Welcome to our sacred place in the sun

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).

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.

Discover more


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.

Discover more

  • 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


Everyone who does our Te Urunga-Tu Sunrise tour has a unique experience. Greeting the sun’s first rays and planting a native seedling is truly memorable. If you’ve made it to the top of our maunga, what was your highlight?#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Aside from the beautiful views and landscape, our tours also offer a taste of local cuisine and produce. This nourishing lunch prepared by Hati Nati café of kumara salad, kangawaru (a sweetbread made from kumara, corn grit and flour), fruit and juice is a welcome bite after pushing to the top of our maunga! Well done, and hello world! 🥪🌱#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
No one can deny the comfort and warmth of a classic Kiwi pie. But what about a paua pie? This unique spin on a cultural fave is what roadside hot spot, Café 35 in Tokomaru Bay,has become known for. So stop in and step up your pie game today! 🥧☕📸: @cafe35toko#cafe35 #tokomarubay #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
If you find the stories behind each of our carvings as compelling and as moving as we do, we recommend stopping by Tairāwhiti
Museum in the Gisborne city centre while you’re here.The taonga Māori collection of worked stone and wood carvings is a beautiful series of donations and loans that deepen our regional story. Some larger taonga have recently been restored and rehoused.📸: @tairawhiti_museum#tairawhitimuseum #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria #ngatiporou #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Each of our nine breath-taking carvings has a unique story to tell, and each of those stories is an important piece in the overarching legend of Maui, a founding member of the Ngati Porou tribe. Here is Hine-rau-ma-ukuuku, a wife of Maui. Hinerau has the significant responsibility of welcoming all manuhiri (visitors) to our sacred maunga. Her warmth radiates even on a misty morning, as you climb to the top to greet the sun ☀#maui #hinerau #tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi
#firstlight #ruatoria #ngatiporou #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Today is the big day for Maunga to Moana competitors! Good luck to each and every one of you. We welcome you warmly to the top of our sacred maunga in Stage 1 of the race!
🏃‍♀️⛰🚵‍♀️📷: @m2m_adventure#m2m2021 ##tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #ruatoria #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Road tripping the East Cape? Stop over on State Highway 35 for an awe-inspiring experience off the beaten track that you’ll never forget: Maunga Hikurangi#maungahikurangi #tairawhitigisborne #firstlight
#gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
East Coast magic! Just a wee throwback to the annual December Kaiaua beach races at Tolaga Bay an hour south from the Maunga – here out East we live life to the fullest!📷: Tairawhiti Gisborne
#beachraces #carpediem #adventure ##tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa
Wow – ever wondered what it would feel like to stand on the very top of our Maunga when dusted in snow? Epic photo from LWimages featured on Epic Trails ⛰🧗‍♂️#tairawhitigisborne #maungahikurangi #firstlight #gisborne #sunrise #aotearoa