Venture to the Tairāwhiti Gisborne region and be the first in the world to see the sunrise.
Rich Māori culture, sacred mountains, bustling events and great weather make Gisborne the perfect year-round destination. Discover the top things to do in the Gisborne region.
Under the watchful eye of the expert guides from Dive Tatapouri, you can head to the shallow reef at low tide and observe stingrays and eagle rays up close. The stingrays are wild but their inquisivite nature brings them close to the shore.
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Pack your swimwear and grab a boogie board then head to Rere Rockslide. This is New Zealand's largest naturally-made water slide and it's 60 metres of downhill adrenaline before landing in a four-metre deep swimming hole! If you're driving there from Gisborne be sure to stop in at Eastwoodhill Arboretum and Rere Falls. Before you slide, check the water conditions(opens in new window) and ensure you're a confident swimmer.
If you're driving north from Gisborne along the Pacific Coast Highway make sure you stop in Tolaga Bay (Uawa) and walk the longest wharf in the Southern Hemisphere (660 metres long). Tolaga Bay Wharf is where Captain Cook sailed in to meet the Te Aitanga a Hauiti tribe when the Endeavour first reached New Zealand.
Hire a bike and tackle the Motu Trails which are are part of the Ngā Haerenga trails - 22 Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window). The Motu Trails are 121kilometres of scenic cycling between Gisborne and Whakatane and Ōpōtiki in the Bay of Plenty region. Head to Cycle Gisborne to get started on the trail or family friendly city cycling.
Where else could you find a surf beach just minutes walk from the city centre? Beginners surf lessons can be found at Waikanae/Roberts Road. For more challenging surf breaks, you can drive from Gisborne along State Highway 35 until you reach Wainui Beach and Makorori Beach. This coastline is home to small Kiwi towns with friendly locals so be sure to stop in for a break.
Did you know?
On the easternmost point of New Zealand you will find the East Coast Lighthouse. At the top of the lighthouse you'll be greeted with magnificent views across the Pacific Ocean (and a very memorable sunrise). Then, if you're heading towards Whakatane, a 22 kilometre drive will get to the town of Te Araroa population of around 600 people. There, you can pay a visit to "Te Waha O Rerekohu", New Zealand's oldest pōhutukawa tree who is believed to be over 600 years old!
Balmy year-round weather in the region means lots of time spent outdoors. Cooks Cove Walkway is a historic site. It's where Captain Cook stopped to repair the Endeavour. From Tolaga Bay you can walk across farmland to get to Cooks Cove where you can spend the day swimming and exploring the hole-in-the-rock. Te Kuri Farm Walkway and the summit of Titirangi (Kaiti Hill) in Gisborne are also great day walks.