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“Beautiful spot and awesome view”

East Cape Lighthouse
Ranked #1 of 41 things to do in Gisborne
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful spot and awesome view”
Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

We had the most beautiful day to climb the stairs to see the lighthouse. Once up the (possible from memory) 700 and something stairs the view was spectacular and there was information and history for reading too. Worth that dead end drive to get to it

Thank FishGis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

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Biggar, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
771 reviews
299 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 824 helpful votes
“Worth going the extra mile - or twenty five!”
Reviewed July 15, 2014

With a couple of nights accommodation booked in advance for a tour of the East Cape we allocated some of our time to make the trip out to the lighthouse feasible. It‘s remote location, the most easterly part of the North Island, doesn’t easily lend itself to being a last minute add-on to your itinerary so it’s one you should commit to doing. Ideally it would be great to be there at sunrise but best of luck with that one.

Start the journey via the village of Te Araroa and as you head out of town along the coastal road there’s a sign which indicates the available access. The road almost hugs the shore in sections and presumably at times when the sea is rough there is no way of getting through. No such problems for us on a blue sky day when we set out. The road is 20km long and you need to come back the same route. There is an unsealed section at the beginning, followed by a sealed part and then it’s unsealed again for the last 9km or so. Watch out for livestock en route - cattle tend to wander freely including onto the road.

It’s a very picturesque drive of around 35 minutes each way and at the latter stages there is a decent stretch of sand which would make a good picnic spot if you get some decent weather - we saw a group of people parked up for that purpose.

There is a parking area with toilets at the end of the road - you just need to walk back along it a little and pass through a gate to head up to the start of the lighthouse climb. Alternatively some people were parking off road on the verge across from the gate.

The steps wind steeply up the hillside and the reason you won’t get an accurate number is that some of them are a bit more obvious than others - for the record I counted 759 on the way down when I had a bit more breath! If it’s a hot day take some water up with you - you‘ll need it. It took me about 15 minutes to walk up - stopping for photos and some air - although my wife did it in about 10 minutes to show off.

There’s no access to the lighthouse at the top of the trail and not much of a view back the route you will have driven to get here however there is a great outlook along the south east coast and also back inland.

There is an information board with a brief history and the location co-ordinates.

I was interested to learn that the lighthouse was originally constructed over a two year period on the island you see offshore (East Island) and started operating in 1900. However by 1922 due to landslides and earthquakes effecting the island (taken by Maori as a sign that it shouldn’t be inhabited) it was decided to take the lighthouse apart, transport it back to the mainland and reconstruct it on the current site. It was manned until 1985 but is now operated automatically from Wellington by computer but who changes the bulb?.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank Rantin rover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014

Beautiful view, worth climbing up to the top! It is worth going on a nice sunny day so you can see the different colours of the sea water. It is gorgeous. Take your camera.

Visited January 2014
Thank hayleyshannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Opotiki, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Awesome Experience! Great History lesson too!”
Reviewed June 29, 2014

What a fabulous place....bit of a walk to the top, but well worth it. Amazing history! Would recommend to anybody up in Te Araroa or Hicks Bay - don't miss this!

Visited December 2013
Thank Barbara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hervey Bay, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Wonderful serene spot...”
Reviewed June 6, 2014

The drive into the lighthouse is worth the journey alone, but after something of a climb the view from the top of the promontory is just astonishing!!

One of NZs gems that we visited in 2009...

Visited September 2013
1 Thank ENZEDFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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