A drizzly and eerie morning greeted us as we approached Poverty Bay just outside of Turanga-nui-a-Kiwa, “Great standing place of Kwa.” It was not long before we arrived at the docking port, and the skies began to clear up for us. The bus was already waiting, and we ventured towards the Eastwood Arboretum. Initially founded by Douglas Cook in 1910, the arboretum now houses over 2,000 tree species from all over the world, some that are already extinct in the wild. Our tour guide led us amongst many of these species, which provided great opportunities for guests to practice photography skills.

As we finished our tour, the arboretum staff greeted us with morning tea. We enjoyed their famous cream-covered scones and an assortment of cookies and biscuits, including the popular ANZAC biscuits.

The afternoon played out delightfully as we headed out to Bushmere Estate Winery. The hosts were very enthusiastic about their wine and shared in-depth stories about their different grape varieties and wines. Rose, Chardonnay, pinot noir, and even Gewurtztraminer were amongst the selection.

Soon after, our bus driver took us to Titirangi Hill, a historical landmark that commemorates the arrival of European explorers from Captain Cook’s voyages. From here, we were able to see out into the bay and observed the remarkable landscape, which we will continue to follow on our journey southwards.