East Cape Caper
6 Day / 5 Night Tour to discover Gisborne and the East Cape, with additional stays in Whakatāne and Rotorua

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.

What Tracy loves about this tour:
East Cape Caper
$2590.00 pp twin
$2990.00 pp single
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Day 1: Auckland - Waihi - Mt Maunganui - Whakatāne

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 to Mt Maunganui for lunch, and visit a kiwifruit orchard where we tour by special transport and hear the history of this major industry. We continue to Whakatāne, and our waterfront motel just opposite the Whakatāne Wharf. We dine out this evening.

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

Day 2: Whakatāne - 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  as we make our way to the old whaling settlement of Te Kaha to lunch with Trudy Kar at Tui Lodge.

We continue along the coast to Raukokore Church, sitting right on the beachfront it's a favourite photo stop. At the East Cape Manuka Company we meet the pioneers of this Manuka honey and oil business. We stay at Hicks Bay Motel Lodge and dine in this evening.

What you'll love today
  • Drive the coastal highway and take in the stunning ocean views
  • Head off the beaten track and into the heart of the East Cape

Day 3: Hicks Bay - Anaura Bay - Gisborne

View of Anaura Bay - East Cape Caper Tour

We visit 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 to see the sunrise, dominates the landscape.

Tokomaru and Tologa Bay Wharves are relics of the days when the sea provided easier access than roads. At Anaura Bay we lunch at “Rangimarie” to enjoy Judy Newell’s hospitality and the magical views. We stay two nights in Gisborne and dine out this evening.

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 Arboretum - Tairawhiti Museum

Touring Eastwoodhill Arboretum near Gisborne

Discover the pretty town of Gisborne 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 visit world-renowned Eastwoodhill Arboretum, 65 hectares of trees and shrubs. A special vehicle transports 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 - Opotiki - Rotorua

Prof Jack Richard's garden sculptures, Tiromoana Garden

We visit Prof Jack Richard's and Won Gyu Moon's stunning coastal garden, Tiromoana, at Wainui Beach then drive through the beautiful native forests of the 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 you could enjoy a dip in the indoor thermal pools. We dine in the hotel.

What you'll love today
  • Tiromoana, a stunning sculpture garden above Wainui Beach 
  • Soak in the thermal pool at your hotel before dining in this evening

Day 6: Rotorua - Auckland

Views of bush clad Lake Tarawera

This morning we sightsee in Rotorua including the Museum's gardens and the geothermal activity in Kuirau Park.

We enjoy a farewell lunch hosted by our Rotorua friends Karen and David Walmsley in the one of a 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 
  • Rotorua's gardens and natural hot springs