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Is it possible to fall in love with a city in just one day?

When in Gisborne, if you play your cards right, then the answer is 100% yes. Catch the best sunrise, enjoy a breakfast feast, and savour a sunset sipping wines by the waterfront – it’s all part of Gisborne’s charm as a top NZ holiday destination.

So if you’ve only got 24 hours to visit Gisborne, then here’s the best way to spend it. This is your must-do hitlist for a great day in Gisborne full of unforgettable moments.

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Sunrise surf at Wainui Beach

Rise and shine intrepid traveller! The land of the first light is the first place in New Zealand to welcome in the new day so a sunrise mission is a must. Head to picturesque Wainui Beach, less than a 10-minute drive just outside the CBD where you can surf, stroll or simply watch the new dawn arrive in the most breathtaking setting.

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Breakfast of champions at Flagship Eatery

Flagship Eatery is a local landmark for foodies in Gisborne that’s hard to miss – with its central location near Reads Quay and cheerful red doors, this is a welcoming hotspot for locals and visitors alike.  Beautiful food in a beautiful space and brilliant coffee – the perfect way to fuel up for your day. With a tantalising menu that offers wonderfully delicious items like buckwheat pancakes, salmon eggs benedict, house-made crumpets, you’ll wish you had another day here to come back for another round.

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Dive Tatapouri Reef Ecology Tour

Dive Tatapouri takes you to where the wild things are. Located in stunning Tatapouri Bay just a 15-minute drive from Gisborne, this is New Zealand’s only wild stingray encounter. Venture out to an interactive reef ecology tour with wild stingrays, eagle rays and other reef dwellers abound. For a completely immersive experience, you can even snorkel and swim with stingrays and tick that off your bucket list.

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Afternoon at Sunshine Brewery

The legendary flavours of Sunshine Brewery are like a rite of passage when in Gisborne. Since 1989, this boutique brewery has become an iconic East Coast landmark celebrating the important things in life: sun, surf, mates and good beer. As New Zealand’s oldest independent Brewery, Sunshine Brewery is located just a few blocks from the beach in downtown Gisborne. With 20+ taps of the freshest beer on the East Coast, the Taproom offers decadent pizzas, a light snack menu and beer tasting boards for a most memorable thirst-quenching experience.

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Discover the Tupapa Heritage Trail

The best way to get to know the lay of the land is by exploring Turanganui-a-Kiwa Gisborne on foot. Take a leisurely, self-guided 4km walk along the Tupapa Heritage Trail for an eye-opening experience that navigates key places of interest and historic landmarks starting from Waikanae Beach up to Kaiti Hill/Titirangi Reserve. Make sure to download the app to learn about the region’s unique culture and history, with this experience offered in both English and Te Reo Māori.

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Evening at Gisborne Wine Centre + Crawford Road Kitchen

Sunset wine tasting anyone? Tucked inside the inner harbour in central Gisborne, the Gisborne Wine Centre is the perfect spot to end your day sipping on the best local wines. Watch the boats roll in and the twinkling lights of the marina cast a beautiful glow to your surrounds. Then pop over next door to Crawford Road Kitchen for a decadent meal of fresh local cuisine down by the waterfront. 

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