'Sharing this day in our history': Endeavour open day delights Gisborne locals

Tours of the Endeavour were snapped up and sold out in Gisborne on Wednesday as hundreds of keen locals got up-close-and-personal with a piece of New Zealand history. 

After a day of protests and tense exchanges on Tuesday, the Tuia 250 open day was a chance for the community to come together.

Excitement levels were peaking before locals even got on board. 

Having first spotted the Endeavour as a speck on the horizon, locals were welcomed on deck on Wednesday.

After her emotionally-charged arrival in Gisborne, organisers wanted its open day to be one of unity. 

"We've had people on one side of the river, they're allowed to do what they're doing, we've had people on this side of the river, others on the bank doing what they have to do, but I think this is where it all converges, where the whole community can come," says organiser Edwina Ashwell.

They came in their thousands, lines of people soaking up the sunshine and the occasion.

Attendees said it was a "wonderful" display of unity, "sharing this day in our history".

Crew members were happily fielding questions about life at sea, revealing just how far things have come since the days of Captain Cook.

The open days will continue at each place the Endeavour visits over the next three months, its next stop being Tolaga Bay on the North Island's east coast.

"It's just an amazing place to come together, all the whanau, all one day," says Ashwell.

A day that is now a treasured memory for many New Zealanders. 


Contact Newshub with your story tips: