Off the Beaten Track to... Mount Hikurangi
The North Island's highest non-volcanic peak (1,754 metres), Mount Hikurangi is regarded as sacred by the Ngati Porou Māori of the region, who believe the mountain to be the resting place of Maui's waka (canoe). Mount Hikurangi can be found in the north-east corner of New Zealand's North Island, southwest of the East Cape. Traditionally the peak is regarded as the first land in the world to catch the dawn of the new day and although this is open to interpretation, the mountain gained world prominence when the new Millennium was celebrated.
The peak can be reached by hiking the Mt Hikurangi Track. This seven-hour hike leaves from Pakihiroa (20 kilometres inland from Ruatoria) and whilst camping is not permitted, an overnight hut is available for public use. The track is suitable for experienced hikers with a good level of fitness. As it crosses private land, visitors must contact the Te Runanganui O Ngati Porou before starting out.
Other Places to Visit in Eastland
- Urewera National Park - If you want gthe feeling of conquering new territory, then this wild national park is for you. Famous for its lakes and its large untouched forests, Urewera is remote and not easily accessible. The nearest towns are Whakatane and Taneatua to the north; Murupara and Ruatahuna to the west; Wairoa to the east.
- Waioeka Scenic Reserve - South of Opotiki, this is New Zealand's largest scenic reserve and offers excellent trout fishing, swimming, hunting, hiking, camping, picnics, canoeing and river rafting.
- Mahia Peninsula - Mahia Beach makes an ideal coastal getaway with great fishing, surfing, diving and safe swimming beaches.
- East Cape Lighthouse - Located at the most easterly point on New Zealand's mainland, this lighthouse is worth a visit just for the great views.
- Te Waha-o-Rerekohu - Seek out the tiny settlement of Te Araroa and you'll find New Zealand's most ancient pohutukawa tree and just down the road in Tikitiki is St Mary's Church, one of the most ornate Māori churches in New Zealand.
To help plan your holiday itinerary in the Eastland region simply choose from the main categories below:
- Eastland Accommodation
- Eastland Attractions and Activities
- Eastland Tours
- Eastland Transport
- Eastland Visitor Information
All Eastland accommodation can be booked online.