For years, as we have stayed with our family here at Ohope Beach on the Bay of Plenty, we have looked out to what seems a mythical line of land that stretches far, far out toward the horizon. East Cape forms the eastern boundary of this vast bay. Meg and I have long wanted to explore what lies beyond our sight. So, we followed the ever twisting, ever rising and descending, narrow road that goes around this cape. Beaches and coves beyond numbers came into view and then were left behind. Our destination was the small town of Te Aroroa, from where a gravel road goes out to the East Cape lighthouse, the most eastern part of mainland New Zealand–where the sunrise first reaches the country.
We got up early at our motel in Te Aroroa, five fifteen to be exact, and drove in the dark, past cows and horses in the road, past a few narrow drop offs, to reach the trail up to the East Cape lighthouse. Seven hundred and sixty steps later (yes the guidebook gave us that specific number), we were there with five other viewers. Purple turned to pink to red, to yellow, and the sun arrived. We had nothing to do with “calling” the sun to rise. Yet, its rising seemed uniquely special to us. The event is daily, and to be there just to be there, creates an inner joy and tranquility.
|East Cape lighthouse|
|East Cape, Te Aroroa|
|East Cape lighthouse, East Cape, Te Aroroa, Gisborne|
|East Cape Lighthouse, Te Aroroa, Gisborne|
|East Cape, Gisborne|
|East Cape Lighthouse|
|East Cape (if you enlarge this image, you can just make out the lighthouse at a the top of the bluff)|