Referred to as the ‘far east’ of New Zealand, Eastland is a coastal region in the northeastern part of the country’s North Island. It’s the first land that greets the morning sun each day.
The laid back and tucked-away Eastland is nicknamed Te Tai Rāwhiti in Māori, which means Coast of the Sunrise, for obvious reason. Despite modern developments and existence of cars, the region still uses horses and barefeet for transport. It enjoys a warm and dry climate, allowing its visitors a relaxed coastal lifestyle.
The region is known for its vineyards, citrus, world-class beaches, spectacular trees, and wild rivers that winds up into the ocean. But most of all, Eastland is where Māori population is high. And this is evident everywhere you go. Try driving along the Pacific Coast and you’ll see its culture in every settlement, like the elaborately-painted churches and carved meeting houses. You’ll also hear the Te Rao language spoken. Māori people can even trace their ancestry as far as 24 generations back.
Eastland may be less explored and little known, but it’s well worth visiting. Here’s why.
Surfing. Eastland is known for its clean and reliable surf. If you are the adventurous type, you’ll surely enjoy surfing or body surfing. There are local guides around who can take you where the perfect breaks are found. You may even want to dive with sharks and feed the stingrays. Huh!… Don’t worry about being slaughtered by sharks; there’s a purposely-built cage for you to stay safe in.
Biking. Take on the Motu Adventure Trails and discover a liberating experience. You’ll feast on impressive vistas through the hill country farmland and rugged mountain ranges. The Motu Trails are among the 21 Great Rides under the Nga Haerenga.
Hiking. Enjoy a good walk by the stunning Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera, North Island’s largest native forest wilderness. The lake itself is the centre of many activities in the park.
Visit Rere Falls and Rockslide. Be mesmerized by the serenity of nature at the Rere Falls. The Falls transforms the slow-moving Wharekopae River into an amazing cascade that drops 10 metres down at 20 metres wide.
The river continues to race down against a massive 60-metre long slab of moss-covered sandstone into a naturally-created freshwater pool. People call it the Rere Rock Slide.
If you hadn’t been to Eastland yet, it’s time that you give it a try. It’s all worth the journey.