Ruatōria invites you to explore its Māori heritage and pristine natural environment.
The tiny Māori settlement of Ruatōriaon the East Cape is the gateway to Maunga Hikurangi and home of Ngāti Porou East Coast, a rugby team with a formidable reputation.
Visit Maunga Hikurangi, the sacred mountain of Ngāti Porou (Māori tribe) and the first place in Aotearoa New Zealand to see the sunrise. The best way to see the mountain is on a Maunga Hikurangi Experience(opens in new window) guided tour. These highly recommended tours start before sunrise and include indigenous stories about the mountain’s historical and cultural significance for Ngāti Porou.
This is Aotearoa New Zealand’s smallest airline and probably its newest. It came into being during the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the worst times in history for the aviation industry. But then, Air Ruatōria(opens in new window) isn’t exactly conventional: planes take off from a paddock and its scenic flights offer more than photo opportunities. Whilst flying over Maunga Hikurangi and the Pacific Coastline, guests learn of the region’s history and of Ngāti Porou, the Māori tribe from the area. As for the future, the airline hopes to have a sealed runway soon, but international flights might be a way off.
Ruatōria Pies(opens in new window) has been a family business for four generations; a fact that is reflected in the quality of their pies. Their steak and cheese pie is as famous as the town’s rugby team. While there’s no shop connected to the Ruatōria Pies bakery, you can buy the pies next door at the Four Square and in shop pie warmers up and down the East Coast.