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Poverty Bay , Gisborne Overview

Poverty Bay is also known as Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, which means “the great standing place of Kiwa”. It is the largest bay in New Zealand’s North Island which stretches from Young Nick’s Head to Tuaheni Point. Poverty Bay lies between the East Cape and the Mahia Peninsula. North and south, the district consists of hills, and a circle of hills bounds the interior. The climate resembles that of Hawke’s Bay and Nelson but is warmer at all seasons. Rain is more equally distributed than in Napier.

The population of Poverty Bay in 1867 consisted of about 500 Maoris and 150 Europeans of all ages. The three main tribal groups that now reside in Poverty Bay and claim Tangata-Whenua status are Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, and Ngai Tamanuhiri. Poverty Bay is an area of flat, fertile land on a flood plain crossed by three rivers that enter the sea at two points, on opposite sides of the bay.

Turanganui, the village capital, is situated at the bottom of a deep bay, from which the district derives its English appellation, on the south bank of the Waimataha river.

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Turanganui, known as of Gisborne was well known in its early years. It was a small town in 1868 which consisted of the European population numbered to one hundred and fifty and the Maoris in the district were about five hundred in number. 

The name for this bay was given from a priest called Kiwa and a captain called Paoa. Over the years, there has been a debate among the people to replace Poverty Bay with its original name Tūranganui-a-Kiwa, which is creating differences in opinions amongst the community.

Things to Do

  • Matawhero Wines-
    The Matawhero Wines in Gisborne was established in the 1960s. Situated on the east coast of North Island, the Maori name for Matawhero Wines is Tairāwhiti. Only the handpicked grapes are grown in this yard. When you visit Matawhero Wines, you will also notice the other plants that are grown here like citrus, kiwifruit, avocados and many vegetables including tomatoes, sweetcorn, squash and leafy greens. For this very reason, Matawhero Wines are known as ‘Fruit bowls’ of New Zealand.

  • Tairawhiti Museum-
    The Tairawhiti Museum was established in 1953. Tairāwhiti Museum is rich in history, culture, cuisine and adventure. There are masterpiece paintings, prints and drawings in this museum. Taonga Maori section is one of the arts that must be covered in this museum which includes Maori textiles, Maori weapons, carved wood and a lot more information related to Maori and their lifestyle.

  • Rere falls-
    Located around 50 kilometres from Gisborne, Rere falls offers picturesque views. The falls is about 5 metres in length and 20 metres wide. The Rere Rock Slide is a popular attraction among the visitors. There is a huge 60-metre rock in this waterfall on which people sit and glide smoothly into the water. The rocks are smoothened due to water running on it constantly. A lot of people visit this waterfalls for the rockslide but care must be taken at all times as water can be slippery sometimes.

  • Kaiti hill-
    Kaiti hill, also known as Titirangi hill, offers stunning views of Gisborne city and Poverty Bay. The foot of the hill was where Captain Cook set foot on New Zealand the first time which was in October 1769. Located at just 5 minutes from the city centre, mountain biking in Kaiti hill is a very popular activity.

  • Bushmere Estate-
    Wine tasting is a fun activity in Bushmere Vineyard. Bushmere is a 17-hectare vineyard situated in Gisborne. Different types of grapes such as Chardonnay grapes, along with smaller plantings of Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Gris, Montepulciano and Sangiovese have been growing here from 40 years. 

How To Reach Poverty Bay

The nearest airport to the Poverty bay is Gisborne Airport which takes roughly 10 minutes to reach the beach by car. The bus routes from the airport are currently unavailable.

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