eastland

Tairawhiti

Highlights

  • Surf beaches
  • Boutique wineries
  • Natural attractions

Proximity

Discover why visitors come to Gisborne for its sunshine and famous beaches, but stay for its sense of community and ties with its Māori heritage.

Natural attractions

This beautiful but remote region is a trove of untouched gems. Here, you’ll find secluded sandy beaches, pumping surf spots, and backcountry forests right on the doorstep.  

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Dive Tatapouri, Tairawhiti

Rere Rockslide 

Ride a waterslide that’s millions of years old. Rere Rockslide is a 60-metre angular slab of rock on the Wharekopae River that is perfect for sliding down. It goes fast, so if you’re looking for a slower option, try using an old tire tube. The pool at the bottom is deep, so if you can’t swim, it is best to enjoy the fun from the riverbank. 

Gisborne Rail Bike Adventure 

On a Gisborne Rail Bike Adventure, you’ll cycle along an abandoned coastal railway, across a beautiful but quiet corner of Aotearoa New Zealand. The tandem railbikes are attached to the railway line, so all you need is a buddy and a sense of adventure.

Motu Trails

Cycle part of the Motu Trails(opens in new window) track around Gisborne and you’ll be treated to coastal and high-country views – all within a few hours of cycling. Highlights include Rere Falls, Eastwoodhill Arboretum, and Whataupoko Mountain Bike Park. 

Surfing beaches

Tairāwhiti Gisborne attracts surfers from around the world, who come here for the variety of breaks, consistent swells, and uncrowded waters. There’s 270 kilometres of coastline to explore, including the famous Wainui and Makorori beaches.

Dive Tatapouri

For the region's best wildlife encounter, visit Dive Tatapouri(opens in new window). You’ll be given waders and taken out onto a shallow reef where Pancake and Waffle, along with other wild stingrays and kingfish, will be waiting to greet you.

Food and wine

Tairāwhiti Gisborne is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most underrated food and wine regions. Here, you’ll find award-winning chardonnay, seafood caught on the day, and unpretentious eateries where only the food has attitude.

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USSCO Bar and Bistro, Tairawhiti

Eateries

USSCO bar and bistro

Visit USSCO(opens in new window) for fine dining at reasonable prices. The menu is updated daily by award-winning chef Thomas Boyce, who writes the menu out by hand – after all, who in this busy restaurant has time for anything else?

Neighbourhood Pizzeria

Visit Gisborne’s most popular pizzeria for some of the best pizza you’ll ever try. Neighbourhood Pizzeria(opens in new window) is great at the classics, such as Margherita and Pepperoni, along with innovative ensembles such as the Bianca Mushroom, with a feta whip base, mushroom, caramelized onion, olives and a balsamic reduction. Or the Chicken & Chorizo pizza with spinach, red onion, chicken, chorizo, and Caribbean sauce. 

Curbside Kitchen

Curbside Kitchen(opens in new window) is where Gisborne locals go to indulge in sweet treats. Highlights include cakes as decadent as they look and baked goodies that are far more decadent than they appear.

Wineries and cellar doors

Gisborne Wine Centre

The Gisborne Wine Centre stocks local wines at cellar door prices. Plus, the store also has a delicatessen, which stocks restaurant quality ingredients made by local artisan producers. 

Bushmere Estate

Bushmere Estate(opens in new window) is one of the region’s most popular cellar doors. Tastings are available from September to May, and there’s an onsite fine dining restaurant called The Vines, which is open all year round. 

Matawhero Wines 

Matawhero was the region's first boutique winery, created by the legendary vintner Denis Irwin. The winery now practises dry farming, which means it relies on rain instead of irrigation. Not only does dry farming conserve water, but it also produces wines with distinctive flavours and light textures. The winery runs an exceptional cellar door, offering tasting platters and a tour of the underground cellar.   

Gisborne Farmers’ Market 

The thriving Gisborne Farmers’ Market(opens in new window) is held every Saturday. Visit for some of the region’s finest produce, including Far East Coffee Co., Heavitree Fruit Farm, Real Fish from the Sea, Waimata Cheese, Torere Macadamia, and Hihi Wines. 

Heritage and culture

The region’s strong ties with its Māori heritage has inspired many local contemporary artists. Notable examples include Cliff Whiting, Sandy Adsett, and Derek Lardelli – three artists whose beautiful creations blend traditional Māori arts and crafts with contemporary European artistic practice. Explore Gisborne’s arts scene and you'll find a new perspective on art – and a very old one.  

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Dome Cinema, Tairawhiti

Tairāwhiti Museum 

Tairāwhiti Museum(opens in new window) hosts a revolving programme of art and history exhibitions, specialising in local Māori history and culture. Highlights of the museum’s permanent collection include Māori taonga (treasures), such as textiles, weapons, and carvings, and works by local artists.  

Tupapa Heritage Trail

Explore the Tūpapa Heritage Trail and discover the indigenous stories behind local landmarks. Begin by downloading the free app and heading to Gisborne’s waterfront. From here, you’ll follow the trail along the Tūranganui River and up to the Tītīrangi summit. Along the way, you’ll cover 800 years of local Māori history, beginning with the ocean voyages from Polynesia and ending with the first encounters between Māori and Captain James Cook in 1769.  

The Stone Studio

Visit the Stone Studio(opens in new window) for beautiful jewellery made from pounamu. Pounamu – otherwise known as greenstone or New Zealand jade – has a special significance for Māori. For centuries Māori turned it into jewellery, tools, and weapons, which were often used for ceremonies and peace agreements. Today, it is mainly used to make jewellery, but the practice has retained its cultural significance and traditional designs. At the Stone Studio you can see beautiful examples of this incredible craft, along with the carvers as they work. 

Dome Cinema

The Dome Cinema(opens in new window) isn’t like any art house cinema you will have been to before. Here, you’ll see the best cinema has to offer from the floor – well, nearly, you’ll be given bean bags that look like giant puff pastries to sit on. You can also have delicious pizza and ice cream delivered during intermission.  

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