• Once in a lifetime

    only in Tairāwhiti

    Mt Hikurangi

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.

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.

Check out some of our other favourite places to catch that first sunrise.

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.

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.

Ride a steam train

Go back in time and ride the only remaining Wa class steam train in the world. Built in Dunedin in 1897, the Wa165 puffs its way across the airport runway (the only one in the Southern Hemisphere to do so), and through the Gisborne countryside on its way to Muriwai, steam and pistons going full force. As you sit on your bench seats in either the refurbished, air-conditioned passenger cars or the restored vintage car with roll-over seating, you’ll get amazing views of Poverty Bay and Young Nick’s Head, and you’ll cross the high Waipaoa River bridge, the North Island’s longest bridge. The train is run by volunteers who are all very passionate about the history of both the train and the Gisborne area – the commentary is great! The train stops for a half-hour BYO picnic break at Muriwai so don’t forget to pack the snacks.