Day 5 – Gisborne

Today finds us in the town of Gisborne, New Zealand.  This town is known for being the first in the world to see the sun rise – “the City where Day Begins”, and home to Easthill Arboretum – New Zealand’s National Arboretum.

Gisborne - Carol


Carol and Bear right after we got off the tender.

Gisborne is also the place where Captain Cook’s cabin boy, Nicholas Young, first saw the bay, which was their first sighting of New Zealand in 1769.  Captain Cook named the bay Poverty Bay because “it did not afford a single article we wanted, except a little firewood.”  The name stuck even though it is rich in fruit, vegetables and wineries (15 in the area).  There is a central mountain range which keeps the area fairly dry making the area favorable for growing wine, and Gisborne is known as the nation’s “Chardonnay Capital”.  The city enjoys an average of 2200 hours of sunshine each year.  If you like wine, this cruise is definitely one to take.  There are more wine tours and wine sampling at each port. 

They also have Steam Train WA165 , which is older than 100 years and is still running and taking passengers on a scenic tour.

Gisborne - steam train engine

While Carol took an orientation tour, I walked around the city trying to capture a couple of their unique sites.

Gisborne - art-2Gisborne - art


Carol found this painting on the side of a building.

Gisborne - painting on side of bldg


Gisborne - Carol & ship


And of course, she found flowers.  There are lots of flowers in front of many of the homes.

Gisborne - Carol flower

This is the clock tower that still remains after  earthquakes in 1931 and 1932 destroyed the towers and most of the town.

Gisborne - clock tower

I found a totem pole that was presented to New Zealand from Canada in 1969 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Cook’s arrival, with the animals that Cook would have seen as he traveled down the west coast of Canada.

Gisborne totem

The sign post outside the information center showing the distances to different major cities.

Gisborne sign post

The beaches are long and welcoming.  This one – Waikanae Beach is just on the edge of town.

Gisborne - waikanae beach


The view of our ship from this beach.

Gisborne - our shipWe are enjoying our way around the edge of New Zealand.  I can see why many people come to visit.  I would love to come back and spend more time in this country so I could give it the time it deserves.  Off to Napier tomorrow.