Te Araroa to Tokomaru Bay (80k)
This is a fairly taxing day with three sizeable hills through mostly pleasant farmland. At Tikitiki (27k) there
is a café and backpackers. Tikitiki is noted for St Mary's Church and its Maori woven panels and
Ruatoria (20k) has a small supermarket and some interesting old buildings but no campground. Like many north
island small communities Ruatoria has seen more prosperous days.
Just inland from Ruatoria you pass Mt. Hikurangi on your right, apparently the first place in New Zealand to see
the sun each
Another 26 ks will bring you to Te Puia Springs (thermal pools, store, takeaways and hotel... possible camping
if you ask).
A further 11ks will take you downhill into Tokomaru Bay. This was indeed a more prosperous settlement with
extensive ruins of the abandoned freezing works and cargo store now being overtaken by scrub. There is a store,
basic backpackers, hotel and camping. Tokomaru Bay has a substantial wharf and seafront all of which give the
area a sense of interesting but sad decay.
Tokomaru Bay to Anaura Bay (31k)
This side-trip wanders off the highway (7ks out and 7ks back) to Anaura Bay (motor camp/camping). A bit of an
excursion but well worth the effort. Anaura Bay is a beautiful spot to camp.
Depending on your legs you may choose to carry on directly to Gisborne (about 77k from Anaura Bay). Perhaps by
now though you're in the mood for an easy day and are happy just to saunter along to Tologa Bay (22k from Anaura
Tokomaru Bay to Gisborne (90k)
Tokomaru Bay to Tologa Bay (35k)
After the initial climb out this is all generally downhill with only minor rises and falls in the road. Tologa
Bay is a well established settlement and known for the longest wharf in New Zealand. It has a pub, camping (3ks
out of town) and store. Highlights are Captain Cooks Cove... a longish walk (2.5 hours return, 5ks) from the
Tologa Bay to Gisborne (55k)
rise in the road takes you out of Tologa Bay and then the road declines in gentle rises and falls into Gisborne.
There are several notable places to camp, most are informal. Some of the beaches are lovely; Waihau Beach (turn
left down Waihau Rd, 18ks out of Tologa Bay) is beautiful with colonies of sea birds. You will pass Pouawa and
Turihau Beach and there is informal camping just before Tatapouri (right on the beachfront, 44ks from Tologa
Bay) and then Wauinui Beach which is practically in the outskirts of Gisborne.
Gisborne is a substantially large town or small city - good for supplies and bits for the bike. Gisborne is a
place where choices must be made. One possibility is to cycle back up highway 2 to Matawai. From here you can
take the Old Motu Coach Road and make a loop back to
Opotiki. For those wanting to head south there are several options which I will describe next...