Around the East Cape 1

The last few days driving round the East Cape have been truly wonderful. A slow cruise taking in stunning scenery.

First brief stop en route to camping for the night at Te Araroa, a repeat visit to the old church at Raukokore – actually went inside this time and very glad we did, it’s a beautiful little place.

Old church at Raukokore

Inside old church at Raukokore

Apparently there is a family of penguins nesting under the baptismal font…

After Raukokore it was a shortish drive and a stop at Hicks Bay Wharf – a disused and crumbling structure that we were told by a couple of very friendly local Maori women was from the early 1900’s used to ship out wool from the many farms in the area. Also to ship out stuff from the local factory and to bring in supplies. Being the deepest bay in the area, it was perfect for shipping. The wharf fell into disuse and decay when the factory shut down in the 1950’s. Now it’s mainly used by locals and tourists to fish off (mind you, on the two occasions I’ve been here no one’s been having any luck…).

Hicks Bay Wharf

Eventually arrived at our lodgings for the night and very nice too. Went for a lovely evening walk along the beach, had a good sleep, and then a lovely morning walk along the beach before heading the short distance (but a bit of a mission to get to…) East Cape Lighthouse. Not much of a view from the walk to the top as it was very misty, but stunning, stunning coast line, crashing waves and several hundred steps up later at the windy top, the lighthouse itself.

East Cape Lighthouse

Onward to our next stop Tolaga Bay or Uawa after a lunch stop at Te Puia Springs…

Te Puia Springs

… And a quick visit to Tokomouru Bay where the sea was all shades of turquoise to blue…

Tokomouru Bay

Our final stop for the night, the camping ground at Tolaga Bay. What a lovely place. Awesome sea…

Tolaga Bay

…and another beautiful old wharf…

Tolaga Bay Wharf

Tolaga Bay Wharf

At dinner time we went into the local town and grabbed ourselves some fush and chups. The sounds of fun coming from the Tolaga Bay Inn across the road meant we couldn’t pass up the opp for a couple of drinks and a game or two of pool. Debs, one of the off duty barmaids was very lovely and introduced us to some more locals. Taiweh the local horse whisperer had earlier introduced himself. He had to be the most pissed person I’ve ever come across, still standing upright. Speech barely intelligible, but good fun (for the first few minutes anyway)…

Had a great time in the pub then off to bed for the night and falling asleep to the sound of the sea… wonderful!

Up this morning for another walk along the wharf then into town for a delish brekky at the Tolaga Bay Inn cafe. Suitably fortified, on to our friends just outside Gisborne in Okitu (which apparently means dead man standing – folk are buried in the hills standing).

We made a short stop to watch some sheep shearing going off. Quick work and fascinating to watch.

Sheep shearing

Now just chillin’ here in Okitu with friends for a couple of days, then being joined by another friend, then the two of us are bound for Wellington along the coast / Hawkes Bay. Aaah, bliss…

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One thought on “Around the East Cape

  • Acyee

    Another good bedtime reading and with photos too. Good to see the portrait of the author 😉
    Jacky and Mel also had quick read.
    Looking forward to my morning instalment and have purposely not focused on latest.
    it all looks like such fun!!