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A day in Gisborne

Published: 04/02/2012 by iTravelNZ


Head down to the Gisborne Wharf for breakfast in the sunshine, served with a harbour view. Walk it off on the 1km Gisborne Riverside Walkway. It’s flat and wheelchair friendly, and the perfect place for a lazy stroll.

Spend an hour or two browsing through Gisborne’s award-winning Tairawhiti Museum on Stout Street. It’s a great wet weather option too.

Book a tour and check out the local sights. There are scenic flights, cultural experiences, hunting and fishing excursions, winery tours, horse treks, 4WD safaris and more! The Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Info Centre is at 229 Grey Street, and they can help you with your booking.

Drive up the Eastland coast to Tolaga Bay (about 45mins) and take a stroll along New Zealand’s longest wharf (it takes about half an hour to walk right to the end). Have a picnic lunch on the beach and walk it off on the Ernest Reeve Walkway (at the northern end of the beach). It leads up to a clifftop lookout with stunning views over the Bay and across to Mt Hikurangi on a clear day.

Take a tour of the region’s wineries (or book one at the Gisborne Wine Centre), sample the local drops and enjoy lunch among the vines. If you prefer craft beers, check out Gisborne’s Sunshine Brewery on Disraeli Street and Bulmer Harvest on Customhouse Street for lunch and a pint.


Visit Cooks Monument on Kaiti Beach Road and see the place where this famous explorer made landfall in New Zealand for the first time on 9 October, 1769. From here, you can carry on up Kaiti Hill for glorious views over Gisborne and Poverty Bay.

Pack up a picnic and your togs and spend the afternoon lazing at Waikanae Beach. It has some great surf when there’s a swell, so bring along a boogie board. Best to swim at ‘Midway Beach’, halfway along, which is patrolled by the local surf club during the summer.

Go exploring at Eastwoodhill Arboretum, about a half hour drive from Gisborne. This is New Zealand's largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees, with 100 hectares of forest and gardens, duck ponds and some lovely walking tracks.

Stay in town and picnic at Gisborne's Botanical Gardens in Aberdeen Road. There are some great picnic spots on the banks of the Taruheru River – bring some bread to feed the ducks.

Drive out to the Morere Hot Springs (50mins from Gisborne) and soak away your travel aches in the Nikau Pools, set in a beautiful native bush. You can do one of the shorter bushwalks as well.


There are plenty of ethnic options for dining out in town, including Italian, Indian, Thai, Chinese and Mexican. A popular option for fine dining is the Marine Restaurant, which has a great riverside location, housed in the historic Lysnar ballroom at Gisborne Marina. The Irish Rover on Peel Street is a favourite local pub, and lively on a Friday/Saturday night.

Images by iTravelNZ, -nw-ictucanpetegray  kaij  gisborneinfo

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A day in Gisborne