With a few days spare we make a move up to East Cape - one of the more remote areas in the North Island - for an epic adventure up Old Motu Road before heading out to East Cape. Mint beaches and awesome views await.
Spend the day exploring the old Motu rally stage and wind your way through the hills. Amazing views await you!
In October 2020 the road was pretty well graded and would be doable in most vehicles without issue.
A well graded gravel road that takes you out to the Whitikau Campsite and Opiti Road. The road ends in a locked gate.
In 1952 the Motu River was suggested as a potential hydro dam site, resulting in Otipi Road being built.
From the campsite, use the ford to cross the river and follow the old road up into the Raukumara Ranges. The road climbs to 960 m, follows the ridgeline and descends steeply to the Motu River.
NOTE: We covered around half of this road and it's graded based on what we did.
A remote campsite at Whitikau entrance to Raukumara Conservation Park.
Cape Runaway is the eastern extremity of the Bay of Plenty
The northernmost point of East Cape. Cool little fishing spot.
15 km east from the junction at Te Araroa, down a partly sealed and gravel road, is an open rolling paddock on a rise beside the ocean. A bit of a slope for tenters. This is the best of back blocks camping, enjoying the sound of crashing waves. A long drop toilet is onsite and a small alcove with an honesty box. A great stopover for those in their self contained campers wishing to be close to the lighthouse (5km away) there is no power here.
East Cape is the easternmost point of the main islands of New Zealand - cruise along the gravel road out to the lighthouse. The walk up is decent but the views are amazing from the top.
The first place in the world to see the morning sun! Well worth the climb up the steps.