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Wildlife encounters and cultural experiences

Tairāwhiti is home to some truly unique experiences that can only be found on the East Coast of New Zealand.

 

Wild stingray encounters

Dive Tatapouri takes you where the wild things are. Located in stunning Tatapouri Bay just a 15-minute drive from Gisborne, this is New Zealand’s only wild stingray encounter. Venture out to an interactive reef ecology tour with wild stingrays, eagle rays and other reef dwellers abound. For a completely immersive experience, you can even snorkel and swim with stingrays and tick that off your bucket list.

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First sunrise in the world

Journey to a sacred maunga, Mount Hikurangi for a sunrise of a lifetime amidst Māori legends, culture and tradition. Beginning from Ruatoria, a 2 hour drive north of Gisborne, you will meet your Ngāti Porou guide for an off-road ride on a 4WD vehicle to the top of Hikurangi – the highest peak in Tairāwhiti and the first point on the mainland to see the sunrise each day. Surrounded by nine striking whakairo (carvings) representing Maui and Ngāti Porou descendants and the stories of this sacred place, this experience is uniquely, unforgettably Tairāwhiti.

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Sail away on a waka

One of only nine double-hulled waka of this type in the world, Waka Houroa Tairāwhiti (ocean voyaging canoe) is a journey back in time. Situated in Gisborne’s inner harbour marina, Waka Voyagers is a tribute to Māori voyaging ancestors and the ancient art of wayfinding across the Pacific Ocean through celestial navigation. Climb aboard the 22m/72 ft waka and learn traditional wayfinding skills before sailing out in the bay. You can also opt to stay moored in the harbour on a cultural experience aboard Waka Houroa - a floating classroom as your gateway to great Polynesian navigators and their impressive ocean voyages.

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Railbike through coastal paradise

A totally unique tandem railbike cycle on 90 spectacular kilometres of coastal railway between Gisborne and Wairoa is a must-do in Tairāwhiti. There’s nothing quite like watching the scenery unfold before your eyes as you pedal your way across stunning native forest, through enchanting tunnels and viaducts to the beautiful Mahia peninsula. A smooth cycle that’s almost impossible to fall off of, you can railbike to your heart's content and discover the hidden gems of Tairāwhiti along the way.

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Sunshine Brewery
The legendary flavours of Sunshine Brewery is like a rite of passage when in Tairāwhiti. Since 1989, this boutique brewery has become an iconic East Coast landmark celebrating the important things in life: sun, surf, mates and good beer. As New Zealand’s oldest independent Brewery, Sunshine Brewery is located just a few blocks from the beach in downtown Gisborne. With 20+ taps of the freshest beer on the East Coast, the Taproom offers decadent pizzas, a light snack menu and beer tasting boards for a most memorable thirst-quenching experience.

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