Get to some of the surrounding areas like up the east cape Tologa Bay is a cute old town with a huge footbridge, or Wainui is an awesome surf beach.
There are also some nice waterfalls further inland 'Rere' I think where there is meant to be a huge natural slide but it is pretty hard to find.
We visited Tolaga Bay Wharf on our way around the East Cape, but it is also a nice day trip from Gisborne via SH 35, the so called Pacific Coast Highway.
This is the longest pier in New Zealand with its more than 650 metres length. It was built around 1930 to allow ships to unload at al tides. But nowadays it has fallen in disrepair and everywhere we could see the decay of concrete. In a matter of fact it is more or less dangerous to walk on the pier as we did. Specially with a storm and huge waves under the pier it was quite an adventure.
In Tolaga you will find also a beach an two walking tracks (Ernest Reeve Walkway and Cooks Cove).
Mahia Peninsula is situated between Gisborne and Wairoa. It is about 1 hour drive from Gisborne along SH 2; in Nuhaka is a turn off to the peninsula. The scenic roads follows Hawke Bay and we passed several stunning beaches with big waves and already views on Mahia Peninsula.
Through an isthmus we did reach the settlement of Mahia Beach with a very wide sandy beach. Although we were in the middle of the summer we didn’t see anybody; almost unbelievable.
On the north/east side is another road along the coast. And the scenery is completely different with rocky beaches and bizarre rock formations. Elsewhere we found a lot of rock pools and almost at the end of the road at Auroa Point again huge rocky platforms and small pools with sea urchins and sea horses.
A very beautiful piece of New Zealand and so unknown. In the meantime is Mahia one of our favourite spots. We do like it very much and had a perfect trip.
In Mahia Beach (see other tip) starts a gravel road called Kinikini Road which brought us in the uninhabited world of the Mahia Peninsula. The road is narrow, winding and on some places rather steep and goes through a rugged landscape with views over Hawke Bay.
After 7 km’s is a very small parking place, but it doesn’t matter, because we were the second visitors of that day. Just opposite the car park starts a walking track through the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve.
First we reached a kind of a look out with superb views over the peninsula and the sea. The track goes down and we came in the green green native bush of New Zealand, with a always wonderful smell. We had to cross a little stream about ten times, but without any problems.
We reached the car park again through a long staircase. All together we walked about two hours. A fantastic experience. (Oh, indeed we did see four other human beings !!)
Whangara is situated about 30 minutes drive from Gisborne along the way to the East Cape. Before reaching the exit to this Maori village we passed some beautiful bays.
We had seen the movie “Whale Rider” before we went to New Zealand and were just curious about the site where the movie was filmed. There are a lot of places we did recognise; among them the school (just after the turn off of the main road) and off course the marae (meeting house) and other buildings on the beach.
We were lucky because one of the villagers showed us around and he was very proud of his Dutch visitors.
(more about the movie: www.whaleriderthemovie.co.nz)