Exploring in and around Gisborne
Good Morning Gisborne! Your first day here and the East Coast is calling. From Gisborne, head up along State Highway 35 and make your way along the coastline to Dive Tatapouri for a Reef Ecology Tour that brings you face to face with wild stingrays in their natural marine environment.
As you wind your way further up along the coast (passing quaint villages and picturesque bays) you’ll come to beautiful Tolaga Bay. Walking the length of New Zealand’s longest wharf is a rite of passage for travellers so make sure you stroll along the iconic Tolaga Bay Wharf. Nearby is Cooks Cove Walkway if you want to visit the spot where in 1769 Captain James Cook anchored the HMS Endeavour to repair and restock the ship.
Dinner at Te Puka Tavern. Kick back and enjoy the million-dollar views with a delicious menu of fresh local favourites. Whether it’s fish n chips, the veggie burger or the East Coast Kahuna burger, you are in for a treat.
57 min | 75.6km via SH35
Head down to the beach to find some waves. An East Coast sunrise means you are the first to see the sunrise in the world – this is after all the land of the first light. In Te Reo Māori, Tairāwhiti means the coast upon which the sun shines across the water. And this is a great morning to see just how much Tairāwhiti lives up to its name. Grab a big brekkie at the famous Café 35 in Tokomaru Bay because you have earned it!
Wind your way south and head for the hills. It may pay to keep your swim gear handy as you head inland to Rere Rockslide – the legendary 60-metre long natural rockslide to tick off your bucket list. Just make sure you bring a bodyboard (to go fast) or tyre tube (to go slow).
Go from rockslides to waterfalls and head back about 2 kms down the road to the beautiful Rere Falls - a sweet spot to grab a few snaps for the Gram on your way back to the city.
There’s no better way to top off the day than winding down at a winery. Pop by Bridge Estate – 120-year-old stables at a former vineyard that have been revamped into a unique spot to enjoy local wines, beers and ciders alongside hearty platters, delicious samosas and snacks.
2 h | 138km via Sh35
Some of the best coffee in Gisborne
Grab a bite and your favourite brew from Far East Coffee. Tucked away between the city centre and the beach in an industrial area, Far East Coffee is a popular hotspot that serves 100% Fair Trade and organic coffee roasted and tasty treats to tuck into.
Over the bridge and down to the inner harbour, spend the rest of your morning with Waka Voyagers and discover the origins of Aotearoa in the heart of Tairāwhiti - where the first encounters between the Māori and European took place.
Gisborne Railbikes is kiwi ingenuity at its best. And if you haven’t experienced rail biking along old railway lines then it’s time to live a little. Bring a mate and hop on a standard railbike or e-bike for a totally unique tandem ride exploring the countryside and coastal lookouts as you cruise across tunnels and viaducts.
The best coffee in town
8 mins | 6.3km via SH35