Day 277 on the Road
Watch the First Sunrise and Road Tripping Around the East Cape
Today we are checking out the East Cape Lighthouse and more on this East Cape Road Trip. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand, just head over to our epic YouTube Channel and subscribe!
What does the Fox Say? Ok, today we’re doing another Eastland road trip this time starting at the early time of 5am.
This is way too early for me.
Alright so it’s 5am today and we are making our way to the East Cape Lighthouse which is the most stunning point to watch the sunrise of the world.
It’s our second day road tripping around the amazing East Cape region and we’re making our way to the East Cape Lighthouse which is the easternmost lighthouse of New Zealand and one of the first places in the world to see the sunrise thanks to its position on the international date line.
Climbing the steps in the dark was a bit of an eerie feeling there’s about 7 to 800 of those steps to make your way all the way on top of the cliff where the beautiful lighthouse stands and what a sight we’re having it looks like the sunrise is going to look absolutely gorgeous today we’re settling in for the spectacle of a lifetime.
But alas the clouds are moving down the horizon and at the last minute they are covering the sun just peaking out of the horizon. We get a few colours in the sky but that gorgeous sunrise is not going to be for today. We are super happy to have spent the time here since we got to see a lot.
So wake up at 4.30 and went all the way here and turns out that the clouds were just like maybe 50m too low so I guess we’re gonna have to come back.
Oh no a third time.
Although the sunrise wasn’t as epic as it could have been the coastal scenery and the island views before us more than make up for it we are so glad we did wake up this early so we could see this amazing scenery.
That wasn’t the most amazing sunrise ever but that was a pretty good one and that’s really what happens in New Zealand, you know since you’re always dealing with the elements sometimes it’s a bit of a lottery and you may not get what you bargained for but you’ve seen us for quite a little while and we usually get much more than what we bargained for so for once we’re fine and it just gives us a great excuse to come back again so.
It’s now time for us to start heading back down that East Cape Road that we came up this morning although we didn’t get to appreciate it in the dark when we drove up. But in the sunlight we get to see how gnarly this 19km road is all the way to the East Cape Lighthouse there’s so many warning signs like wandering stock, steep drops, falling rocks, gravel road, we’re kind of fearing for our lives with all the signs but it just proves to be another stunning road in New Zealand with a lot of traffic along the way.
At the other end of the East Cape Road is the little town of Te Araroa which has a big long stretching pebbled beach where we find a perfect driftwood log to have our breakfast on this morning. We also get distracted by the fact that there’s a huge sign saying historic tree just by the beach so we head over there to go check it out.
So you might be asking what the hell is a historic tree? Well this tree is named Te Wahaorerekohu, I’m sorry if I don’t pronounce that correctly, and it’s the largest and older pohutukawa tree which is the New Zealand version of the Christmas tree, in the East Cape of New Zealand and it is estimated to be at least 600 years old and it has a huge significance in local Maori legends.
So let’s start with why pohutukawa trees are the New Zealand Christmas Tree, pohutukawa is a tree that usually blossoms around Christmas time which is around summer in New Zealand. They are found all over the North Island usually in coastal areas and their flowers are beautiful and red so red flowers with a green leaves it’s the Christmas colour scheme they blossom in Christmas all of that coming together is the New Zealand Christmas tree.
And this one is probably the most gigantic example that we can ever find for you guys of the pohutukawa tree this is a huge tree with over 37m branches it spans all around and it feels like a forest in itself there’s heaps of birds it’s a really awesome tree to check out but we have a lot to see during our Eastland Road trip so we are heading on the road again.
Our final destination today is the town of Opotiki but there’s a lot of little small quaint towns to visit along the way to Opotiki one of those towns being Waihau Bay which is famous in New Zealand for being the set of the famous New Zealand film called Boy it’s also a cute little fishing village it has a historic post office as well to check out and we just have a little stop here for our lunch.
After checking out Waihau Bay we are heading back onto the road back onto the Pacific Coast Highway which is the main highway which goes all around the Eastland region, and we are then making our way into the Bay of Plenty region stopping by a little hostel called Maraehako Bay we’ve heard a lot about this hostel so we can’t resist stopping in to check it out.
Maraehako Bay Retreat is famous for it’s awesome rugged coastline it’s famous for it’s fishing but also it’s awesome rock pools which we go and check out and see lots of different sea urchins it’s also a good place to relax in the hammocks because that’s what you do on road trips, you stuff yourself silly, and then after just chilling out in the this awesome little bay and decide to head back onto the road again to our final destination for today which is Opotiki. Opotiki will be our base for tomorrow’s next road trip.
You made it.
Yeah, not sure I would then.