Gisborne Tourist Attractions
The town of Gisborne (pop. 32,000) lies in Poverty Bay (so named by Captain Cook in 1769), on the southern edge of the East Cape. Cook landed on Kaiti Beach, where the Turanganui River flows into the sea, but was prevented by the aggressive attitude of the local Maoris from taking in food and water. The country round Poverty Bay is now a fertile fruit-growing area.Situated off the main communication routes and far from the important New Zealand markets, Gisborne was long regarded as the 'end of the world'. Even today, with improved communications, the population continues to decline. Nevertheless each year from Christmas to New Year Gisborne is extremely busy because the New Year's sun first touches land here. For the turn of the millennium all hotel accommodation in Gisborne and the vicinity was booked out months in advance.
Kaiti Hill (Titirangi)
From Kaiti Hill (Titirangi), at the foot of which Cook landed in 1769, there are magnificent views of the town and the surroundings. To the south there is a prospect over Poverty Bay as far as Young Nick's Head. On the summit of the hill is an observatory.
At the foot of Kaiti Hill is the Poko-O-Rawiri meeting house (1925), one of the largest and most recent of its kind, though it departs from the old tradition. The carving is by the Rotorua school (Rotorua). Above the building is a small Maori church.
Gisborne Museum and Arts Centre
Gisborne Museum and Arts Centre illustrates the history of east-coast culture and displays works by contemporary New Zealand artists.
Star of Canada Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum, on the banks of the Taruheru river, displays a variety of material, including relics of the Star of Canada, which ran aground on Kaiti Beach.