For many, the land of the first light is also considered as the land of plenty. Tairāwhiti is home to an abundance of natural resources with an ideal micro-climate giving way to some of the most productive soil and growing conditions in the world, with its fertile lands home to a number of award-winning farms.
Blessed with plenty of sunshine hours and fertile lands stretching from country to coast, Tairāwhiti is a stunning corner of New Zealand that is made to be savoured.
A good place to catch up with the growers of Tairāwhiti is the Gisborne Farmer’s Market held every Saturday morning in the central CBD. From macadamia nut growers to local wine producers like Stone Bridge, Hihi and Wrights wines, come and meet the makers of the land of the first light.
Time over technology, with gentle and precise processes, Millton Vineyard and Winery specialises in growing fine wine from estate grown grapes sourced directly from their own single vineyards. For over 35 years these grapes have been grown in the traditional manner using biodynamic techniques. Established in 1984, Millton Vineyard and Winery is New Zealand’s first Organic and Biodynamic wine estate. Traditional viticulture is practiced in all vineyards and all are dry-farmed, with no insecticide, herbicide, systemic fungicide or soluble fertilisers used. Tucked away down a quiet country road, Millton’s cellar door and barrel room is open weekdays for guided and personalised tastings.
A small independent Gisborne brewery that’s been crafting delicious, all-natural batch-brewed beer since 1989, Sunshine Brewery is one of the oldest independent breweries in New Zealand. Inspired by Gisborne’s notoriously long summers and legendary surf breaks, Sunshine is a boutique brewery from the East Coast that celebrates the important things in life: sun, surf, mates and good beer. Located about 200 metres from the beach and open daily, you can check-out Sunshine Brewery’s state of the brewhouse from its Taproom – with a platter of snacks or pizzas on the menu alongside 20+ taps of the freshest beer you’ll find on the East Coast. Open Monday-Saturday from 12 pm – 8pm and Sundays 12 noon – 6pm.
Thanks to the pioneering spirit of Vanessa Hayes, founder of Torere Macadamias Limited (TML) Tairāwhiti is renowned as the macadamia nut capital of New Zealand. As the largest macadamia nursery in New Zealand, Torere Macadamias is located about 25 km from Opotiki towards the East Cape with an additional shop front in Gisborne. From macadamia nut chocolates, butters, dukkahs, pestos and even ready to plant macadamia nut trees, make sure to pop in and discover the blossoming world of macadamia on your next visit.
You can also pop down to the Gisborne Farmers Market Saturday morning to sample some tasty Torere Macadamias.
In 1989, Brian and Irene Shanks, local Gisborne orchardists began making cider from their own Braeburn and Granny Smith apples - and so began the Harvest Cidery story. For the past 30 years, Harvest Cidery has been producing some of New Zealand’s favourite, award-winning ciders all proudly produced in Gisborne. Located in the heart of the city, cellar doors are open weekdays for you to visit – a fascinating opportunity to learn about the history and production of New Zealand’s iconic ciders along with a tasty sampling of products on-site. Open weekdays 9 am – 4 pm.
As the first place to greet the sun each day, the optimum growing conditions in Gisborne and plenty of sunshine hours, it’s no wonder that New Zealand’s best citrus thrives here. Wholesome and delicious, it’s like taking a bite of pure sunshine. Hill Road Juice is a locally owned business that produces 100% pure orange juice without preservatives, colours, flavours or sugars. You can sample Hill Road's fresh squeezed goodness every Saturday morning at the Gisborne’s Farmers Market on the corner of Stout Street across from Tairāwhiti Museum.