Gisborne and Hawke's Bay are both the eastern side of New Zealand's North Island. Here, I decided to combine them in a 'top 10' list.
Gisborne is commonly known to be the first city to see the sunrise daily. Well, there are other pacific islands that see the sunrise earlier, and it is also dependent on the earth tilt.
Anyone who heard of Hawke's Bay would have heard of the wine. Even here in Singapore, I have seen Hawke's Bay wine in our supermarkets. Obviously, it is way more expensive here than in New Zealand.
Top 10 Must See / Must Do in New Zealand – Gisborne and Hawke's Bay:
10) According to friends who are golf enthusiasts and greenkeepers, the best golf course in New Zealand is Cape Kidnappers Golf Course. Gulf Harbor Golf Course was in the top 10, and it was absolutely beautiful. Cape Kidnappers is reputed to be the best luxury golf course, with almost-perfect tees, greens and fairways.
9) New Zealand National Aquarium is located at Napier. Personally, I found it better than Singapore Underwater World. Went there twice, and nope, I did not swim with the sharks, ever.
8) Check out the black sand. Appropriately, this is due to lava deposits. I have never seen black sand till I set foot on Hawke's Bay! Eye-opener indeed.
7) Art deco is a design style that began in Paris in 1920s. Do not understand? It's okay. Just go for a guided tour in Napier. Makes you 'wow' at their rich culture.
6) Look out for "Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu" near Porangahau – the longest place name in New Zealand.
5) New Zealand seafood is fresh and yummilicious. Seafood dinner by the seaside at alfresco dining sounds like a great idea.
4) Go on a wine-tasting tour. It is estimated that there are 74 wineries in Hawke's Bay itself. Do not drink and drive, go for the tour instead.
3) For a defect immersion, visit the vineyard and try the sour grapes! Make sure you get permission first! Not a fan of sour stuff, but my classmates did try some.
2) There are many accommodations at Hawke's Bay that provide waterfront accommodation. Okay, my room did not have a 'waterfront' view, but at least when I walk out of the front door, I can see the ocean. And that felt great!
1) See the sunrise at Gisborne, or better still, on top of Mount Hikurangi. Honestly, I never watched a sunrise in my entire life, but that's one of my to-dos. Either I fell sleep while waiting, or could not drag myself out of bed to see it.
Visit this region only if you have the time. It is difficult to cover so many things if you are only going to be in New Zealand for 2 weeks. And besides, do you really want to rush through wine tasting and your scrumptious seafood dinner?