If you have a strong interest in Maori culture - and you love food, wine and surf beaches - Gisborne is a city you won’t want to miss.

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Gisborne is the first city in the world to greet the sun each morning, and it has a reputation for great food, wine and surf beaches. As the unofficial ‘Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’, Gisborne has a comprehensive wine trail leading to boutique wineries. Several operators offer custom tours tailored for individuals or groups, to spare you the problem of driving.

Kaiti Beach is the site of Captain Cook’s first landing in New Zealand (9 October 1769); nearby is picturesque Te Poho O Rawiri Marae. If you’re interested in Maori culture, Gisborne is an essential port of call on your itinerary – old traditions are still evident in many parts of the city. Oral history records Titirangi (Kaiti) Hill as the point of arrival for the migratory waka (canoe), Horouta, which brought the first Maori to the area.

Functional facts: Approx. population 44,500, i-SITE Visitor Centre, domestic airport.