Top 10 things to do in Tairāwhiti Gisborne
Watch the sunrise from Maunga Hikurangi
Be the first to see the new day dawn on the highest non-volcanic peak in the North Island. Immerse yourself in traditional Māori culture and discover the history of the sacred Maunga Hikurangi from expert Ngati Porou guides. A highlight of this experience is learning about the nine large whakairo (carvings) representing Maui and Ngati Porou descendants.
Surf Tairāwhiti Gisborne beaches
Known for good consistent surf, the East Coast area has surf beaches for everyone from grommets to experienced riders. The Roberts Road end of the Tairāwhiti Gisborne beach is good for beginners and surf lessons, while further along at Midway the waves are a little more powerful. Check with local surf shops and clubs to find the best out-of-town spots for your level of experience.
Interact with wild stingrays at Dive Tatapouri
Slip on a pair of Dive Tatapouri waterproof waders for a low tide reef ecology tour with wild Tatapouri stingrays. You can also snorkel with the majestic stingrays that live in beautiful Tatapouri.
Visit historic sites
Experience the Gisborne waterfront through the eyes of the first people to live here along the Tupapa Heritage Trail. Meet our region's people, discover the stories of their ancestors' journeys to and experiences of this place. Tairāwhiti Gisborne was where the waka (canoes) Horouta and Te Ikaroa-a-Rauru came ashore bringing the first Māori to the region. At the same spot in 1769, Captain James Cook first set foot on Aotearoa New Zealand.
Squeal with delight at the Rere rockslide
At Rere, just 30 minutes inland from Tairāwhiti Gisborne, you can slither down a natural rock slide for 60 metres of outrageous fun. Smoothed by eons of constantly running water, the famous Tairāwhiti Gisborne water slide is a wild ride you'll never forget. You'll need a body board or inflatable for this unique Tairāwhiti experience.
Explore the Tairāwhiti Gisborne wineries
Tairāwhiti Gisborne wine tours make it easy to get into the legendary Tairāwhiti Gisborne wine and food scene. Gisborne chardonnay is particularly famous – you'll love its concentrated melon and stone fruit characters. Some vineyards offer alfresco eating, so your wine discovery can come with delicious food matches. If you're short on time, visit the Gisborne Wine Centre located in the Inner Harbour.
Cycle the Tairāwhiti Trails
From Tairāwhiti Gisborne, you can ride the Rere Falls Trail through to the Bay of Plenty. One of four major rides that make up the Motu Trails, the Rere Falls Trail is a scenic 103km multi-day ride that's usually ridden downhill from Matawai to Tairāwhiti Gisborne. There are also mountain bike parks and extensive cycle trails in and around the city. Cycle Gisborne offer both guided and self-guided tours and with a passion of crafting custom experiences. Cycle Gisborne is Tairāwhiti's go-to for anything on two wheels.
Experience the Gisborne Railbike Adventure
Ride unique side-by-side tandem bikes along disused railway lines with no need to balance or steer. There's even an e-bike version. Choose a one-hour taster trail through wine country and across a long bridge, or a day trip with three hours of riding that includes tunnels and a leisurely picnic lunch stop overlooking the ocean. Enjoy a longer trail between Wairoa and Mahia.
Discover the Tupapa Heritage Trail
You can experience the history of the region along the shores of Tairāwhiti with the Tupapa Heritage Trail. This 4km walk has 10 eye-catching tour markers, as well as a world-class app that guides you from the city up to Kaiti Hill/Titirangi Reserve. This integrated experience provides an in-depth insight into the region's rich heritage. Take it at your own pace and enjoy the views along the way.
Wander around Eastwoodhill Arboretum
Stroll the pathways of Eastwoodhill Arboretum to discover one of the best tree collections in the southern hemisphere. There's a choice of trails, from the super-easy Blue Walk to the much-more-challenging Yellow Walk, which will take you up Mount Arataitai for massive views of the arboretum and beyond. Tairāwhiti Gisborne walks don't get any better than this!