaga Bay

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

9. See Maori Carvings at the Tikitiki Church

Take a quick peek in the church at Tikitiki to see some detailed Maori design.

Location: Tikitiki

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

10. Hike the Spiritual Mt Hikurangi

This mountain is not only a sacred mountain for the Maori but an excellent hike! It is also the first point on the New Zealand mainland to see the sunrise.

Location: Mt Hikurangi

Phillip Capper on Wikipedia© Phillip Capper on Wikipedia

11. Explore Rere!

There’s a lot of fun to be had in the Rere area outside of Gisborne. Bring a bodyboard or an air mattress for the Rere Rockslide, a picnic for lunch at the Rere Waterfall, your wetsuit for the Champagne Pool, and your walking shoes to stroll around New Zealand’s national arboretum.

Location: Rere

13 Eastland Must-Dos© NZPocketGuide.com

12. Ride the Waves

Embrace the Kiwi lifestyle by grabbing a board and heading to the beach. There are many decent surf breaks in the Gisborne area and here are the main ones: Midway Beach, Waikanae Beach, Wainui Beach and Makorori Beach.

Location: Gisborne

 studio tdes on Flickr© studio tdes on Flickr

13. Be the First to See the New Year!

Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the New Year that’s got to be bucket-list worthy, right? The city celebrates with the renowned Rhythm and Vines festival.

Location: Gisborne

© Rhythm & Vines


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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