Gisborne: Rise and shine

Danielle Wright makes the most of the daylight on a weekend visit to Gisborne, the first city in the world to experience a sunrise.

As the sun rises over Tatapouri Bay (10 minutes drive from Gisborne CBD), we're standing on a reef in knee-deep water, wearing waist-high waders and holding large bamboo walking sticks. Half a dozen wild stingrays brush past our legs like puppies wanting a pat.

Around 15 of us line up so the stingrays won't swim between our legs and I notice one lady dipping her baby boy into the water. He delights at the slimy, soft touch of the stingray's back against his toes.

Tatapouri Dive's co-owner Chris Savage is pulling a blow-up banana boat with 10 children on board, taking the easy route out to the reef. She and husband Dean, a commercial diver and skipper, ran fishing charters in the area and the couple built the stingrays into their business when they noticed more and more coming into the bay.

There are two kinds here - the eagle ray and the short-tail stingray, the largest of the species. Neither are aggressive but the short-tailed stingrays are a bit more demanding and we're warned they may nibble our waders.

There are two kinds here - the eagle ray and the short-tail stingray, the largest of the species. Neither are aggressive but the short-tailed stingrays are a bit more demanding and we're warned they may nibble our waders...

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