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East Cape SH 35

Meandering around the East Cape, SH 35 begins its 334 kilometre journey in Gisborne, then travels through some of the most spectacular coastal scenery New Zealand has to offer, to Opotiki.

This classic touring route takes six hours, however, a slower pace allows time to explore its quaint townships, secluded white sand beaches and the historical sites marking the history of this remote corner of New Zealand.

Hike the Cook's Cove Walkway, a gentle 5km walk across farmland to the place where Captain James Cook took aboard supplies and repairs to the Endeavour when he landed in New Zealand in October 1769.

Take your fishing rod and stroll along New Zealand's longest wharf at Tolaga Bay and be transported to a time when this quiet township was a humming port servicing a large shipping trade. Then, hike the Ernest Reeves Walkway for views over the township, bay, wharf and Uawa River.

Enjoy a trip to the East Cape Lighthouse from Te Araroa. The lighthouse is reached via some 700 steps and from the top a breathtaking panorama unfolds.

Join a surf school in Gisborne and learn how to surf (or hop aboard a tandem ride), then practice your newly acquired skills on legendary breaks alongside New Zealand's top surfer, Maz Quinn.

Or simply pack a picnic, your favourite bottle of Gisborne Chardonnay and slabs of local Waimata Cheese and head to the beach — after all, that’s what this part of the world is most famous for!