Chardonnay and crayfish, the perfect recipe for a perfect summer evening overlooking beautiful white sand beaches that stretch on for as far as the eye can see. The waves gently rolling onto shore, enticing an evening swim in the warm pacific ocean. It's the simple things that make Eastland the perfect holiday destination. Here one can truly enjoy the slower pace that is created by the relaxed and friendly locals. A place where you come to rediscover the true spirit of a New Zealand holiday.
In the heart of Eastland lies Gisborne city, home to the most historically important site in New Zealand - the first meeting place between Maori and Eurpoean. For it was here that Captain James Cook first came ashore from the Endeavour in October 1769. This region could be viewed as the main cultural centre of New Zealand, having a population ratio that is almost equally Maori and European. It is one of the few places in New Zealand where strong cultural affiliations are still evident in day-to-day activities of the people, and where the Maori language is a part of everyday life - alive, strong and growing. Gisborne's Tairawhiti Polytechnic is home to New Zealand's leading school of contemporary Maori art, Toihoukura, which has it's own gallery for the exhibition of students' work. This highly distinctive work has seen many pieces been bought by overseas buyers, who have heard of the gallery mainly through word of mouth from other collectors.
While in Gisborne you will be spoilt for choice, whether you are wanting to relax on the waterfront, in the inner harbour, with a glass of Gisborne wine or enjoy a more active holiday with one of the many soft adventure activities that beckon. A twilight horse trek is always popular for it's spectacular coastal views and the feeling of freedom when you gallop along the beach. Fishing is also a popular sport in the region with both trout and deep sea fishing in abundance. And for those wanting to keep their hand in at golf, Eastland has the most golf courses per capita than any other part of New Zealand. The Poverty Bay Golf Club in Gisborne is one of the top 10 in the country, set in park like grounds and near the city beaches, a superb view of Young Nicks Head can be seen from the 14th hole. However for a more challenging experience there are many amazing country courses with beachside greens, including one commanding superb views of Mount Hikurangi and the Pacific Ocean.
From Gisborne one can venture north around the East Coast towards Opotiki to discover many secluded bays offering perfect swimming and surfing beaches. Venturing south travellers will come across Morere Hot Springs situated amongst the native bush and on further to Lake Waikaremoana, one of New Zealands 10 Great Walks situated in Te Urewera National Park and home to the Tuhoe, known as 'the children of the mist'. This magical part of New Zealand, hidden from the crowds and known by few, is one of New Zealand's best kept secrets. Where ever you travel within Eastland you will be overcome with the beauty, the tranquility and the welcoming people who are so proud of their piece of paradise.
Make your next holiday a trip to Eastland and rediscover the true spirit of a New Zealand holiday.
Bask in the solitude as you take one of the Southern Hemisphere's great coastal road journeys, State Highway 35, around the East Cape to Gisborne. Renowned for its excellent surfing breaks, perfect swimming beaches and miles of untouched coastline, Eastland - from Opotiki around the East Cape to Gisborne, and on to Mahia and Wairoa, is famous as New Zealand's coastal playground.
Opotiki is the northern gateway to Eastland and State Highway 35 (part of the Pacific Coast Highway). Time slows down in this magical part of the world where there are scores of beautiful beaches, bays and quaint coastal villages. Known colloquially as "The East Coast" this touring route offers some of the world's most spectacular coastal scenery and breathtaking ocean views.
Follow the Tairawhiti Heritage trail which highlights the historical and cultural sites of interest. Take a stroll along the Tolaga Bay Wharf, (Gisborne 54kms) at 660 metres, it is the longest pier in New Zealand. Turn off at Ruatoria (Gisborne 130kms) towards Mt Hikurangi, at 1752 meters it is the first point on mainland New Zealand to see the sunrise each day. Permission is required to climb the mountain. Standing as a memorial to Ngati Porou soldiers who died in the First World War the St Mary's Church at Tikitiki (Gisborne 149kms) is one of the most ornate Maori churches in New Zealand. At the most easterly point on mainland New Zealand stands the East Coast Lighthouse (Gisborne 174kms). The historic lighthouse stands 154m above sea-level accessed by a walking track of approximately 700 steps.
Gisborne City, the most easterly city in the world, is the first to welcome the sunrise each and every day. And where the sun first rises it likes to linger, for Eastland is blessed with a sub-tropical climate most-often enjoying clear blue skies and warm, lazy sunshine. The perfect base for exploring all that Eastland has to offer, Gisborne's city centre is a sunny, palm-shaded, pedestrian friendly esplanade on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Travel the southern reaches of Eastland to explore "New Zealand as it use to be". Here you will discover forest-fringed Lake Waikaremoana - the centrepiece of New Zealand's third largest national park, Te Urewera. This hauntingly beautiful extract of forest is the largest remaining in the North Island and offers excellent outdoor pursuits opportunities. It is also one of New Zealand's 10 Great Walks. Take the time to stop at Morere Hot Springs, situated amoungst native bush it offers hot thermal pools and short walks under the Nikau Palms.
Eastland hosts a wide range of soft adventure activities - surfing, safe swimming (in both lakes and ocean), white water rafting, horse trekking, bush walks, jet boating, trout fishing, deep sea fishing, golf, diving, kayaking and snorkeling with sharks (in a cage of course).
A warm and genuine welcome is offered to visit and enjoy this unique and diverse part of New Zealand - Come and rediscover the true spirit of a New Zealand holiday.