This seven day escape follows SH2 from Matawai through to Opotiki and then cruises SH35, the Pacific Coast Highway to Gisborne. Stunning coastal scenery, nature, and cultural experiences abound on this adventure. The tour starts and finishes in sunny Gisborne and includes guided trips up the Motu River, Maunga Hikurangi (the sacred mountain of Ngati Porou) and Cook’s Cove (the spot where in 1769 Lieutenant James Cook replenished the Endeavour) with local Hauiti guides.
- New Zealand’s famous and scenic SH35, The Pacific Coast Highway | ‘The Coast’ manaakitanga – it is such a special place to be.
- Jet boat up the Motu River.
- Be the first to see the sun and greet the new day with a visit to the historic East Cape lighthouse that stands 154 metres above sea level and is accessed by a walking track of some 700 steps.
- Guided cultural tour to Ngati Porou’s sacred Maunga Hikurangi
- Guided history tour to Opoutama, Cook’s Cove with Tipuna Tours
- 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
- Beer tasting at Gisborne’s iconic craft brew house
- 7 nights’ accommodation in twin share hotel, motel and lodge accommodation (includes one night either pre or post tour in Gisborne)
- Activities/Tours as per itinerary
- Transfer as per itinerary | Professional qualified driver
- Knowledgeable guide (if choosing the guided option)
- New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- International or domestic flights and taxes
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary
- Water bottle (we encourage clients to bring their own refillable water bottles)
- Personal expenses (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc.)
- Travel insurance visa (if required)
- Bike hire (electric or non-electric) and helmet
- Bag transfers for independent travellers
- Accommodation either side of your visit
Day 1: Gisborne to Opotiki, 72kms (L, D)
Meet the tour in Gisborne around 10.00am. We will load up your cycles and drive through to Matawai for lunch. Our first cycle takes us through the Waioeka Gorge – ‘Te Awa a Tamatea’ , New Zealand’s largest scenic reserve to Opotiki. There are many resting points with information panels discussing the history, culture, geology and ecology of the gorge. We will book into our motel for our first night’s accommodation before taking a wander into central Opotiki for dinner.
Day 2: Opotiki to Te Kaha, 67kms (B, L, D)
There is plenty of time to relax this morning, enjoy a ride around Opotiki, pick up a coffee, or shop for those last minute items before you go remote on the Pacific Coast Highway! Around midday there is a stop for lunch on the banks of the Motu River. We up the speed with an exhilarating ride up the Motu River with Motu River Jets visiting some key sites on the river. Have a dip in the River before heading down the coast to Te Kaha, our stop for the evening.
Day 3: Te Kaha to Lottin Point, 67kms (B, D)
Sit on the lovely balcony and experience an East Coast sunrise and hearty breakfast before heading south on SH35 towards Lottin Point, a favourite fishing spot on the East Coast. Drop in to Whanarua Bay, see the pretty Raukokore Church before arriving in Waihau Bay (the movie location of ‘Boy’) for lunch. Enjoy the lovely views out to Cape Runaway and back to Opotiki. There are some great swimming spots,, if you are keen, before heading inland. We cross the regional boundary into the Gisborne Region and head to Lottin Point for the evening, a scenic ride with dramatic views.
Day 4: Lottin Point to Te Araroa - Lighthouse Walk, 51-81kms (B, D)
To the eastern most tip of New Zealand we go. We recommend the Waihirere falls 2km walk and also dropping into Hicks Bay. On the café front this is a great day with Pacific Coast Macadamia Café and East Coast Manuka Honey Café on route – ice creams, honey, tea, coffee – delicious! The road to the Cape is partially unsealed and then there are seven hundred steps to reach the East Cape Lighthouse at the most easterly point of New Zealand. After the Lighthouse we will retrace our steps to Te Araroa and our accommodation for the night. Discover ‘Te Waha o Rerekohu:’, the nation’s oldest and largest Pohutakawa tree on the way.
Day 5: Te Araroa to Tokomaru Bay via Ruatoria, 89kms (B, L, D)
This is the longest day in the saddle. Not to be missed is a visit St Mary’s church in Tikitiki, one of the most ornate Maori churches in New Zealand. After a short ride from the church we arrive in Ruatoria. There we meet our local tour guide at Hati Nati café and join the Haramai tour to Maunga Hikurangi, the sacred mountain of Ngati Porou. On return to Ruatoria, we jump back in the saddle and head south to Tokomaru Bay, our resting spot for this evening.
Day 6: Tokomaru Bay to Tolaga Bay, 45kms (B, D)
We start the day with a grunter of a hill. If you take the chance to look back it provides wonderful views of Tokomaru Bay. We cruise inland through to Tolaga Bay, arriving there before lunch. A short ride to the Tolaga Bay Wharf, the longest in New Zealand, and next to our Holiday Park accommodation for the evening, In the afternoon we join Tipuna Tours for a walk over to Cooks Cove to discover the spot where 251 years ago Lieutenant Cook replenished the supplies on the Endeavour after his tragic arrival in Turanganui a Kiwa/Gisborne. Tonight we will enjoy fish and chips, and a beer or two at our beach front accommodation.
Day 7: Tolaga Bay to Gisborne, 67kms (B)
Again, be among the first in the world to see the sun rise on the last day of our tour. Today we will head down the coast, popping into have a look at the Whangara Village and the site of the ‘’Whale Rider’ movie set. Time and tide depending there is the option of joining a reef ecology tour and meet the stingrays at Dive Tatapouri, just outside of Gisborne. The tour joyous finishing line is at the Sunshine Brewery, Gisborne’s craft brew house for a tour debrief.