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+44 (0)161 676 0390

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 9:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


+44 (0)161 676 0390

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 9:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

First Light Marathon

28th Jan 2023

First Light Marathon

Why book with Destination Sport Experiences?

Choice of hotels

We are very pleased to offer you a selection of four great hotels to choose from on our 5-day tour package.

You are in safe hands

Whether you are running or supporting, we have an expert team to ensure your trip runs smoothly.

Logistics Covered

We take care of all of the logistics for you, so you can focus on the event and your trip. Book our guided 5-day tour package and in addition, book one of our optional excursions or extension tour.


  • Four accommodation packages to choose from starting at £695 per person based on sharing a twin (2 beds) or double room (1 double bed)


  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • English-speaking tour leader
  • 4 scheduled departure transfers
  • Traditional Maori welcome ceremony
  • Complementory beer at local brewery
  • Celebration dinner at a local vineyard


Also Available:

  • Race entry (see below)
  • Additional tours and excursions - See more details below

Event Entries

  • Marathon or half-marathon - £88

Race entry includes:

  • English-speaking race officials
  • Medical team
  • Time keeping and results
  • Transport to the starting point
  • Manned drink stations
  • Start number and medal

2023 First Light Marathon Itinerary

26 January 2023 - Arrival in Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Arrive in Tairāwhiti Gisborne. Around 18:00, all runners will gather for a short shakeout run guided by an Albatros tour guide. The run will be a maximum of 5km at a relaxed pace, perfect for starting to get familiar with the beautiful surroundings. After the run, gather for complimentary beer, where you can get to know your fellow marathon participants and raise a glass to the beginning of our Aotearoa New Zealand adventure. Later in the evening, we offer an optional excursion, "Gisborne Astro Tours". Meals: Not included

27 January 2023 - Traditional Pōwhiri and Hāngī

Early this morning, you can join another optional excursion, "Stingray Encounter," in Tatapouri and be back to the hotels in time for the rest of the day's activities. Late morning, all participants will join a traditional Māori welcome ceremony, known as a pōwhiri; involving singing, dancing, speeches and hongi (pressing of noses in greeting). After the ceremony, enjoy a hāngī, the traditional way of Māori cooking using heated rocks buried in an underground oven. Race bags will be handed out during lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is free time. Meals: Breakfast and lunch

28 January 2023 - Race Day

Today's the big day! After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will make your way to the start line, just a short walk away. At the start line, a group of Māori will herald in the new day with Taonga pūoro, traditional Māori instruments. As the first light of day crests the horizon, you'll set off with music and excitement thrumming through your body. Both the marathon and half-marathon begin at 06:30. Both races will end at 13:30. In the evening you can meet other runners at Sunshine Brewery, a boutique brewery from the East Coast. The first beer is on us. Meals: Breakfast and a light lunch at the finish line.

29 January 2023 - Optional Excursions & Celebration Dinner

Today, you will have the day free to explore Gisborne at your own pace, or you might opt to join one of our exciting excursions. join a "Learn to Surf Class", a walking tour of Tolaga Bay and Cooks Cove, or a tour to Maunga Hikurangi. If you choose this excursion, you will not be able to combine it with any other excursions as it will take the full day. In the evening all participants will be driven out to the celebration dinner at a local vineyard. Together, toast each other’s accomplishments and enjoy a delicious meal while the sun sets over the vineyard. Meals: Breakfast and Celebration Dinner

30 January 2023 - Farewell Gisborne or Hello Extension

Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to Tairāwhiti Gisborne. After check-out, you'll bid farewell to Aotearoa New Zealand - transfer to the domestic airport is included. Alternatively, if you're not quite ready to say goodbye, join an exciting 6-day extension! Meals: Breakfast

Excursions and Extensions

Learn to Surf - 29 Jan | 3 hours | £50

Hop on a surfboard and get crash course in riding the waves.

Stingray Encounter - 27 Jan, 29 Jan | 2.5 hours | £58

Take a reef ecology tour and meet Stingrays, Eagle Rays, and other reef dwellers.

Gisborne Astro Tours - 26 Jan | 2 hours | £45

Marvel at the celestial wonders of the Southern Hemisphere.

Maunga Hikurangi - 29 Jan | 8 hours | £175

Embark on a tour to the sacred mountain that is the first to greet the sun each day.

Tolaga Bay - 29 Jan | 5 hours | £35

Hike Cooks Cove Walkway and learn the history of local iwi Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti

Lakes and Legends - 30-4 Feb | 6 days | £1395

Trek the Tongariro Pass, relax in a Polynesian spa, and marvel at cavernous glowworms on this exciting tour.
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