After the completion of the National Caravan Rally we travelled on to Gisborne – dubbed as the first place in New Zealand to see the sun rise. We were last here in 1999/2000 for the Millennium Celebrations. We spent a night on the beach waiting for the dawning of the new Millennium.
We took a trip out to Gisborne Airport which is the only one in New Zealand to have working railway line that cuts across the runway. The air traffic must give way to trains. We saw a small plane taxiing around but but no sign of any trains.
Gisborne is forever linked with Captain James Cook and he made landfall here in 1769. Models of HMS Endeavour greet visitors as they enter the city. But there is a little story behind that contentious bronze statue of James Cook up on Kaiti Hill, which was cast from a marble statue purchased in Italy. Then it was discovered that the facial features are nothing like Captain Cook’s and in fact the naval figure is wearing an Italian uniform. But the statue stays in place. The question is – who is this imposter?
Geoff and Eileen were keen to visit the “The Cidery” for a little tasting. This establishment proudly shows off their “Queen’s Award for Export Achievement” which is signed by Queen Elizabeth and Tony Blair. Their cider is excellent too.