State Highway 36 Wairoa to Gisborne

This inland route between Gisborne and Wairoa is more isolated that SH2 and follows a sealed, but narrow and winding road through picturesque hill country. When travelling from Tairāwhiti Gisborne follow SH2 south until you reach the big roundabout just after you pass over the Waipaoa River, then follow the signs for Tiniroto.

Doneraille Park [Wairoa 52km | Gisborne 53km] After the store at Waerenga-o-kuri and the turn-off to Hangaroa, an area popular for trout fishing, Doneraille Park is a steep drop from the Tiniroto Road to a sheltered river valley and a Gisborne District Council reserve with Summer Camping (permit required please enquire at one of the regional i-SITEs or email [email protected]) beside the Hangaroa River. A nice place to camp overnight, or to enjoy a day picnicking and a swimming in the clear running river in summer.

Tiniroto [Wairoa 44km | Gisborne 59km] A rural settlement where a quaint tavern overlooks a high country valley dotted with several man-made lakes.

Te Reinga Falls [Wairoa 35km | Gisborne 61km] At the junction with the Ruakituri Road turn right, cross the bridge and then pull in to the carpark at Te Reinga Falls. A short track leads to a lookout to view the meeting of the Hangaroa and Ruakituri Rivers as they cascade 35 metres over a dramatic waterfall and then funnel through a chasm to a small lake below. From Te Reinga the sealed road follows the Wairoa River to the village of Marumaru, where there is a tavern, and on to intersect with SH38 at Frasertown, just 7km north of Wairoa.

Te Reinga to Lake Waikaremoana [50km] There is a 1.5 hr driving option for adventurous travellers to take the Ruakituri Road (and then Ohuka Road) the long way through Ruakaturi from Te Reinga to meet SH38 some 20km short of Lake Waikaremoana. This is mostly unsealed and not the fastest route to the lake but an extremely interesting drive. 

Photo credit to Wairoa District Council

Photo credit to Wairoa District Council