• PLAN YOUR TRIP
    TO MAUNGA HIKURANGI

Your journey to Maunga Hikurangi

Is a once in a lifetime experience that will you bring to the heart of our people.

With both the sunrise and day tours commencing from the base of Maunga Hikurangi at Ruatoria, you will traverse remote backcountry and cross a private working farm known as Pakihiroa Station.

Whether you arrive from Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty or central Gisborne in Tairawhiti, your trip to Maunga Hikurangi will be an unforgettable one.

Haere mai, welcome!

Self Drive

Driving north from Gisborne

Make your way to Ruatoria via a stunning 2-hour coastal drive up along the iconic State Highway 35. Pass stunning beachside communities, epic surf and rural countryside with the vast Pacific Ocean hugging the pristine coastline.

Driving east from Rotorua

A 5-hour drive from central Rotorua through the beautiful Bay of Plenty, you can journey to Ruatoria through coastal communities with spectacular beaches, bays and flourishing orchards.

Helicopter experience

Journey to Maunga Hikurangi across land, sea and sky with our Topa Mai VIP Helicopter experience.

Your adventure begins at Gisborne Airport where you will be whisked away on a breathtaking scenic helicopter tour towards Maunga Hikurangi and the nine legendary Māori carvings sacred to the Ngati Porou people.

This fully customisable, once in a lifetime experience can be designed to suit your travel requirements including transfers to and from Gisborne Airport, East Coast history and highlights by air, a visit to a local marae (Maori meeting grounds) as well as boutique accommodation with dinner prepared by a private chef.

ACCOMMODATION

Te Puia Springs Hotel

The historic grounds of Te Puia Springs Hotel offers comfortable, country accommodation that boasts hot mineral pools and bush walks just as a short drive from the local beach. With a range of hotel rooms, backpacker and camping options available, Te Puia Springs Hotel is also only a 25-minute drive to Ruatoria.

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Hicks Bay Motel

Situated about an hour north of Ruatoria, at the northern most point of the Tairawhiti region is the picturesque seaside community of Hicks Bay. Also known as Te Wharekahikia, Hicks Bay offers a range of accommodation options available including the Hicks Bay Motel and Lodge, Nga Puriri Bed and Breakfast and Te Araroa Holiday Park. Conveniently located along State Highway 35, the drive from Hicks Bay to Ruatoria takes about an hour and is a popular and scenic coastal route to explore.

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Te Puka Tavern

The iconic Te Puka Tavern is beachfront accommodation in Tokomaru Bay that capture the spirit of the East Coast through and through. Fantastic food, accommodation with million-dollar ocean views and friendly service makes this a top accommodation option along State Highway 35. Situated 40 minutes away from Ruatoria, this is a great base for travellers exploring the hidden gems of Tairawhiti.

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  • My husband and I have just done the early morning sunrise tour. It was a very special experience for us and we would highly recommend it to everyone.

    WendyG84
    Whakatane, New Zealand

  • He gave us an informative and interesting talk about the carvings, and the history of Ngati Porou - both distant and recent. Everyone in the group was very impressed.

    8Hazel8
    Auckland, New Zealand

  • At the site of the phenomenal carvings, Monty shared the stories of Ngati Porou - just fascinating. The picnic was delicious and elegantly presented. A most excellent adventure for visitors from far and near.

    Elisabeth E
    Auckland, New Zealand

FOLLOW US

The seed planting that all visitors get to take part in on one of our tours is for the purpose of native plant re-generation on Maunga Hikurangi. Local, native trees in Raukumara Forest Park include rata, rimu, tawa, totara, kahikatea and beech. 🍒🌲

Be part of the eco-project by joining one of our tours, and experience the incredible views - perfect for a photo opportunity!

Discover more on the ‘Experiences’ page of our website.

📷: @belinda.macdonald 

#nzwinter #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #mthikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa #kahikateaberries
Winter is upon us, yet the sun still rises each morning over Maunga Hikurangi. Join us for a day of culture on our Haramai Day Tour Experience! Stand with nine huge, carved sculptures as you listen to stories of our local history.

Find out more on our website under ‘Experiences’. 

#nzwinter #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #mthikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa #suncarvings
A great shot of the first glimpse of sunlight from up here on Maunga Hikurangi! @lisaexplorerku started her hike up the maunga at 3:45am to make the most of her trip! 😲 It looks like it was well worth it to get this picture of the sun casting its golden rays 🌞✨

 📷: @lisaexplorerku 

#nzwinter #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #mthikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Matariki, the Māori New Year, te Tau Hou Māori, was on June 24th. This is best the time to celebrate the past year with family and friends, and to look forward to the future. How did you celebrate over the weekend?

Maunga Hikurangi is the first place in the world to see the start of the new year. ✨🙌

📷: @matarikifestivalakl 

#nzwinter #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #mthikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa #matariki
We are getting into the peak of winter now! But misty Maunga Hikurangi will still provide a spectacular sunrise on those clear mornings. If you’re planning to view the first light from the top of our maunga, be sure to wear lots of layers, appropriate footwear and a headtorch. The brisk air will surely wake you up ⛰🌞🧤

Check out our latest blog on our website to see what else you might want to bring.

📷: @mattcrawfordphoto 

#nzwinter #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #mthikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
The winter school holidays are quickly approaching. Looking for something a little bit different to do with the kids? Bundle up and try a day trip with us to the top of Maunga Hikurangi. Less of a commitment for the kids in your group than our sunrise tour, the Haramai Day Tour Experience takes about 4 hours, includes a light lunch featuring local produce and an exhilarating 4WD adventure! 🏔😎

#maungahikurangi #haramaidaytour #tairawhitigisborne #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
We pride ourselves on being the first to see the sun’s light each day. But our region is home to a number of famous lookouts to watch the sun rise and set from, like the iconic East Cape lighthouse. 

About 20kms from Te Araroa, enjoy a scenic drive there followed by a 20 minute walk up to the lighthouse itself. It might not be as tall as Maunga Hikurangi, but it’s a slice of history and makes for a great Instagram shot while you’re here! ♥

📷: @tairawhitigisbornenz 

#beachraces #carpediem #adventure ##tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Everyone who does our Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise tour has a unique experience. Greeting the sun’s first rays and planting a native seedling is truly memorable. If you’ve made it to the top of our maunga, what was your highlight?

#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Aside from the beautiful views and landscape, our tours also offer a taste of local cuisine and produce. This nourishing lunch prepared by Hati Nati café of kumara salad, kangawaru (a sweetbread made from kumara, corn grit and flour), fruit and juice is a welcome bite after pushing to the top of our maunga! Well done, and hello world! 🥪🌱

#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
No one can deny the comfort and warmth of a classic Kiwi pie. But what about a paua pie? This unique spin on a cultural fave is what roadside hot spot, Café 35 in Tokomaru Bay,has become known for. So stop in and step up your pie game today! 🥧☕ 

📸: @cafe35toko

#cafe35 #tokomarubay #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
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