A late lunch on the waterfront gazing out onto Poverty Bay from Gisborne, its already been a long drive from the Bay of Plenty over the Waipaoa Gorge but we have to make up time today so on we go down the east coast highway towards Napier. In the small village of Nuhaka we decide to take a detour out to the Mahia Peninsula as it is a chance to see the rugged coastline of Waitaniwha Bay. Stopping on the cliffs just short of the bay we gaze out over the shinning sea towards the landform of the Mahia Peninsula jutting out into the bay.
The scenery here is fantastic, the bay sweeping around to Mahia Beach, it’s tempting to stay here but we decide to head on to Napier. Overlooking Waitaniwha Bay we see this post box by the roadside, tempting not to leave a message, it’s a long way from anywhere out on the east coast.
The coastal road follows the clifftops, below and stretching out into the distance the surf is breaking on the deserted shorelines of the bay. As we climb over the mountains the road distances us from the coastline, only at Tangoio Bay does the road reconnect with Hawke Bay. Stopping on the roadside we wander down onto the shingle beach as the waves continue to crash onto the shore, in the distance we can just make out the outline of the hills of Napier jutting out into the bay.
Reaching northern Napier, we stop at the campsite overlooking Hawke Bay, we don’t take long to set up, opening the back doors onto the beach and grabbing a beer bank, putting the feet up, it’s been a long drive.
January 5th 2017
Check out : The Hard Drive Cafe in Matawai heading into Gisbourne the first sign post was way back on the north coast, not much inbetween.
Where : Waioeka Gorge Highway 2 from Opotiki to Gisborne then around the coastline taking a detour out to Mahia Peninsula and then on to Napier in one day.
Travelling : Highway 2 over the Waioeka Gorge and down into Gisbourne about a 140 km drive.
Camping : Situated north of the city centre of Napier, we backed the bus back onto the beach front, with an elevated view out over the shingle beach and the crashing surf beyond, a good place for a morning cuppa.
Next Up : Cable from Wellington