Puhi Kai Iti Cook Landing Site


At the foot of Titirangi Reserve is the spot where Captain Cook first landed in NZ in 1769, and where nine Māori were killed by Cook's crew. In 2019, a $5.3-million upgrade of the formerly grim obelisk marked the 250th anniversary of Cook's arrival, and 750 years since the Horouta waka, a pioneering Polynesian canoe, landed at the same site. The addition of 112 huge steel tukutuku (weaving) panels symbolises the meeting of – and differences between – two cultures.

From the monument, join the sweaty joggers on the steep track up to the top of Kaiti Hill for some great views and to imagine the Horouta waka and Cook's Endeavour surging towards the shore.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gisborne attractions

1. Sculpture of Te Maro

0.12 MILES

On the flanks of Titirangi Reserve is an impressive new sculpture of Te Maro, the first of nine Māori men killed by Cook's crew when they landed in…

2. Cook's Plaza

0.13 MILES

Near the summit of Kaiti Hill in Titirangi Reserve is Cook's Plaza. Due to a cock-up of historic proportions, the Cook statue here isn’t garbed in British…

3. Captain Cook Statue

0.25 MILES

One of Gisborne's gaggle of Captain Cook commemorations, part of which is a globe etched with his roaming routes.

4. Titirangi Lookout

0.29 MILES

On top of Kaiti Hill in Titirangi Reserve, this lookout offers high, wide and handsome views out across the sea.

5. Titirangi Reserve

0.31 MILES

High on a hill overlooking Gisborne, Titirangi was once a pā (fortified village). Reach it via Queens Dr, or on the steep track from the revamped Puhi Kai…

6. Statue of Young Nick

0.33 MILES

There's no let-up in Gisborne's Endeavour endeavours: in the riverside park is a dynamic statue of Nicholas Young, Captain Cook’s cabin boy, whose eagle…

7. Te Tauihu Turanga Whakamana


Like a giant sundial, Te Tauihu Turanga Whakamana is a large modern sculpture in the shape of a tauihu (canoe prow) that celebrates early Māori explorers.

8. Footrot Flats Statue

0.69 MILES

Gisborne is already well endowed with statues, but this one commemorating the hugely popular Footrot Flats cartoons by Gisborne local, the late Murray…