Gisborne, in the New Zealand region of Eastland is the first city in the world to see the sun each day, is located on the sunny East Coast of the North Island.
The Maori name for the district is Tairawhiti which means “The coast upon which the sun shines across the water”. Kaiti Beach, near the city, was where the Maori immigrational waka, Horouta, landed; and is also the first European landing place in New Zealand.
Captain Cook first set foot here in 1769. European settlement was established in 1831 and the town which developed was named after Hon. William Gisborne, the Colonial Secretary, in 1870.
The Gisborne district (population 45,000 with about 30,000 residing in the city) generally has warm summers and mild winters. Gisborne is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand with average yearly sunshine of around 2200 hours. The region’s annual rainfall varies from about 1000mm near the coast to over 2500mm in the higher inland country. Temperatures of 38°C have been recorded and an average 65 days a year have a maximum of over 24°C.
Gisborne is serviced by daily passenger and freight, air and bus connections to other main centres in the North Island. There is also a rail freight service and a busy overseas shipping and local fishing port. Gisborne is also on the Pacific Coast Highway, a well signposted Central North Island Touring Route.