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The East Coast

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The East coast of the North Island is commonly called 'the east coast' or 'Eastland' The East coast is a hilly region or the top right hand corner of the North Island that sticks out to the Pacific Ocean and is the most easterly part of New Zealand.

The east coast is known for its high annual sunshine hours, great coastal scenery with some beautiful country gardens. The East coast has a high Maori population, Along with Northland it is one of the best places in the country to discover Maori heritage. The East coast also has one of New Zealand's best grape-growing regions, renowned for its Chardonnay wine.

Gisborne is the first city in the world to welcome the new day. Its surf beaches and long, hot summers have always attracted New Zealanders on holiday. The Gisborne area also has some of New Zealand's best surviving carved Maori meeting houses (Marae) and churches.

The Worlds First Sun

Northwest of Gisborne is Te Urewera National Park, the largest wilderness area in the North Island. Take a trail to the beautiful Lake Waikaremoana.

Gisborne and East Coast Map

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Eastlands climate:

Average Summer temperature; 24c
Warmest months; December to March
Average Winter temperature; 14.6c
Average Hours of sunshine per year; 2180hrs
Average annual rainfall; 1050mm

Popular Eastland activities

Visit White Island an active volcano
Fish at Torere
Rafting or Jetboating on the Motu River
Visit Whanarua bay
Take in some big game fishing at Waihau bay
Dive, fish or surf at Lottin Point
Visit Hicks Bay to see the glow-worm grotto, giant puriri trees or enjoy the great surf on a long curving bay
Visit St Marys church at Tikitiki
Try out the natural springs at Te Puia Springs
With Permission enjoy a two-hour walk on golden sand from Anaura Bay

Key Features

Fiord-like Lake Waikaremoana is only 2200 years old.


Te Urewera National Park
Within its boundaries, Te Urewera National Park encloses Lake Waikaremoana and the largest untouched native forest in the North Island. The Urewera region is home to the Tuhoe people, (The Children of the Mist).



Gisborne � the chardonnay city
Gisborne is Eastland's biggest population centre and the first city in the world to see the sunrise each day. Known as the "Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand", Gisborne produces premium white wines.

Eastland Tolaga Bay Wharf


Tolaga Bay Wharf
The touring route that follows State Highway 35 takes you to spectacular coastal scenery, with many interesting cultural highlights along the way. The historic Tolaga Bay Wharf, built in 1936, is 660 metres long.

Key Tips

  • To reach SH 35, which is part of the Pacific Coast Highway touring route, follow SH 2 from the north or south.
  • Gisborne is the main city of the Eastland region - a great starting place for your explorations.
  • There are daily flights to Gisborne airport from Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua.
  • Intercity bus services operate in the Eastland Region, and local courier companies are available for travel within the region.





Population: 62,300
Area: 15,487km2

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