Where Does the Sun Rise? Is It Always in the East?

If someone asks you, “Where does the sun rise?” you might answer that the sun rises in the east. This is because it could be the one you remember from your science class. But have you ever learned the reason behind it? Or does it always rise in the east? Why does the sun not rise in the west, north, or south? Let’s all find the answers.

where does the sun rise - sun rises in the east

Why the Sun Rises in the East

Your science professor could have mentioned that the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west and that is the truth. But it is not only the sun that does it because even the moon, planets, and other stars all rise in the same direction. The reason behind this is the Earth’s rotation. Since the world spins toward the east, it is normal that the celestial bodies mentioned rise in the east and set in the west.

When thinking about sunrise, all you need is to consider one movement and that is the Earth’s rotation. You can disregard other movements such as the revolution of the Earth around the sun. All you need to remember is that the Earth rotates toward the East that’s why the Sun, Moon, planets, and other stars make their westward across the sky. To help you understand better, let’s say you’re facing east and the Earth carries you eastward as it turns. Therefore, whatever lies beyond that eastern horizon comes up over the horizon, allowing you to see it.

Where Does the Sun Rise? Best Places to Watch the Golden Hour

Now that you already know that the sun rises in the east because of the Earth’s rotation, it’s time to know the best location where you can watch it. Viewing the sunrise is like watching the sunset, it gives you a calming feeling while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Here in New Zealand, there’s a lot of places where you can watch it peacefully which includes the following:

  1. Hicks Bay (East Cape)Nothing compares when you can see the sunrise especially if you are not an early riser. What makes it more fulfilling is if you are the first person to see it. It may seem impossible but you can be the first person in New Zealand to watch the sunrise as long as you are in the right location. Staying at Hicks Bay to view the sunrise can make it possible. East Cape is one of the first places where the sun rises. If you are living here or in a nearby area, you can take it as an opportunity to be the first one to see the golden hour.
  2. Mount Hikurangi (Gisborne) Since the sun rises in the east, you may consider Mount Hikurangi in Gisborne. This place is a sacred mountain of the Ngati Porou people. Visiting the place allows you to have a nice view of the sunrise, but make sure to respect the culture of the people living in the surrounding area.
  3. Oban (Stewart Island) If you are looking forward to having a peaceful vacation, you may start your journey at Oban. It is only the settlement you can find in Stewart Island having a population of almost 400 people. As the sun rises in the east, you can relax on the quiet beach of Halfmoon Bay.
  4. Pinnacles (Coromandel) After hiking for a day, isn’t it fulfilling to watch the sunrise the next day? Watching the sunrise at the summit of the Pinnacles could be your most memorable adventure. Travelling here not only gives you a spectacular view of the golden hour, but it is also a perfect opportunity to unwind through hiking and trekking.
  5. Tapeka Point (Russell) If you want to explore the Bay of Islands, you may watch the sunrise at the Takepa Point in Russell. You may also enjoy the view across the Bay of Islands from Paihia to Waitangi.

There’s no need to complicate the answer when asked, “Where does the sun rise?” because the answer is always in the east. Unless the Earth rotates in a different direction, then that would be the time the answer will be different. But no matter where the sun rises, what’s important is you enjoy its view. You would not want to miss it as the light reaches as far as it can in the sky, spreading light to different places. Make sure you are in the best location if you want to enjoy the breathtaking view of the golden hour.

If you are considering East Cape to view the sunrise, you may stay at Hicks Bay Motel. Here, you can choose from different types of accommodations, including the Bay View Queen Studio. This unit has two big windows that look out to sea, a perfect spot to view the sunrise.

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