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There is a place in the north east of the North Island that, rather than being part of the mainland, is more like an island itself.
The East Cape has a population of only 8000 people thinly scattered around the 350km of coastline.
The road that follows this empty coast is the only road on the “island” and reveals wild and deserted beaches, sheltered bays and coves and rugged cliffs. Inland is a seemingly endless wilderness of bush covered mountains and pristine rivers.
Much of the population of the East Cape is Maori and their culture is evident everywhere, from beautifully painted churches to ornate marae (meeting houses). The hit Maori movie Whale Rider was filmed on the East Cape at Whangara.
The East Cape also offers you a unique experience that is available nowhere else on earth. Out at East Cape Lighthouse is New Zealand’s easternmost point which is therefore the closest mainland point of any country in the world to the International Date Line.
As you stand in the dawn light and watch the sun break through the Pacific Ocean horizon you can be certain that you are one of the first people on the planet to welcome the new day.