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ItineraryPage.ss

Time

1 Day
129 km

Highlights

Friendly stingrays

Kid-friendly activities

Rere Rockslide

Pizza at the beach

Proximity

Travel around Gisborne, up the Coast to Tatapouri Bay, and out to the Rere Rockslide.

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Make some precious memories with a family day out in Tairāwhiti

Our suggested itinerary involves staying at beach accommodation, stingray-patting, visiting a cottage from the olden days, running around an arboretum, whizzing down a rockslide and of course plenty of delicious eats and coffees along the way! Read the below if you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Tairāwhiti Gisborne.

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THE EVENING BEFORE

To wake up rested for your busy day ahead, the Waikanae TOP 10 Holiday Park is a great option for family accommodation – whether you’re after a campsite, cabin or beachfront bach. It’s 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre, right on the beautiful Waikanae Beach which is great for swims and walks, and the kids will also enjoy the playground, indoor heated pool, jumping pillow (the adults will love this too!) and recreational gear for hire.

 

MORNING

Friendly stingrays 

First up, you’ll drive 15 minutes up the coast from Gisborne to Dive Tatapouri, for an interactive experience with wild stingrays and other sea life. Pulling on waterproof fisherman’s waders, people of all ages and stages can head out to the reef with a guide to get up close and personal with short-tail stingrays, eagle rays and other reef dwellers at low tide. Your guide will teach you loads about these species and where they fit into the ecosystem. Look out for the short tail stingrays Waffle and Pancake, who will sit on your feet and wait for a gentle pat. If your children are very small, there’s a banana boat available for you to pull them out onto the reef with you. The tours are done at low tide, so you may have to slot this one into your day accordingly – but a sunrise experience is magical if you can get it!

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Breakfast with toys and coffee

Next move: breakfast at Ormond Road Café. This spot is well known for great service, great food and good prices – away from the hustle and bustle of central city. There’s a small area inside with toys for little kids, and outside there is a gated, grassy play area complete with playhouse. While they play you can enjoy great coffee, with perfectly scrambled eggs on ciabatta, or choose from their range of tasty baked goods.

 

Visit a house from the olden days

From Ormond Road Café, it’s a short walk to the Tairāwhiti Museum to soak up the local culture and history of Tairāwhiti. There are several themed galleries, including local and travelling art exhibitions. The kids will love exploring the two-storeyed wheelhouse and captain’s cabin of the Star of Canada (a cargo steamer wrecked on the Gisborne foreshore in 1912) and visiting Wylie Cottage – the oldest European-style house in Gisborne.

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Lunch next to Narnia’s Closet

From there take a 10-minute drive out to The Royal, Raglan Roast in Matawhero. The coffee at this local institution is great, and the food too – we love the gourmet pork and apple burgers, chicken waffles and the amazing salads. The best thing is you can relax while the kids check out the ‘Narnia Closet’ that leads them to the outside play area – and rest assured that the whole venue is also totally fenced off. There’s also a great selection of cold beverages on offer.

 

AFTERNOON

Run through trees

The Eastwood Hill Arboretum is a 20-minute drive up into the hills from The Royal. This national arboretum is a sprawling wonderland of tree species from all over the world planted since 1910. The plantings are arranged into parks, and walking tracks wind through the lot – the children will love looking up at the sky through the cracks in the pine canopies, kicking through piles of oak leaves in autumn, gazing at cherry blossoms in spring. There is also an epic playground, designed by a leading New Zealand play space designer – it has a long slide and some of the biggest swings in the country.

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Whizz down an epic rockslide

Close to Eastwood Hill Arboretum is Rere Falls and Rockslide. The falls thunder as the Wharekopae River pours over an edge and are a wonder to behold, but the smooth 60-metre rockslide is what the kids will love (and you will too!). Take a boogie board, inner tube or lilo (and wetsuit in winter) and join them as they whizz down the rockslide into the large swimming hole at the bottom.

 

Pizza at the beach

After rocksliding, head back to Gisborne and pick up some pizzas from Neptune’s Pizzeria , which serves up delicious, homemade pizzas from 4pm. The simple flavours and ingredients, and handmade crusts, give it a reputation as the best pizza in town. They offer vegan cheese or gluten free bases if required. Take your pizzas back to Waikanae Beach for dinner, for a perfect Tairāwhiti finish to a family day out.

 

We hope you makes some great memories on your family day out in Gisborne. If you need other ideas on where to stay with the whole family, check out our accommodation page for anything from farm stays to motels and holiday parks.

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