Riding the East Cape

If I had to pick the one ride which was the highlight of my entire trip, I would probably pick the East Cape ride. Oddly enough, it was the one that I was a little apprehensive about because it was a lot of kms to cover in one day and was also reputed to be one of the most remote with very little civilization on the way. In the end, this turned out to be the most appealing part of the trip. My route went from Gisborne to Whakatane via Te Araroa. This meant I would have to bypass the direct route via the gorge which is also supposed to be a good ride. It would have been a perfect loop if I’d had more time.


Gorgeous remote route the entire way.

The route that I did pick was lovely, quiet and serene, and full of twisties! I was probably the only person on the road going north, which meant that I could just stop the bike in the middle of the road and take photos for once. I made a couple of stops in Tolaga Bay to see the longest wharf in the southern hemisphere, at Tokomaru bay to get lunch, and Te Araroa for some coffee.


Tolaga Bay – the longest wharf in the southern hemisphere.


Tons more amazing roads to ride!

In Te Araroa, the heavens burst open and it poured down rain. I stood outside the café until the downpour subsided, unsure of how long it was going to last. It wasn’t the most exciting place to stop at for the night so I decided to push through the rain and keep going. Luckily, the rain stopped in a few minutes and the sun peeked out again! Good decision made! The rest of the ride was fantastic too. Waihau Bay was stunning and a sweet place to stop and fuel up. Then all the way to Opotiki which had mostly shut down by then. Whakatane for the night in a bit of a shitty hostel. I booked a spot on the crossing the next morning to White Island – an active volcano off the coast.

Napier to Gisborne

This morning I left Napier for Gisborne. It was a relatively short ride of around 200 km, although I took the inland twisty route which meant that I was riding for a good four hours. Today’s ride was one of those where I truly felt like I was riding through the Shire in Middle Earth with all the lush green rolling hills for as far as the eyes could see. The inland road also had the advantage that there was almost no traffic and I rarely saw more than a car of two in the space of a half hour. The road was a cornucopia of colors –  hedges and meadows in every shade of green, copses of white and silver trees, leaves tinged with red and gold heralding the first signs of autumn. And the road… it undulated, climbed, descended, a motorcyclist’s dream with mostly perfect pavement. I also saw quite a few animals – sheep, sheep dogs, cows, horses, deer, hawks, little black birds with white tipped wing…


Sometimes mystical looking forests….


Sheep everywhere!

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