Welcome to our sacred mountain


Ko Hikurangi Te Maunga, Ko Waiapu Te Awa, Ko Ngati Porou Te Iwi Hikurangi the mountain, Waiapu the river, Ngati Porou the people

A place of great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people of Ngati Porou, Maunga Hikurangi is a gateway to great Maori history and the legendary feats of Maui and his whanau (family).

Stand before nine magnificent whakairo (carvings) – each larger than life, each holding a story you can see, hear and touch on top of a sacred maunga (mountain) – the highest non-volcanic peak in the North Island.

Welcome to our sacred place in the sun.



Te Urunga (The Sunrise Experience)

A world-first experience, the Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise Experience is a unique and unforgettable experience to greet the dawn in the land of the first light. Start your journey at the base of Maunga Hikurangi in Ruatoria, under a dark, star-lit night as you ascend by 4WD to the first point of mainland New Zealand to see the sunrise each day. Surrounded by sacred cultural treasures of the Maori and Ngati Porou people, open your eyes and hearts to the wonders of Maunga Hikurangi.

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Haramai (The Day Experience)

The Haramai Day Experience begins with a stunning 4WD journey from the base of Maunga Hikurangi to the first point of mainland New Zealand to see the sun rise each day. See the changing landscape unfold before your eyes as you journey to the treasured peaks of this sacred mountain. Standing before nine traditional carvings that guard the stories of this land and of the Ngati Porou people, this is a meaningful and memorable experience you won’t ever forget.

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Plan your trip

Soaring above the sun-kissed valleys of the Tairawhiti region, Maunga Hikurangi is located in the rural community of Ruatoria.

It’s a scenic two-hour drive up the coast from Gisborne or a four-hour road trip from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty to the base of Maunga Hikurangi. Self-drive visitors often choose to arrive the day before their Maunga Hikurangi experience to discover the hidden gems of this beautiful region.

Let us share with you the best tips on how to make the most of your time here.


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  • My husband and I have just done the early morning sunrise tour. It was a very special experience for us and we would highly recommend it to everyone.

    Whakatane, New Zealand

  • He gave us an informative and interesting talk about the carvings, and the history of Ngati Porou - both distant and recent. Everyone in the group was very impressed.

    Auckland, New Zealand

  • At the site of the phenomenal carvings, Monty shared the stories of Ngati Porou - just fascinating. The picnic was delicious and elegantly presented. A most excellent adventure for visitors from far and near.

    Elisabeth E
    Auckland, New Zealand


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