Get a taste for New Zealand the way it used to be. Take the road less travelled around the stunning East Cape to Hicks Bay and on to Gisborne and Rotorua, enjoying local hospitality along the way.

6 Day / 5 Night Tour departing Auckland to discover the Gisborne and the East Cape, with additional stays in Whakatane and Rotorua

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Tour Price

The MoaTours Moa
$2390 pp twin
$2890 pp single
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Tour Map

Day 1: Auckland - Waihi - Whakatane

Kiwifruit Orchard - East Cape Caper Tour

Your Kiwi guide meets you this morning. We’re heading Eastwards! Down the southern motorway and over the Hauraki Plains and through the dramatic Karangahake Gorge to Waihi for a stroll in this historic goldmining town.

Continuing south we drive through Papamoa to Te Puke and Kiwi 360, a kiwifruit orchard we tour on quaint carts and hear the history of this important industry. We continue to Whakatane, and our waterfront motel just opposite the Whakatane Wharf. We dine out this evening at a local restaurant.

What you'll love today
  • Drive the dramatic Karangahake Gorge
  • Visit a working kiwifruit orchard and meet the kiwis who grow kiwis!

Day 2: Whakatane - Te Kaha - Hicks Bay

Raukokore Church - East Cape Caper Tour

After breakfast we drive to Ohope Beach and down the coast to Opotiki. There are stunning ocean views along the dramatic coastal highway. Forty-eight kilometres offshore, White Island, an active and sometimes steaming volcano, is in view.

At Te Kaha, an old whaling settlement, we take the Maungaroa Scenic Drive to Tui Lodge, where Wendy & Trevor McJarrow host us for lunch. After a leisurely lunch we continue along the coastal road to Waihau Bay. We dine in at Hicks Bay Motel Lodge this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Drive the coastal highway and take in the stunning ocean views
  • Visit Tui Lodge, where Wendy & Trevor McJarrow host us for lunch

Day 3: Hicks Bay - Anaura Bay - Gisborne

View of Anaura Bay - East Cape Caper Tour

We visit the East Cape Manuka Company, Te Araroa’s huge pohutakawa tree and St Mary’s, a beautifully decorated church built in 1926 as a memorial to the soldiers of Ngati Porou who died in World War I. Mt Hikurangi, the first place in New Zealand to see the sunrise, dominates the landscape as we drive south.

The tumbling down buildings at the northern end of Tokomaru Bay are relics of the days when the sea provided easier access to the Cape than roads. We drive out to Anaura Bay for lunch at “Rangimarie” to enjoy Judy Newell’s hospitality and magical views across the bay. Stunning beaches and coastal landscapes lead on to Gisborne.

What you'll love today
  • St Mary’s Church is a beautifully decorated church built in 1926
  • Private lunch at historic Anaura Bay with Judy Newell

Day 4: Gisborne

Eastwoodhill Aboretum - East Cape Caper Tour

Time to relax and enjoy discovering the pretty seaside town of Gisborne (population 30,000) including the wonderful surf beaches that draw the summer crowds. We visit the granite memorial at Kaiti Bay that marks the spot where Captain Cook landed in 1769 and also Tairawhiti Museum which features major Maori and Captain Cook displays.

Lunch at Bushmere Estate vineyard and drive out to world-renowned Eastwoodhill Arboretum, 65 hectares of trees and shrubs. A special vehicle is arranged to transport us around the gardens. Dine in Gisborne this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Gisborne's excellent Tairawhiti Museum
  • Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees and shrubs in the Southern Hemisphere

Day 5: Gisborne - Rotorua

Whakarewarewa Geothermal Area Rotorua - East Cape Caper Tour

We leave Gisborne and drive through the beautiful native forests of the rugged Waioeka Gorge. We stop for lunch in the seaside town of Opotiki before travelling westward to Rotorua, passing by the bush-clad shores of Lake Rotoma and Lake Rotoiti. In the summertime both lakes are popular holiday spots.

On arrival at your hotel in Rotorua, close to the Whakarewarewa Thermal reserve, you could perhaps enjoy a dip in the outdoor thermal pool. We dine in the hotel this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Drive through the beautiful native forests of the rugged Waioeka Gorge
  • Soak in the thermal pool at your hotel before dining in this evening

Day 6: Rotorua - Auckland

Lake Tarawera - East Cape Caper Tour

We visit geothermal Kuirau Park and enjoy a farewell lunch hosted by our Rotorua friends Karen and David Walmsley in the one of kind setting of Te Wairoa Buried Village. Our homeward journey passes through Tirau and Cambridge before reaching Auckland in the late afternoon.

What you'll love today
  • Relax over a hosted lunch at the 'one-of-a-kind' Buried Village at Lake Tarawera 

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