The Maori name for the area is Tairawhiti, which means "the coast upon which the sun shines across the water". Gisborne is the perfect place to explore some of the Eastland region's great treasures.
Visit Waikanae and Wainui surf beaches – great places just to hang out and watch locals and visitors alike enjoy the great surf. From Waikanae Beach you can see the coastal hills in the distance now known as Young Nick's Head, as Nicholas Young was the first on board the Endeavour to sight land and these hills were named in his honour. Kaiti Beach, near the city, was the first landing place for both Maori and Captain Cook – here you can see Cook's statue.
Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery
The Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery has a reputation as one of the best museums in New Zealand. The museum is both museum and art gallery to the Tairawhiti region. Endeavouring to reflect ancient and recent histories, a variety of changing and semi-permanent exhibitions are on offer to the visitor.
There are many outdoor pursuits in the area – some of the best trout fishing rivers and lakes in the world are located here. You can also go deer and game hunting, horse trekking, river rafting or visit the Rere Rock Slide, a natural rock slide surrounded by bush. Or you can feed the wild stingray or experience shark cage diving.
Gisborne specialises in growing and exporting food crops and the restaurants specialise in delighting their customers with local seafood, meat, vegetables and wines.
The highest peak in the rugged Raukumara Range, and the highest non-volcanic mountain in the North Island, Mount Hikurangi (1754 metres) is recognised as the first point on the New Zealand mainland to greet the morning sun.
Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the National Arboretum of New Zealand and encompasses over 131 hectares planted in exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings.