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May 23, 2024
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Breaking Dawn Beauty: Discover New Zealand’s Iconic Sunrise Hotspots

New Zealand's Iconic Sunrise Hotspots

Bask in the glories of the rising sun in New Zealand – check out the top sunrise locations that should be on your bucket list

As the first rays of sunlight paint the sky with hues of gold and pink, there’s a magical moment when the world awakens to a new day. In New Zealand, a land of stunning landscapes and natural wonders, this daily spectacle takes on an extraordinary charm.

From sacred mountains steeped in Māori tradition to picturesque coastal points offering panoramic views, New Zealand boasts an array of iconic sunrise hotspots waiting to be discovered.

Here is a list of 5 breathtaking locations to explore where dawn breaks in all its glory.

  1. Mount Hikurangi – Gisborne

Nestled in the rugged Raukumara Range, Mount Hikurangi rises proudly as the highest non-volcanic mountain in the North Island, standing at 1,754 meters. It is recognized as the first point on the New Zealand mainland to greet the morning sun. The majestic mountain also attracts hikers eager to explore its scenic trails and panoramic vistas. From the summit of Mount Hikurangi, one can marvel at the breathtaking sunrise, casting its golden glow over neighboring peaks such as Whanokao, Aorangi, Taitai, Wharekia, and Otapu.

Mount Maunganui – Bay of Plenty

 The most iconic landmark and easily one of the most Instagrammed hotspots in New Zealand, a trip to Tauranga must include the Mount Maunganui (Mauao) summit walk. Known as Mauao in Māori, meaning being ‘caught by dawn,’ it promises an enchanting start to the day. Despite the challenging climb, reaching the summit rewards with panoramic views and on a clear day, visitors can view the Coromandel peninsula in the north.

  1. Pinnacles – The Coromandel

Venture onto one of New Zealand’s most popular overnight walks – the Pinnacles walk. A 40 min climb to the top of the Pinnacles first thing in the morning offers  mesmerizing 360-degree views of both coasts of the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and the Hauraki Gulf and Plains. Witnessing the incredible sunrise at this point, is a truly magical experience.

  1. Oban – Stewart Island

Oban is the only settlement on Stewart Island with a population of almost 400 people. Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island. In  Māori, it’s known as Rakiura which translates to ‘the land of glowing skies’. This can be possibly attributed to its stunning sunrises or the Aurora Australis which often appears in these southern skies.

  1. Kaikōura

Experience the awe-inspiring spectacle of the rising sun over the Pacific Ocean, offering a perfect start to your day. Embark on a scenic flight from Kaikōura, landing at a remote alpine spot where you can witness the sun rise over the vast expanse of the ocean and light up the Kaikōura township and surrounding valleys. 

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