One of the most spectacular drives in New Zealand, and probably the World, is the Pacific Coast Highway from Gisborne to Napier on the North Island’s stunning East Coast. It’s worth taking a short detour to the Mahia Peninsula that separates Hawke’s Bay from Poverty Bay and Gisborne. The area is a surfing, fishing and diving mecca for New Zealanders; but sometimes its easy to take the landscape for granted when the ocean has so much to offer.
For visitors interested in discovering more about the classic Kiwiana bach lifestyle there are few better places to do this than Mahia. The Peninsula is unspoilt and home to thousands of lucky New Zealanders’ dream baches. The bay is also visited by a very friendly dolphin named Moko and many a tourist to the area has been able to snap a picture of the affable mammal.
Not far along State Highway 2 after Mahia, and about two thirds of the way to Napier, you arrive in the Nuhaka area which is home to the beautiful Kahungunu Marae; famous for its amazing Maōri traditional carvings and well worth a visit as you head south.
All the while you cut through steep gorges or skirt glorious sub-tropical sandy beaches: you may save time flying but you miss out on some of nature’s glory if you do.
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Editorial by Jooles Clements