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Our favourite Instagram worthy locations in Tairāwhiti

From eye-popping street art to historic lighthouses at what feels like the ends of the earth – these are some of the most picture-perfect spots you’ll find in Tairāwhiti. Plenty of magic to fulfil your wanderlust but also your Instagram feed!

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Te Pourewa (Carved Beacon of Light) in Tolaga Bay

 

Probably the newest photo hotspot in Tairāwhiti, Te Pourewa (Beacon of Light) is so much more than a beautiful carving. Big, bold and brilliant to see lit up at night, the 12-metre high sculpture on Hoturangi Maunga in Uawa/Tolaga Bay was resurrected in October 2019 to commemorate Tahitian ancestor, navigator and priest Tupaia and his arrival at Opoutama (Cook’s Cove) on the Endeavour in 1769. This is a stunning traditional Māori art form that’s also an important conversation piece on the dual heritage and shared future of Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Sea Walls Tairāwhiti

 

When global goes local – the Sea Walls Tairāwhiti Artists for Oceans project takes ocean conservation into the streets of Gisborne. Launched in October 2018 in collaboration with Pangea Seed Foundation, you can find these stunning murals hidden gems throughout the city. Colourful, creative and more Instagram worthy than you can imagine.

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East Cape Lighthouse

 

What feels like the end of the earth will be worth the drive. Perched above Otiki Hill in Te Araroa, the iconic East Cape Lighthouse sits on the easternmost point of New Zealand and is absolute magic at sunrise. From Te Araroa, the 22km coastal drive to this historic lighthouse is not meant to be rushed so make sure you enjoy the entire journey – including the 700 steps to get to the lighthouse. Surrounded by pristine coastline and out of this world views, you may even consider immortalising this magic moment by printing out a photo or two to frame.

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Te Maro sculpture

 

Snaps of this jaw-dropping 10-metre high sculpture from a distance and up close will always wow. Located at Ruatanuika lookout on Titirangi/Kaiti Hill in Gisborne, the circular steel Te Maro sculpture represents a significant tipuna (ancestor) for this region - Te Maro, a leader of many people in Kaiti. Culture, history, and stunning views make this a definite hotspot for Instagram.

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Tolaga Bay Wharf

 

A stroll down New Zealand’s longest wharf is a must-do even if you are camera shy. It’s like a walk down memory lane to what once was a hub of activity for large coastal trade ships to load and offload goods – a true lifeline for the local area. Now it’s a legendary place to dangle a fishing line and at 660 metres in length, there’s access to plenty of fish in the sea. Historic wharf, sparkling waters, massive white cliffs hugging the shores – it’s all a bit picture-perfect any way you look at it.

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Top of Titirangi/Kaiti Hill

 

What once was a pā (fortified village), Titirangi/Kaiti Hill stands tall above Gisborne – a sprawling 35 ha reserve with amazing views of the city centre and its three rivers, logging ships, Turanganui a Kiwa and beyond. You can walk, bike or drive up to the top of Titirangi with walking tracks, a fitness course, picnic areas and plenty of scenic lookouts, it’s a cool spot to enjoy any time of day.

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Maunga Hikurangi

 

Standing on top of a secluded, sacred mountain top welcoming the first sunrise in the world is even more spectacular than it sounds. Maunga Hikurangi is the North Island’s highest non-active peak and your journey up begins with a fun 4WD UTV experience. With an expert Ngāti Porou guide by your side, you learn about the significance of the land, the meaning behind the nine Māori whakairo (carvings) and hear stories from the direct descendants of Maui. And as hard as it may sound to put the camera away, there are some beautiful moments you’ll want to be fully present.  

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Dive Tatapouri

 

Famous for its interactive reef tour with wild stingrays, Dive Tatapouri is a must-do experience that will deliver plenty of unbelievable photo ops for your Instagram feed. Tours are dependent on the tides and you can choose either the Reef Ecology Tour or for a more immersive experience, book into Snorkel and Swim with Stingrays during the summer season. A nice one to tick off the bucket list.

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Vineyards

 

From chardonnay, pinot gris to merlot, Tairāwhiti Gisborne is home to some of the finest wines in the world. There are over two dozen local Gisborne wines available for the casual wine enthusiast to the connoisseur. Find your favourite vineyard and enjoy some wining and dining in the most picture-perfect settings. Cheers!

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