Eastland is the place where the
first Polynesian canoes landed, Captain Cook made his first landfall and Māori and
European first encountered each other.
Gisborne, the largest settlement in Eastland,
is the first city in the world to see the sun each day.
In this relaxed and
tucked-away part of the country, the world moves slowly; horses and bare feet are common
forms of transport. You might wish to take a car but you’ll also want to take your time.
along the Pacific Coast Highway and Māori culture is evident in every settlement you
see. There are carved meeting houses, beautifully painted Māori churches, and
conversations in Te Reo. Venture up Mount Hikurangi, the sacred mountain of the Ngati
Porou people, and you'll see giant carvings of figures from Māori folklore.
in the misty Te Urewera Ranges, descendents of the ‘Children of the Mist’, the ancient
Tuhoe tribe, still live in harmony with the forest around the village of Ruatahuna.
You’re unlikely to come across them if you go hiking in Te Urewera National Park, but
hire a local guide and you’ll learn some of their stories and legends while exploring
the largest untouched native forest in the North Island.
Sunny Eastland is famous
for its beautiful, often deserted beaches, and its exhilarating and diverse surf breaks.
Hire a surf board and get out there, or watch the peeling waves from the comfort of your
outstretched beach towel. Other popular pastimes include fishing, diving, cycling,
mountain biking and golf.
Trying the wine here is a must. Known as the
"Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand", Gisborne produces premium white wines which can be
readily enjoyed on a scenic winery tour.
Accommodation in Eastland can be as
fancy as an upmarket lodge, boutique B&B or waterfront hotel. But Eastland is also
heaven for those in motorhomes or tents, with plenty of freedom camping amid