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Gisborne Visitor Information

Located on the East coast of New Zealand's North Island, Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun each day.

In October 1769, when Captain James Cook made his first landing in New Zealand it was on a beach at the foot of Kaiti Hill.

Because the large bay "afforded us no one thing we wanted" Cook named it Pov≠erty.

Polynesian voyagers had been more fortunate there and had found fertile land for settlement.

Their descendants named the site of Gisborne "Turanga≠nui," the stopping place of a famous voyaging canoe, and for some years of European settlement this Maori name per≠sisted.

In March 1868 two tribes sold 741 acres, the nucleus of Gisborne, for £2,000. In 1870 the first business sites were sold and the highest figure was recorded at £51 for a section of a quarter of an acre.

Named after a Colonial Secretary of the 1860s, the region served a growing farming community and its freezing works depended on sea for transport, until in 1943 the through railway from Napier was completed.

Today good roads and a nearby airport supplement the harbour and make light of former inaccessibility.

The climate here is one of the best in New Zealand. The hill country is well stocked, and the lowland produces citrus and other fruit.

Motorists find Gisborne the entry point of magnificent tours, whether around the East Coast past the spectacular bays of Tolaga, Tokomaru, and Hicks; or through to the Bay of Plenty by the more direct gorge route of the Waioeka.

It looks indeed a promised land. The region thrives on its sunshine, as on its farming products, and in summer the offices close early to allow its population to swim at the beaches with which it is generously endowed.

Needless to say, people rise for work early here.

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Gisborne Tourism Information


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