Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun each day and its Maori name "Tairawhiti" which means "The coast upon which the sun shines across the water" reinforces this. Kaiti Beach, near the city, was where the Maori immigrational waka, Horouta, landed; and is also the first European landing place in New Zealand. Captain Cook first set foot here in 1769 and European settlement was established in 1831 and the town which developed was named after Hon. William Gisborne, the Colonial Secretary, in 1870. Renowned for its great surf and wonderful beaches the city and its surrounds has a laid back approach but look a little deeper and you will find some of the most important historical sites in New Zealand.
Eastwoodhill Arboretum was founded in 1910 by Douglas Cook and is the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees in the Southern Hemisphere, encompassing an area of 135 hectares. Within the arboretum is the Homestead Garden, a formal garden cared for by a group of dedicated volunteers.
Eastwoodhill Arboretum caters for all levels of fitness and mobility – for both young and the young at heart. Due to the terrain at Eastwoodhill Arboretum, some walking tracks aren’t suitable for everyone. However, a limited mobility trail is signposted around the Homestead Garden and arboretum. This trail has been designed to allow access to the more level areas of the arboretum, keeping in mind the needs of individual visitors.
Standing at 1,754 metres tall above the rural town of Ruatoria in the Waiapu Valley, this is a one-of-a-kind experience that takes you on an in-depth journey of local history, culture, and customs. Bask in the warm welcome as you venture to the top of Maunga Hikurangi on a 4WD adventure from its base in Ruatoria. With helmets on and seatbelts fastened, discover the stunning terrain of rural Tairawhiti as you climb towards the highest non-volcanic peak on the North Island. Traversing through the historic Pakihiroa Station, this scenic day tour is a spectacular cultural adventure for couples as well as families.
This interactive Reef Ecology tour is famous for its interaction with wild stingrays and is one of the most popular and unique things to do in New Zealand. The knowledgeable guides will walk you across the reef to meet the Tamariki (Children) of Tangaroa the Maori God of the sea. Whilst meeting the residents of the reef the guides will provide insightful information about the different species you may encounter.
Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise Experience is a unique and unforgettable experience to greet the dawn in the land of the first light. Be the first in the world to welcome the new day in the land of the first light. Your journey to the top begins at the base of Maunga Hikurangi (Mount Hikurangi) in Ruatoria. Under the dark Southern skies and a blanket of brilliant stars, the Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise Experience is an adventure like no other. Bundled up with helmets on, traverse the serene landscape by 4WD, cross fertile farmland and rural pastures until you reach the first point of mainland New Zealand to see the sunrise each day.