Where does the sun rise first? (in the world)

If you’re trying to figure out where in the world the Sun rises first, then you’re not alone. Many people each year wonder where exactly the Sun rises first in the world, and where it sets last too. We know that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West – this is the same whether you’re in the Northern hemisphere or the Southern hemisphere.

But at the start of a new day, which country gets the first glimpse of the Sun? Well, let’s have a look at which country and region is blessed with the first glimpse of our rising Sun each day.

Where does the sun rise first? (in the world)

In the past, we have always said that the country that the Sun rises earliest in the world is New Zealand. The sunrise can be best and earliest seen from the North Island of New Zealand, more specifically from East Cape. This meant that the first city in the world that sees the Sun is Gisborne, which is located on the East Coast of New Zealand.

East Cape used to be the place where the day begins first in the world.

However, this has been the case only until recent years where the dateline has been changed which has given us a new point as the most Eastern place on our planet. That means that New Zealand’s North Island is no longer considered the place with the first sunrise.

So, the answer is that the true place where the Sun rises first is actually on Caroline Island, which is an island off the cost of Kiribati. This is the most Easterly place on our planet, so it must be the place that sees the Sun first!

As you can see, Caroline Island is now the date line has changed.

There are a few countries that actually have their clocks set in front of Caroline Island, so to them the Sun might set earlier. However, it’s undeniable that the first place on Earth to see the sun rise each day is Caroline Island.

Common Questions about Eastern Sunrise & Sunset

Where does the sun rise first; East or West?

As you can probably tell from East Cape’s location, the Sun rises first in the East, and sets in the West. This is quite simply because the Earth is spinning in an Easterly direction, which means that the Sun rises from East to West.

Where does the Sun set last?

If the Sun rises first in the most Easterly direction, than we can say that the sun sets last in the most Westerly part of the world. This is in Alaska, on Attu Island. This island has been uninhabited for the last decade, and is known for its battle during World War Two.

What time is the earliest sunrise?

Many people think that summer solstice is the earliest sunrise of the year. However, summer solstice is just the longest day of the year, not necessarily the earliest. However, the earliest sunrise each year is around the same time as summer solstice, most typically in June in Europe and North America.

Why do days get longer in summer?

Quite simply, this is because the Sun is tilted towards the Sun, which makes our days longer and hotter. And when the Earth tilts towards the Sun in the opposite direction, this is when we’re in Winter, and the other side of the country (Australia) is in summer.

Which season has longer days?

Summer has the longest days of the year because we’re tilted towards the Sun. Obviously, Winter has the shortest days of the year because of the opposite of this!


Overall, it’s pretty clear to understand why New Zealand is the country that the sun rises first in in the world. It’s just because it’s in the most Eastern location possible! Likewise, the most Western part of the country is the area where the Sun sets last. Check out this list of Sun facts if you want to learn more about the Sun!.

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