25 Rankers Reviews
19 Scenic Attractions
1 Hicks Bay
Author And Researcher
I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.
I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!
FREE MAP - The best of 21 nature guidebooks on one map.
The chances are you may be attempting this walk before dawn to witness the sunrise. If you conveniently forget about the Chatham Islands and Mount Hikurangi, then East Cape Lighthouse is the first place in the world to see the new day. This aside, it is a powerful place to watch the early fingers of dawn cast a misty tone over the parched tussock and manuka scrub. Flax leaves grate against each other with every breath of wind. In the distance below the constant shimmers of rolling waves stroke and pummel the shoreline.
From Te Araroa, follow East Cape Road 21 km along the coastline to the roadend, where there is parking and toilets (although the doors may be locked). The start of the track is signposted 150 metres before the carpark on the left.
The track climbs the cape steeply with the aid of handrails and several hundred steps. These wooden steps can be slippery when wet in the morning dew and patches in between may be muddy.
East Cape Lighthouse is New Zealand’s easternmost lighthouse at longitude 178 degrees 33 minutes East. The tower is constructed from cast iron sections bolted together and is 14-metres-high. It has remained on this site since 1922, having been removed from East Island due to frequent landslides. It stands 154 metres above sea level and the light flashes once every 10 seconds. The 1000-Watt lamp is mains powered with a diesel alternator for standby. Like all New Zealand lighthouses it is controlled by computer from Wellington.
North Island ▷ Out East ▷ Hicks Bay
Showing 13 reviews of 25.
Nice 360 view from atop. Around 800 steps to climb first though ;) it’s a scenic road to get there but there a few sections of gravel road though..
Geertje and Rein
We wanted to be the first to see the sun rise on our earth. For that you have to go to the East Cape. We spent the night seven kilometers from the lighthouse. It was raining and storming. Got up early. Made the walk with 800 steps to the lighthouse. EIt was 11.2.2019 and almost 6.31. The rain stopped and the sun slowly rose above the horizon. A special experience that we experienced with three others. For gourmets!
Worth a trip up to the lighthouse. I was there in winter so didn't manage to get a decent sunrise but was still worth the climb of about 700 steps. Didn't see any signs indicating where the track actually started so took me a minute to find. It's an easy short climb to the top but can be slippery after rain
Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.
The East Cape is the second best area in New Zealand. Very quiet, beautiful landscape. The sunrise is a must do there. The lighthouse is on top of a hill and you will get a nice view.
Nice short walk after a gravel road. Almost nobody in October.
Bong Chin Fung
Definitely worth the drive. Well maintained stairs. Suggest to do some stretching before start the walk. Allow yourself 30 - 60 minutes for the climb according to your fitness level.
Very steep steps to the top of the hill where the lighthouse is situated. Great view, especially during the sunrise.
You can be one of the first people in the world to salute the new day. Enjoy great light in the morning.
We have been there for sunrise. The colour of the sky was beautiful. You have to get up pretty early but it is worth it!
Beautiful view from the top but really windy. Not a lot of people there, which was nice.
The drive was not so nice, too rocky but the views in the morning are so beautiful.
A very nice coastline and some good short walks, cool view from the lighthouse over the coastline.
Nice, little walk to the lighthouse, cool drive along the way.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍