Knapdale Eco Lodge, 114 Snowsill Rd., Waihirere, Gisborne (www.knapdale.co.nz; tel. 06/862-5444), puts the emphasis on tranquility and environmentalism. Set on a farm with a wide variety of animals and a farm forestry project, Kees and Kay Weytmans have two rooms priced at NZ$398 to NZ$472. The property has a Qualmark Enviro-Gold rating and along with solar heating, they grow all their own produce and also supply Gisborne Farmers’ Market. If you’d like a beachfront stay, Absolute Wainui B&B, 69 Wairere Rd., Wainui Beach (www.absolutewainui.com; tel. 06/867-0386), has two very nice rooms (single-party bookings only) just 5 minutes’ drive from Gisborne; they cost NZ$260 to NZ$400. If you prefer a more traditional inner city stay, head for Te Kura B&B, 14 Cheeseman Rd. (www.tekura.co.nz; tel. 06/863-3497), where Paul and Bronwyn Fenwick have two modest rooms in a lovely Arts and Crafts house for NZ$120 to NZ$140. One room is en suite and one has a private bathroom. Budget beds can be found at Gisborne YHA Hostel, 32 Harris St. (firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. 06/867-3269), which is close to town and offers 41 dorm beds for NZ$25 to NZ$30. All rates here and below include 15% GST and parking.
Around East Cape
I’m happy to report that the availability of accommodations around East Cape has improved greatly in recent years, which means you no longer have to rush around this spectacular knob of land in 1 day. At Te Kaha, 70km (43 miles) from Opotiki, you’ll find the new Te Kaha Beach Resort, State Highway 35, Te Kaha (www.tekahabeachresort.co.nz; tel. 07/325-2830), which has 24 rooms on a spectacular site overlooking the bay, for NZ$160 to NZ$325. They have a pool and a restaurant on-site. Thirty kilometers farther on, you’ll find Stollies, State Highway 35, Waihau Bay (www.holidayhomes.co.nz; tel. 07/325-3603), which is a very nice new home with two guest rooms in a seaside suite and meals by arrangement. At the top of the Cape you’ll find the much more modest Hicks Bay Motor Lodge, State Highway 35, Hicks Bay (www.hicksbaymotel.co.nz; tel. 06/864-4880), which has 40 very dated rooms in need of work from NZ$120 to NZ$150. Its singular advantage is that it is cheap and almost exactly halfway between Opotiki and Gisborne. And, saving the best till last—don’t go past Rangimarie Beachstay, 930 Anaura Rd., Anaura Bay (www.anaura-stay.co.nz; tel. 021/633-372), which is situated above one of the cape’s loveliest golden sand beaches. They have a romantic self-contained cottage for NZ$220 a night, a suite for NZ$200, a loft bedroom with private bathroom for NZ$200, and a fourth room (with private bathroom) for NZ$175. There are no restaurants in the bay (which is 67km/42 miles north of Gisborne), but hosts David and Judy Newell are happy to provide meals by arrangement.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.