After stopping to check out the carnage - luckily most of it seemed to have missed both him and the car we were on our way again, and a much less eventful trip ensued after that. It takes about 4-4.5 hours to reach the Hawkes Bay, all on pretty good roads, but we knew the next section through to Wairoa would be a lot more windy so were a little nervous how that would go. But the boys feel asleep for a good chunk of that section and we arrived unscathed in Wairoa mid-afternoon. After a ice-cream stop we were on our way again, and hoping to stop off at the Morere Hot Springs about half an hour further on.
We were treated to brilliant sunshine on our first full day in Gisborne. However, my illness and general well being meant I had to take it very easy each morning, so there was no rushing out the door to get to an activity - rather a slow and leisurely pottering around that might eventually mean we got out the door near lunchtime. The boys and I got stuck into a game of Phase 10 (from the makers of Uno) whilst Mark went out and got some shopping. Then it was coffees and hot cross buns before we decided to make our way down to Waikanae Beach for a picnic lunch.
The boys set up their cricket set and had a happy couple of hours playing although the wind had definitely gotten up by this point. After walking the promenade and spotting both the monument to Captain Cook and Young Nick we then drove up Kaiti Hill to take in the views of the whole town and local area.
I had some appreciation for the importance of Gisborne in NZ’s history - I knew that Captain Cook had landed here first but it was wonderful to read and take in more of the history - the fact that Young Nick’s Head (the white cliffs clearly visible across the bay from Gisborne) was the first sighting of land made by Nicholas Young in 1769, a young lad on board the Endeavour. Also interesting was that Poverty Bay was so named by Cook after his first landing and communications with the Maoris did not go well resulting in him leaving without being able to trade for any provisions and the name has stuck despite the fertile region being anything but poor. It was fascinating to see how far Cook travelled in his three journeys around the world, and the impact he had on the understanding of the world in those days, sailing through and charting largely unknown areas of the globe. After his first mishap, he also landed at Anaura Bay and Tolaga Bay further north of Gisborne with more success. As well as being the first to circumnavigate NZ, he largely mapped out the whole of the country with relatively minor errors. He returned to NZ on both his subsequent expeditions before being killed in an incident with Hawaiian islanders in 1779. Amazing to think the impact this short 10 years had on world history.
After taking a photo with another state of Cook up on Kaiti Hill we headed out to Wainui Beach, which despite being a surf beach was remarkably less windy and warmer than the main town beach had been. Mark and Noah got good use out of their body boards while Mylo made a new friend and enjoyed running and splashing in the waves for a good hour.
The waves were just right for catching some great waves - I love some of these action shots I got of Noah weaving in and out of the waves.
Gosh it's a lovely beach and we could have spent much longer there, either that or come again if we'd had more time!
It's hard to believe looking back now that it was so lovely and warm when the country then had its first widespread snowfall just two weeks later.
We had such a lovely day out there that I can guarantee it won't be the last time we visit Gisborne's glorious beaches!