Tolaga Bay

Tolaga Bay

Tolaga Bay is one of the most popular coastal destinations on State Highway 35, the East Cape coastal road. It is a 45 minute drive from Gisborne and features a 600 metre wharf, as well as a lovely beach. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to the end of the wharf and back.

The wharf dates back to 1929 and allowed coastal trading ships to load and offload goods. Such wharfs were major access points to the outside world from East Cape until the road was completed. You will see a similar, but smaller example further north at Tokomaru Bay. The Tolaga Bay Wharf has been extensively restored and is now a leading tourist attraction on the cape, as well as a top fishing spot.

The arrival of Captain James Cook and the friendly reception they received from local Māori is also part of the area’s history. There is a walkway along the cliffs to the southeast of the wharf to Cooks Cove, where the Endeavour moored for a time while supplies were replenished. Both the European visitors and local Māori were left with a positive experience of this first contact.

There is camping by the beach, plus a couple of shops and a cafe.

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