30 | NZ Golf Magazine | July 2019 HomeoftheFirstLight THE FIRST SUN IN THE WORLD RISES AROUND GISBORNE. PEACEFUL, LIVELY AND A TERRIFIC REGION TO VISIT IS THE GISBORNE REGION. SO, BOOK YOUR AVIS CAR RENTAL AND ENJOY! TheOpenRoadAwaits REGULAR A lso commonly called East Coast and Eastland, the Tairāwhiti region extends from east of Ōpōtiki in the north to the Mohaka River in the south. Gisborne features and attractions, all within a medium distance from each other are quite plentiful and profound. Gisborne or Tairāwhiti is a region of many firsts. In addition to welcoming the sun, Gisborne saw some of the first Māori to land after their epic Pacific navigations in the fourteenth century. Their many descendants now make up almost half of the region – an authentic expression of what it means to be a bicultural nation. It’s also where, in 1769, Captain James Cook anchored his ship Endeavour and came ashore for the first meeting on land between Māori and Pakeha. This year, major events will mark the 250th year of this historic coming together of the people of New Zealand. The beginnings of modern New Zealand is claimed to have started here. Also in keeping with those voyages, Gisborne/ Tairāwhiti hosts the new space age with Rocket Lab basing its operations on the beautiful Mahia Peninsula. EXPLORE AND ENJOY Tairāwhiti/Gisborne is one of the first wine regions in New Zealand and is recognised globally for its Chardonnay, Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc. Many of their world-class vineyards offer cellar doors to indulge your passion for wine and food. They host hugely popular events such as Rhythm and Vines (over New Year), the Gisborne Wine and Food Weekend (Labour Weekend) and the increasingly popular Sunsplash Summer Festival (late January). In summer, campers and sunlovers descend on the beaches. Cyclists, trampers, hunters and fishers arrive to explore the hinterland all year round. The fishing is also renowned around the world. Some lucky ones will enjoy pulling up a fresh cray for dinner, catching a trout in the Motu River or chartering a deep sea fishing boat. It is also the surf capital too. They have got, arguably, New Zealand’s best breaks and can guarantee a choice of surf for every age and level of expertise. Māhia Beach, 106km south of Gisborne, has been an idyllic Kiwi holiday destination for decades, a place families return to year after year. Known for its superb fishing, diving and surfing, Māhia hit the headlines in 2007 when Moko, the bottlenose dolphin, took up residence in the bay for a couple of years before moving north to Gisborne. He was a real and enchanting entertainer who inspired an outbreak of ‘Moko- mania’ in the locals. A tiny settlement of around 850 people that swells to thousands in the summer, it's expected that the quiet life will be a thing of the past now Rocket Lab has begun launching WORDSNZGM Makorori Sunrise. Credit Brett Cronin and Tourism Eastland.