Be the first sunbather to greet the scorching summer sun by taking a holiday in Gisborne, one of New Zealand’s premier sea-side destinations and the very first resort in the world to see the sun rise every day.
Learn about Maori customs and clothing at the Tairawhiti Museum, take a relaxing walk under the many different trees of the Eastwoodhill Arboretum or see the vintage cars at the East Coast Museum of Technology.
However, it’s when you get outdoors that Gisborne really shines. Take a short walk to the unique Rere Rockslide and don’t forget your bodyboard. With water streaming over a natural rock slope to the sea below, this is a spectacular place to enjoy a slide. The resort is also close to beaches which receive some impressive surf, and local guides will tell visitors how to make the most of the waves.
Visitors can also easily reach the hot pools at Morere where they can bathe in the soothing warm mineral waters and take a coastal hike in the beautiful surroundings of the Morere Springs Scenic Reserve. Gorgeous coastal towns like Opotiki are close by as well, with its great fishing opportunities and golden sands.
Gisborne itself offers leisure activities that everyone can enjoy. Book a round at the local golf course, go for a swim at the Olympic Pool or enjoy an atmospheric ride on the local Vintage Railway which provides exceptional views of the coastal landscape.
Get close to local characters like sting-rays (with expert guides in attendance), while special tours can be booked which include walks across the coastal reef at low tide, showing its diverse animal life. More adventurous tourists can even book a session in a shark cage, but for many, scuba diving on the reef will be sufficient.
Peak season on the North Island of New Zealand runs from around December through to March, and accommodation will accordingly be more expensive during this time. However, the weather will also be warm and all attractions will be open, making it a great time to visit anyway. Try April or November for good weather and cheaper deals on hotels, while even July and August can be fine for outdoor activities.
Gisborne has an excellent local bus system which is known to be reliable and extensive. Get hold of a map when you arrive at the airport. There are also some cycling trails to follow. However, for total mobility and access to Auckland and attractions like Morere, a rental car is essential.