New arrivals to Gisborne are awestruck by the little beachfront city on the east coast of the North Island, encircled by a half moon of green hills. Travellers are also discovering the place.

Sunset from East Cape Lighthouse. Photo by Bare Kiwi

They are amazed and delighted to have discovered a place of such prosperity, peace and space, where there is a joie de vivre and quiet awareness among the people who live here that they share a special secret, a key to paradise.

Gisborne from a lookout on Titirangi-Kaiti Hill. Photo by Damon Meade

It’s most evident on the faces of the people who have come from faraway lands to settle in this most easterly city in the world, first to see the light of each new day. It’s good to mingle with such folk because they refresh our sense of wonder at how blessed we are to call this place home.

Lake Waikaremoana. Photo courtesy of Wairoa District Council

Newcomers are astounded at the abundance of fresh produce, kaimoana (seafood), and wines and craft beers, baskets of which may arrive on your doorstep when a friend has a surplus. There’s seldom a need to buy such things as citrus, kiwifruit, squash and avocados here, because someone you know usually has a crate or two to give away.

To read this and other articles on the NZ Today website please click here to sign up for a membership. Once a member and logged in, you'll be able to read all the articles on the site.