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This small town in northern Hawkes Bay is the midway point on the drive between Napier and Gisborne. It’s set on the banks of the Wairoa River, but there’s not much in the way of ambience here, nor much to hold a backpacker’s attention. Wairoa is the closest town to Te Urewera National Park and travellers use it as a gateway. Supplies, food and guides for the park are all available here.

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