BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Gisborne & East Cape > Gisborne


Gisborne is the main centre of the Eastland region, and boasts of being the first place in the world to see the sun each day, thanks to its proximity to the International Date Line. With around 33,000 residents, it’s a rural town wrapped in increasingly cosmopolitan and affluent packaging. Gisborne calls itself the Chardonnay capital of New Zealand, and there are numerous boutique vineyards in the region, as well as a restaurant culture in the heart of the palm-tree lined city.

Gisborne has one of the sunniest climates in New Zealand and there are some good beaches nearby. Kaiti Beach was the site of Captain Cook’s first landing in New Zealand, an event memorialised by statues of both Cook and his cabin boy Nick Young, who was the first crew member to spot land.

As in most of the East Cape, there is a strong Māori presence around Gisborne.
If you’re on your way to travel around the East Cape, this is a good place to stock up on cash, fuel and supplies, and maybe a good meal in a fine restaurant; Gisborne is the most developed city you’ll see for a while.

Practical information

Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Centre

209 Grey Street, Gisborne
Tel (06) 868 6139
Website www.gisbornenz.com
Open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Department of Conservation

63 Carnarvon Street, Gisborne
Tel (06) 869 0460
Open Mon-Fri 8am-4.30pm

Coming & going

InterCity Coachlines (tel (09) 623 1503) go to Hawkes Bay, Opotiki and Whakatane, and Nakedbus.com goes to Auckland via Opotiki and Rotorua. Buses stop at the Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Centre (209 Grey Street, Gisborne).

Hostel accommodation

Flying Nun Backpackers

147 Roebuck Road, Gisborne
Tel (06) 868 0461

Gisborne City Lodge

335 Childers Road, Gisborne
Tel 0800 999 004

Gisborne YHA

32 Harris Street, Gisborne
Tel (06) 867 3269

Eating & drinking

Gladstone Road is the main commercial strip of “Gizzy”, and it has numerous fast food, Asian, and takeaway joints, as well as cafés and restaurants. Captain Morgan’s (285 Grey Street, Gisborne) near Waikanae Beach is well-known for its burgers and ice cream. Smash Palace Wine Bar (24 Banks Street, Gisborne) is a wacky memorabilia-filled bar serving beer, wine and pizza, with a DC3 aeroplane on the roof and live music.

Upscale dining and drinking has sprung up all over Gisborne, with some particularly nice places along the waterfront by the wharf. If you’re in the mood to splurge after a trip through the East Cape, this is the place to do it.

The Pak’n Save supermarket (Childers Road, Gisborne) is a good place to stock up on supplies before heading up through the East Cape.

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Tairawhiti Museum

This excellent museum complex features exhibits on local history with a fine collection of Māori artefacts. The maritime exhibits include displays of shipwrecks including the bridge house of the Star of Canada, which ran aground on Kaiti Beach in 1912. It also has an exhibit of historic surfboards.

10 Stout Street, Gisborne
Tel (06) 867 3832
Website www.tairawhitimuseum.org.nz
Admission $5
Open Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1.30pm-4pm

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