Welcome to this series Tikitiki journeys around the East Cape. This is a work of fiction focused on a clever, resourceful cat. Enjoy his adventures and intrepid travels around a beautiful part of New Zealand.

Hullo. My name is Tikitiki. They call me Tick for short, and I am a very awesome cat. I was born on the campus of the local Gisborne Polytechnic.

For the last few weeks, I have been enjoying the lovely village if Tikitiki. I was being looked after by Nick the tutor’s old friend Bill (Wiremu) Ngata.

Aren’t I handsome?  I am awesome

Well next thing I know, Nick the tutor’s car pulls up at St Mary’s Church. I was really pleased to see him, and told him so. He gave me a comprehensive stroking – we were both happy!

I climbed into the back of Nick’s car, and thought, “I wonder where we are going?” It was no big contest. He very quickly pulled up at Bill Ngata’s place. Well these two ex RNZAF colleagues would have talked all day, if I had let them. I didn’t, so I ended up in Nick’s car again, and heading back towards Gisborne.

I enjoyed the drive alongside the Waiapu River. Nick stopped at the café at Ruatoria for a feed. He said he enjoyed it. We then carried on towards Gisborne,

Beyond Ruatoria, I looked out of the driver’s side. Mt Hukurangi quickly came into view. This is a very sacred mountain to the local Ngati Porou people.

Mount Hikurangi (or Te Ara ki Hikurangi in Māori) is a 1,752 m (5,748 ft) peak in the eastern corner of New Zealand’s North Island, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Gisborne, and 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of the East Cape Lighthouse. It is on a spur of the Raukūmara Range in the Waiapu Valley, and is the North Island’s highest non-volcanic peak

Gee, Nick thought that Mt Taranaki was the North Island’s highest non-volcanic peak. This used to be the thoughts of North Islanders, until they discovered that Mt Taranaki is volcanic

Mt Hikurangi is the first part of the world to see the sun. That means when the sun rises, after crossing the International date line, the first part of the world it shines upon is Mt Hikurangi. Just think, if I climbed Mt Hikurangi and waited until tomorrow morning – I would be the first cat in the world to see the sun.

The world’s brightest cat

Mount Hikurangi is Ngāti Porou;s most significant icon In Māori mythology, it was the first part of the North Island to emerge when Māui, an ancestor of Ngāti Porou, pulled it as a giant fish from the ocean.  According to these beliefs, his waka, Nukutaimemeha, became stranded on the mountain, and lies petrified near the mountain’s summit. Nine large whakairo (carvings) depicting Māui and his whānau were erected on the mountain to commemorate the millennium in 2000

A view of the sacred Mt Hikurangi from Nick’s car.

I enjoyed the ride, and especially the view of Mt Hikurangi. Very shortly after, we arrived at the village of Te Puia Springs.

Te Puia Springs is literally a one shop and one hotel township just over 100 km from Gisborne. Waipiro Bay is a charming village on the water front, if you head to the sea. We can add to this something a little bit unusual to Te Puia – a hospital.

Nick told me that he had many happy memories of Te Puia Springs, and the nearby Waipiro Bay. He would tell me about these memories while he organized himself a beer at the hotel. A charming old hotel which looks like bed tonight.

I look forward to telling about some of my other adventures, especially around Te Puia Springs and Waipiro Bay.

Yours sincerely


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Nick Thorne is the founder of NicksDigitalSolutions Limited, a company specializing in Education, Training and Writing. He lives in Levin, New Zealand.