• Great places to stay on the East Cape

Great places to stay on the East Cape

Travelling the gorgeous and remote East Cape is even better when you have a warm comfortable bed with welcoming local hosts at the end of each day – we’ve put together three of our picks of East Cape rustic charm to make your trip that much more relaxing and enjoyable.


Hicks Bay Motel

This is a special place on the East Cape. About an hour from Ruatoria, Te Wharehahikia/Hick’s Bay is a seaside community in a spectacular setting – and Hicks Bay Motel is the place to stay. The motel overlooks the ocean, and you can stretch your legs on a walking track that leads from the motel down to the beach. Importantly, the motel’s restaurant and bar provides hearty meals and the staff are very welcoming.

Te Puia Springs Hotel

The chance to soak in a hot mineral pool at a historic country hotel? Don’t look past this tranquil place from another era on the Cape. Te Puia Springs Hotel has hotel, camping and backpacker options. Just 25 minutes out of Ruatoria, it’s a good place to stay if you’re planning to do the Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise experience. This establishment also has bush walks nearby and is a short drive to the local beach.

Nga Puriri Bed and Breakfast

Pauline is the welcoming host at this gorgeous BnB, also in Hick’s Bay, and her service has received rave reviews. Nga Puriri Bed and Breakfast is a small cottage next to the main house: clean and tidy, it has amazing views of the bay from its deck (with a path to the beach), and Pauline also provides guests with a delicious breakfast.

Nga Puriri Accommodation Gisborne

The lovely Nga Puriri Bed and Breakfast in Hicks Bay

Te Puka Tavern

The new 4.5-star studio apartments at the Te Puka Tavern in Tokomaru Bay are worth checking out. They’re beachside with sweeping views of the gorgeous bay and polished wood floors. Each unit sleeps up to 5 people. There are also powered sites for campervans. The tavern itself is NZ old style, and offers classic pub meals served up in innovative styles, plus lots of cold beer.

Captain Cook Lodge

This friendly Gisborne motel is just three minutes’ walk to Waikanae Beach, amazing for a sunset stroll or a safe swim, and the accommodation is also not far from the city centre. Captain Cook Lodge rates are reasonable, rooms tidy and staff friendly – and it has its own restaurant.

Captain Cook Lodge Gisborne

Captain Cook Lodge is the perfect location to enjoy the sunset over Waikanae Beach

The Blackhouse Luxury Lodge

This amazing establishment does have East Cape rustic charm – but also complete luxury. The Blackhouse Luxury Lodge is a private lodge near Gisborne, on a 1000 hectare working station with 360-degree views overlooking Wainui beach and rolling farmland. The place sleeps 10 and has an industrial kitchen for your purposes (sometimes guests bring in their own chef too). The fireplace and well-stocked bookshelves top it off for the ultimate relaxation.


November 9, 2020


Wow – ever wondered what it would feel like to stand on the very top of our Maunga when dusted in snow? Epic photo from LWimages featured on Epic Trails ⛰🧗‍♂️#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Standing sentinel before the dawn…our whakairo (carvings) are first to see the sun every day. What will your day bring today?#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
On our sacred maunga, it’s a special experience to stand before nine magnificent whakairo (carvings) – each larger than life, each holding a story you can see, hear and touch 😮#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Home is where the heart is! The town of Ruatoria, 25km from the foot of Maunga Hikurangi, is a central location of our iwi, Ngati Porou. It's home to the famous Ruatoria Pies, Kai Kart and our tour pickup point, the Hati Nati Café!We look forward to welcoming you here before we take you on one of our tours 🤗#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria #ngatiporou
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Bundled up with helmets on, traversing the mountain slope in 4WD under a starry sky 🌠 – to marvel at otherworldly carvings. This is what you get to experience at dawn with our Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise Experience.#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria #ngatiporou
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Awe-inspiring! In this shot you can really take in the presence of our neighbouring Maunga Wharekia, standing 1106m tall and proud here on the East Cape, as the clouds race behind it (taken from Maunga Hikurangi which stands at 1754m) ☁️⛰#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Take a look at @jesswawatai 's incredible shot during her recent sunrise tour!#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #repost
Did you know the carvers of our spectacular whakairo (carvings) were taught by Sir Derek Lardelli?A Gisborne local, Lardellli is a man of many talents. He’s one of Aotearoa’s finest tā moko artists, and composed Kapa-o-pango, the new All Black haka.#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Epic contemplative sunrise photo from @east.az – who described our tour as an “unreal, authentic Maori experience.” Kia ora!📷: @east.az#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa #repost
Under the dark Southern skies and a blanket of brilliant stars, the Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise Experience is an adventure like no other – come discover it with us.#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa