Today, we are in Gisborne, where Captain James Cook first landed in New Zealand in 1769 with his ship, the Endeavour. Guests had several options throughout the day. Some decided to spend the morning at the Eastwood Hill Arboretum, a park dedicated to the preservation of over 2,300 species of trees and plants from 81 different countries. The mission statement of the arboretum is to protect and preserve threatened and endangered species of plants from all over the world.
Other guests chose to spend their morning or afternoon on the traditional Maori waka, named Tairawhiti. Guests took turns standing at the helm and actually sailed the canoe out into the bay to learn about life aboard a traditional Maori sailing craft. Cultural guides Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, Tua Pittman, Jennifer Kingsley, and Hironui Bouit joined in to help guests understand the challenges and rewards of open ocean navigation aboard a traditional waka.
Still other guests enjoyed visiting a sheep station run by fifth-generation sheep farmers at Waipura Station. Matt Maclaurin shared his knowledge about everything sheep, including how to feed and steer sheep and how his dogs herd them. He answered many questions relating to the sheep business. We had a lovely tea with ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Air Corps) with biscuits at the Maclaurin family household, built in 1903.
The final event on offer was a tour of the Bushmere Estate Winery, where guests were treated to seven or eight wonderful wines with a lovely antipasto platter. Guests learned all about the advantages and challenges of growing wine grapes from owner David Shona. After the tastings, guests toured the vineyards. They walked amongst the various varietals and got an up-close and personal look at the wine making process.