Last Updated on 05/10/2021

Gisborne. It’s where you head to catch the first golden rays of the sun before the rest of the world. If you are travelling from Auckland, the flight will take approx. 1-hour. While being nicknamed the Chardonnay Capital (which hints at Gisborne being a rich wine destination), it’s ideal for immersing in the delectable food sceneries, museums– incredible marine life, stunning coastal settings and the beautiful native culture.

Begin your Surf Adventures at the Waikanae Beach!

The Beach of Waikanae is one of the best holiday park spots in Gisborne. Located approx. 10-minutes from the Gisborne city centre. Waikanae Beach offers you more than a calm beach. If you were looking for an ideal place to start surfing, Waikanae is the beach to be. The waves are fun, and the waters are pretty good for a swim. When you’re snack-ish, there are plenty of cafes nearby to boost up and get back to the waters!

Immerse in Maori Culture at the Tairawhiti Museum

The Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery is located at the heart of the city – it’s a popular Gisborne attraction. The ideal place to immerse in the rich cultural history of Maori and more. The exhibits are well displayed, and it has earned a reputation for being one of the most innovative museums on the North Island. Irrelevant of whether you’re a culture or history buff, this museum has to be added to your list of things to do in Gisborne.

Interact with the enchanting stingrays at the Dive Tatapouri

If you’re ready to have an out-of-this-world interactive session with marine life in their natural habitat, then you are heading out of Gisborne on an approx. 20-minute drive further into the east coast. Immerse yourself in the Maori culture, the golden shores and clear beach waters. Learn about the incredible local legends, interact with the stingrays. You have the choice of going on a low tide ecology tour to learn about the mesmerising aquatic & wildlife or even snorkel with the stingrays and more. It’ll be an unforgettable experience.

Catch the most Magical Sunrise at the East Cape Lighthouse

If you cannot visit Mount Hikurangi – then head towards the East Cape past the Tolaga Bay, approx. 3-hours from Gisborne, to visit the East Cape Lighthouse, which offers coastal views no other lighthouse in the world can – A chance to catch the first golden rays of the sun. The East Cape is one of the most iconic places on the North Island. Perched on the Otiki Hill, Te Araroa, there are 700 steps between you and the most magical sunrise you’ll witness. 

Slide down on Nature’s Water slide at Rere Rockslide

It’s an experience you HAVE to include in your list of things to do in Gisborne. Located approx. a 40-minute drive from the Gisborne, this is a giant 60-meter rock, with water gently streaming over it. Gives the perfect smoothness you need to slide. But make sure to take a tube or a bodyboard because it’s still a rock, so avoid even the slightest bump that can wound you. Slide down and splash into the pool below laughing and shouting!

Explore the Spacious Garden Space of Eastwoodhill Arboretum

The Eastwoodhill Arboretum is actually considered to be of international importance. Located approx. 30-minutes from the Gisborne Region, this arboretum homes a comprehensive variety of trees and plants – which includes about 170 plant species from the I.C.U.N. World endangered list alone. You can spend a good part of the day exploring the arboretum, the gardens are spacious and gorgeous, you can even enjoy a lovely picnic surrounded by lush greenery. Dive deep into learning about the diverse plants and trees and truly appreciate everything Eastwoodhill Arboretum has to offer.

Indulge in the finest Wine Experiences at the Bushmere Estate

Explore the world’s long-lasting love affair with New Zealand’s north island wine. Approx. 10-minutes from the city, within the Gisborne area, this winery awaits to wow you and your taste pallets. Go on a Gisborne Tour to indulge in an impressive range of premium wines. Discover their wine regions and the incredible work put into grape growing and learn about the fascinating wine-making process. This boutique winery experience is a must-add to your list of things to do in Gisborne.

Immerse in Panoramic Views at the Kaitie Hill

The perfect place to witness panoramic views of the Gisborne waterfront and cityscape. The Kaitie Hill’s located minutes from Gisborne, with the Katie Beach and the Titirangi Reserve, close by to explore. On a sunny day, it’s absolutely stunning. There’s a bit to walk, and it gets windy-which is fun. 15-minutes from Kaitie Hill, you can also visit the Cook Landing Site, a National Historic Reserve. Check out the Captain James Cook monument and learn all about the historic relevance attached to it.

Explore the beach magic & coastal reserves at the Mahia Peninsula

Less than two hours from the Gisborne District, enter this one-of-a kind-coastal heaven. The Mahia Peninsula is located on the east coast of the northern Island, between Hawkes Bay and Poverty Bay. Here you’ll find all types of beaches in one location. Explore the breathtaking reserve – coastal forest next to the peninsula, the rocky bays and sandy coves. Visit the tranquil Black Beach, catch some waves at Mahia Beach – a serene coastal paradise waiting to be explored.

Visit the Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve

This small (12 hectare) bush reserve is located approx. a 10-minute drive from Gisborne City. Explore the outskirts, a verdant landscape of tall trees and lush greenery all around. It’s an easy walk. There’s a lovely tranquil atmosphere you can experience as you enjoy the native bush forest.  You can enjoy the lovely bird life, the walk can last up to 40-0 minutes, depending on your speed. Learn about the unique plant life that makes these lands their home. A must–visit.