SH2 Wairoa to Gisborne

Wairoa [From Gisborne 101km] The riverside town of Wairoa is the halfway point between Napier and Gisborne. There are several riverside walks and a kids playground next to the impressive Wairoa River.  Drive to the end of Marine Parade and along Kopu Road to the coastline to view the wide and scenic Wairoa River mouth.  Visit the Wairoa i-SITE for more information about things to see and do in the Wairoa district, or visit them online www.visitwairoa.co.nz.

Nuhaka, Opoutama and Mahia Peninsula [From Wairoa 32km | From Gisborne 66km] Turning towards the coast at Nuhaka takes you to the marine lovers paradise that is the Mahia Peninsula.  A long sandy beach stretches the length of the isthmus from Opoutama to Mahia Village. There are more beaches, reefs and estuaries on the north coast.  This is a popular family holiday hot spot and a mecca for surfers and fishermen.  Mahia also has an excellent 9 hole links golf course.

Morere Hot Springs [From Wairoa 46km | From Gisborne 52km] Soak your travel weary bones in the thermal waters at Morere Hot Springs. The 364 hectare bush reserve has walking tracks, from 10 minutes to three hours, through a rare stand of lowland North Island rainforest. There is food available at cafes at the Hot Springs and the adjacent tearooms.

Nikau Pools photo courtesy of Morere Hot Pools

Wherowhero Lagoon and Young Nick’s Head / Te Kurī-a-Pāoa [From Wairoa 79km | From Gisborne 22km] If you love wild places turn off towards the ocean down Browns Beach Road. Wherowhero Lagoon is a large wetlands (160 hectares), beyond which is the wild expanse of Browns Beach and stunning views of Young Nick’s Head, the first land sighted by the crew of HMS Endeavour when the British first arrived in Aotearoa in 1769.  Young Nick’s Head is also known as Te Kurī-a-Pāoa (the dog of Pāoa, Pāoa was the captain of the Horouta waka (canoe) which carried Maori here many centuries before).

Te Kurī-a-Pāoa photo by Mason Smith

From here it’s just a short drive to Gisborne through the vineyards, orchards and maize fields of the Poverty Bay Flats.

It’s always good to get out and stretch your legs along the way.  If you fancy getting some fresh air and taking a walk check out some of the awesome Hikes & Walks – Out East.

There are a variety of motels, backpackers, B&Bs and campgrounds along the way, something for all tastes, click here for all accommodation options.

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