Day 4 – Tatapouri – Gisborne.
Today is going to be a much more chilled out day, with only the trip to Gisborne (Gizzy), 20mins away. I still wake up early to some fierce winds howling over the hills and shaking the camper. The early part of the morning, I take advantage of the free Wi-Fi to do a bit more research and book some adventures for the week ahead.
Mid-morning I pack up and head over towards Gisborne, the van getting blown all over the road by the big gusts and a headlight cover getting blown out, with a good old cable tie its good as new :). Just over the hill I notice a few surfers trying to catch a wave, so I stop to take a few pics. Seems like they were struggling at first, getting blown down the beach but after a while the sun came out and the wind died down, they were on to them, carving up the waves and loving it.
After arriving at Gisborne and a short drive through town in 30+ degree heat, I head to the beach for a bite to eat. Next stop was one of historical importance, A monument down by the mouth of the Turanganui River, This is believed to be where canoes carried early Maori settlers to the district, in around 1350. It is also the place where Captain Cook took his first steps ashore in New Zealand back in 1769. This was also the first time the native Maori’s had encountered Europeans, it didn’t go down to well, over the next few days and a couple of unfortunate encounters, nine Maoris were killed. After this Captain Cook left the bay calling it Poverty Bay “because it afforded us no one thing we wanted”.
Next I head up Kaiti hill to Titirangi Domain, this is where you can get some good views of the city, the bay and surrounding area. Up the top I find James Cook Observatory, it was the world’s most eastern Observatory, but unfortunately is closed due to structural concerns. I head back down the hill and take a little walk along Turanganui River (NZ’s shortest river), watched a few locals jumping off the rail bridge and checked out the War memorial monument.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent catching up with the Cousins from the area. First stop was to see Hannah and Luke’s house, as I hadn’t been there before, and meeting their daughter Everly for the first time. Then a quick stop at Kirsty’s and parking the van there for the night, before catching a ride with her and uncle Keith out to Fleur’s and Stevens for Dinner. I haven’t spent much time with them over the past few years, so was good to have dinner and a catch up.