Remote East Cape! Old Motu Road, wicked beach camps, awesome rivers and amazing views!

With a few days spare we make a move up to East Cape - one of the more remote areas in the North Island - for an epic adventure up Old Motu Road before heading out to East Cape. Mint beaches and awesome views await.

Trip area

In this video

Motu

Spend the day exploring the old Motu rally stage and wind your way through the hills. The centre requires a 4WD, the rest of the track is a fairly well graded road.

Grade
Easy
Time
4 hours
Distance
50 km

Takaputahi Road

A well graded gravel road that takes you out to the Whitikau Campsite and Opiti Road. The road ends in a locked gate.

Grade
Gravel
Time
1 hours
Distance
21 km

Otipi Road

In 1952 the Motu River was suggested as a potential hydro dam site, resulting in Otipi Road being built.

From the campsite, use the ford to cross the river and follow the old road up into the Raukumara Ranges. The road climbs to 960 m, follows the ridgeline and descends steeply to the Motu River.

NOTE: We covered around half of this road and it's graded based on what we did.

Grade
Medium
Time
4 hours
Distance
17 km

Whitikau Campsite

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Cape Runaway

Cape Runaway is the eastern extremity of the Bay of Plenty

Lottin Point (Wakatiri)

The northernmost point of East Cape. Cool little fishing spot.

East Cape Campsite

Remote, rugged and super close to the East Cape lighthouse - this campsite is a hidden gem.

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East Cape Road

East Cape is the easternmost point of the main islands of New Zealand - cruise along the gravel road out to the lighthouse. The walk up is decent but the views are amazing from the top.

Grade
Gravel
Time
2 hours
Distance
22 km

East Cape Lighthouse

The first place in the world to see the morning sun! Well worth the climb up the steps.