Gisborne is a sunny seaside town on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is a popular summertime destination as it has a relatively warm, dry and sunny climate, swimming and surf beaches with a more relaxed pace of life than the larger cities. It is the first city in the world to see the sun each day.
Gisborne is a good day's drive from either Auckland or Wellington or half a day from Rotorua or Napier, perhaps longer depending on the route you take.
There are frequent flights from Auckland (1 hour) and Wellington (1 hour) on Air New Zealand.
Naked Bus offer low cost bus services between Gisborne and many other North Island towns with fares starting at $1.
InterCity Coachlines is an alterative.
Gisborne is a long town, as it has spread out along the main road into town. A car is advisable, though if you are going to the beach, walking is a good idea, as parking in the central city is often a problem.
The central business district is quite small and easy to get around.
- Vineyard and winery tours. Gisborne is one of New Zealand's largest grape growing regions with just over half its 2000 hectares of vineyards planted in chardonnay. A Mediterranean climate and suitable soils are the key factors in the success of wine production in this region which regularly produces unique, full-flavoured, award winning wines of international standard.
- Surfing, swimming, fishing
- Rere rockslide is a natural sloping rock formation that a stream flows over and visitors can slide down on body boards, tyres or backsides.
- Surfing with Frank, ☎ 6 867 0823, 021 119 0971, . flexible. Frank does surf lessons and tours for all ages and abilities. He will meet you at the beach (or pick you up), and can rent boards and wetsuits.
- The Stone Studio, 237 Stanley Road, ☎ 06 867 3900, . 9-5 M-S. Sells pounamu (greenstone) carved on-site. Also has selection of NZ-themed souvenirs. Gift wrap available.
- McDonald's. World's most easterly Macca's
- Verve, 121 Gladstone Road, ☎ 06-868 9095. 8.30-5.30 M-F, S/S 9-3. Cafe with breakfast and lunch menu. A small offering of counter snacks; full kitchen closes at 2.30 with snacks available until close. Music and local art on the walls.
- Zest Cafe, 22 Peel St (across the street from library), ☎ 5787, . M-F 7.30 - 4. Cafe with wide range of counter food and vegetarian/vegan offerings.
- Flying Nun Backpackers, 147 Roebuck Road, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. Cheap and dirty backpackers, with the emphasis on both! Lots of long-term residents and indoor and outdoor social areas. dorm - $24.00, double/twin $26.00, single $36.00.
- YHA Gisborne, 32 Harris St (Across the river from the CBD, turn right), ☎ +64 6 867 3269, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. Clean, friendly, quiet backpackers five minute walk from the CBD. Closes each winter, usually sometime between July and September, so call ahead at that time of year.
- Go south to Morere (hot pools), Wairoa and Napier.
- Head north east to Opotiki on State Highway 35. This trip will take a full day and features spectacular coastal views and contains some of the most remote settlements in New Zealand. See East Cape