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Mount Hikurangi, Gisborne Overview

Mount Hikurangi is the highest non-volcanic mountain of North Island that witnesses sunrise at the very first place. It is located in the Tairawhiti region, scaling up to 1,754 metres. The mountain is a sacred place for the Ngati Porou people. They believe that Mount Hikurangi was the first point to emerge from the sea when Māui fished up the North Island. The mountain is a rugged place which also has the remains of the Maui’s canoe, Nukutaimemeha, that was traditionally used in the famous fishing trip.

The trek to the top starts from Pahikiroa station that is located at the end of the gravel Tapuaeroa Valley road, which is approximately 20 kilometres inland from Rotorua. The Mountains can be accessed through the Tapuaeroa Valley that is open for public, operated by Te Runanga o Ngati Porou.

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Top Things to Do

Watch the sunrise
Mount Hikurangi is the first place to witness the morning sun at the very first place. One can experience the new day dawn before anybody else.

Mount Hikurangi is the best hiking spot in the entire North Island. The track for the same involves 4-5 hours of steep walking. For the hikers, the splendid sunrise is the motivation to climb till the top.

Taste the local wine
Gisborne is famous for its locally grown wines that serve your taste buds with an authentic pump of flavours. Gizzy food month in July is what Gisborne famous for. It is a food fest where one can enjoy all the delicious delicacies prepared locally along with the hand-curated exotic wines.


Mount Hikurangi serves you with a hut that is approximately 4 -5 hrs walk from the car park that is located below the station manager's house. The hut needs to be pre-booked to secure yourself a space to stay. It is the most convenient option when it comes to accommodation, as, it hardly takes 2-3 hours extra in order to reach the summit. Other options like camping aren't permitted within the premise.

Flora and Fauna

The mountains apart from its rugged beauty are also home to the exotic native flora and fauna.

New Zealand's alpine vegetation can be seen here, among which, alpine shrubs and delicate herbs like Buttercups and wild Spaniards are found in bulk. Hikurangi, interestingly is the home for the very rare and only home to the Hikurangi tutu - a sub-alpine shrub. North Island Saddleback was last seen in 1910 at Mount Hikurangi before its reintroduction in Zealandia in Wellington. Native birds and animals Like fantails, falcons, brown kiwi, motuweta riparia, short and long-tailed bats can be found in the area.

How To Reach Mount Hikurangi

The track to the Mount Hikurangi's top starts from 25 km from Ruatoria. One can take a turn off to SH 35 onto the gravel Tapuaeroa Valley Road and can follow the signs leading to  Pakihiroa Station and also, a formal carpark resides right below the station manager's house. There is no public vehicle available beyond this point.

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