2017 TheBikeHike – Tokomaru Bay


22 February 2017 ENGLISH

We were very fortunate to stay with our first Warm Showers hosts Anne and John who lived just north of Gisborne. Warm Showers is a community for touring cyclists and hosts. The Warm Showers Community is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. We camped in their small sub tropical orchard and were able to use their bathroom/shower as well as had 2 dinners with them. Both Anne and John have cycled a lot and were a wealth of information regarding places to visit around the East Coast.

We cycled from Gisborne to Tolaga Bay; both a bay and small town on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island located 45 kilometres northeast of Gisborne and 30 kilometres south of Tokomaru Bay. The region around the bay is rugged and remote, and for many years the only access to the town was by boat. Because the bay is shallow, a long wharf – the longest in New Zealand (600m) – was built in the 1920s to accommodate visiting vessels. The last cargo ship to use the wharf loaded a cargo of maize in 1967.

By 1998, the wharf had deteriorated and was in danger of being closed. In response, the Tolaga Bay Save the Wharf Trust raised funds and gained technical help to restore it. The wharf has now been re-opened and the refurbishment project finished in May 2014. We spent the night at the local campground; such a peaceful spot and hearing the sea on the beach at night meant a very peaceful sleep.

Today we carried onto Tokomaru Bay, the seven-kilometre wide bay is small but sheltered, and was a calling place for passenger ships until the early 20th century. Captain Cook spent time here on his 1769 journey of discovery, and later European settlement included a whaling station.

The area around the bay has long been a Maori stronghold. The nearby pa (fort) at Te Mawhai was refortified during the battles between colonials (Europeans) and Maori in the 1860s.

The town’s modern prosperity derives mainly from agriculture and forestry, with some tourism. Its population is predominantly Maori, with the area being a stronghold of the Ngati Porou iwi.

Cyclone Pam in 2015 caused widespread damage within the area and  the town has suffered both economically and socially with many closed or abandoned businesses. The NZ Government has been instrumental in providing assistance and this can be seen in the many forests that were planted in the 1980’s now being harvested and providing employment opportunities to communities such as Tokomaru Bay.

22 February 2017 DEUTSCH

Am Dienstag morgen war es wieder mal soweit, wir packten unser Zelt und unsere sieben Sachen und machten uns auf den Weg nach Tolaga Bay, direkt am Meer. Wir hatten nur ein paar kleinere Hügel zu bewältigen und kamen relativ früh auf dem Campingplatz an. Während Andrew das Zelt aufstellte machte ich das Mittagessen parat und wir assen draussen im Halbschatten. Es war ein super sonniger Tag und am Nachmittag gingen wir dem Meer entlang zum längsten Pier in Neuseeland, 600 Meter lang. Es ist eine interessante und schöne Gegend und nachdem wir uns sattgesehen hatten gingen wir zum Campingplatz zurück. Wir lernten ein paar nette Leute kennen, ein Ehepaar im speziellen haben wir die Woche durch immer wieder mal getroffen!

Am nächsten Morgen gings weiter nach Tokomaru Bay, wieder direkt m Meer, wie der Name schon sagt, und wieder ein sehr schönes Gebiet. es hatten keinen Campingplatz dort und die Unterkunft im Pub war total ausgebucht und so gingen wir in ein Bed and Breakfast, wo wir ein sehr nettes Ehepaar aus Deutschland kennenlernten. Wir haben bis tief in die Nacht geplaudert! Am Nachmittag gingen wir wieder auf einen langen Spaziergang dem Meer entlang, das hier relativ wild war! Das Wetter ist wieder traumhaft schön und heiss, so richtig Sommer, endlich!