Tairāwhiti means ‘the coast upon which the sun shines across the water' and is the first place to see the sunrise each day.
The land of the first light is renowned for its world-first sunrises. Spanning from the top of the East Cape to the treasures of Turanganui-a-Kiwa Gisborne.
One of the most spectacular places to see the sunrise from is Mt Hikurangi, the highest non-volcanic mountain in the North Island. 80 km north of Gisborne, and 50 km southwest of the East Cape Lighthouse located in the Raukumara Range in the Waiapu Valley, You have to go on a tour with a local Ngāti Porou guide.
A place of great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people of Ngati Porou, Maunga Hikurangi is a gateway to great Maori history and the legendary feats of Maui and his whanau.
Stand before nine magnificent whakairo (carvings) – each larger than life, each holding a story you can see, hear and touch on top of a sacred maunga – the highest non-volcanic peak in the North Island.
Watch the world awaken surrounded by nine larger than life carved pou (pillars) that stand as sacred cultural treasures of the local Ngati Porou people. Your Ngati Porou guide provides an in-depth and intimate story of each of the carvings, who or what they represent and the significance they hold to the Maori culture.
With roots that can be traced back to the Maori creation story, to when Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga slowed the sun and gifted fire and fished Aotearoa from the sea. The Ngati Porou people can tell unique and inspiring stories making this a fascinating place to visit in New Zealand.