Famous for its sunny climate, surf beaches and wineries, the coastal city of Gisborne is one of New Zealand's hidden gems. Located on the east coast of the North Island this popular summer destination has a lot to offer, and thanks to its proximity to the international date line, it’s the first city in the world to see the sun rise.
Things to do in Gisborne
To see Gisborne from above, head to Titirangi Reserve to capture the panoramic views from its elevated position atop a hill. Head up here to visit the James Cook monuments and for a great view of the city.
There’s a relaxed pace of life in Gisborne, and that might be partially due to the local production and consumption of fantastic wine. A family owned estate, head to Milton Vineyards and Winery for an afternoon of sampling wine and relaxing.
Back in downtown Gisborne, there’s the Tairawhiti Museum which has a focus on East Coast Maori and colonial history. The museum is considered the art hub of Gisborne and is home to photographic displays and rotating exhibitions on indigenous and colonial history. Outside the museum is Wyllie Cottage, Gisborne’s oldest house dating back to 1872.
No trip to Gisborne is complete without a beach day. Head to Waikanae Beach for a surf lesson at The Pipe before relaxing on the sands. In the evening you can head to the Dome Cinema, as this quirky picture house has bean bag seats and serves gourmet pizzas.
Getting around Gisborne
Gisborne is a three-hour drive from Napier and a seven-hour journey from Auckland. Alternatively, Gisborne airport sits only 15-minutes from the city centre, with public transport and taxis readily available.