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  • General Information

    Other Name: Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa, District: Gisborne, State: East Cape , New Zealand
    Area: 0 -
    Languages Spoken: English and Maori
    Long Distance Code: 06
    Importance: The City of Beaches.
    Best Time to Visit: December to February and September
    International Access: Connected to all the major cities of New Zealand.
  • Description

    Gisborne is the name of a unitary authority in New Zealand, being both a region and a district. Gisborne is also the name of the largest settlement within the Gisborne Region. Gisborne is named for an early Colonial Secretary William Gisborne. The council is located in the town of Gisborne (locally referred to as the City of Gisborne). State Highway 2 passes through Gisborne and Gisborne is the northern terminus of the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line railway, which opened in 1942. Passenger services were provided until 1988, when the Endeavour express was cancelled north of Napier. Today, the railway carries solely freight.
  • Location

    The region is located in the northeastern corner of the North Island and is also referred to as the East Cape or East Coast or Eastland region.
  • Climate

    Temperate Climate.
Meandering around the East Cape, SH 35 begins its 334 kilometre journey in Gisborne, then travels through some of the most spectacular coastal scenery New Zealand has to offer, to Opotiki.

This classic touring route takes six hours, however, a slower pace allows time to explore its quaint townships, secluded white sand beaches and the historical sites marking the history of this remote corner of New Zealand.

Hike the Cook''s Cove Walkway, a gentle 5km walk across farmland to the place where Captain James Cook took aboard supplies and repairs to the Endeavour when he landed in New Zealand in October 1769.

Take your fishing rod and stroll along New Zealand''s longest wharf at Tolaga Bay and be transported to a time when this quiet township was a humming port servicing a large shipping trade. Then, hike the Ernest Reeves Walkway for views over the township, bay, wharf and Uawa River.

Enjoy a trip to the East Cape Lighthouse from Te Araroa. The lighthouse is reached via some 700 steps and from the top a breathtaking panorama unfolds.

After checking-in to one of Gisborne''s fantastic motels, join a surf school and learn how to surf (or hop aboard a tandem ride), then practice your newly acquired skills on legendary breaks alongside New Zealand''s top surfer, Maz Quinn.

Or simply pack a picnic, your favourite bottle of Gisborne Chardonnay and slabs of local Waimata Cheese and head to the beach – after all, that’s what this part of the world is most famous for!

Te Urewera National Park, New Zealand''s third largest national park, is home to tranquil Lake Waikaremoana and the Lake Waikaremoana Track.

It''s one of New Zealand''s Ten Great Walks and as you drive into this great wilderness, you couldn''t feel further removed from the pressures of the world.

Te Urewera National Park boasts the largest untouched tract of native forest in the North Island. This unspoiled forest features a myriad of clean, sparkling lakes, dramatic rock bluffs and tumbling waterfalls.

The Lake Waikaremoana Track takes four days/three nights to tramp and huts should be booked in advance.

For those with less time to spare, there''s a wide range of shorter hikes to choose from - or you can try your hand at trout fishing or kayaking.

Holiday parks provide comfortable accommodation: there''s the Lake Waikaremoana Holiday Park on the lake edge which offers chalets, cabins and a camping ground, and Big Bush Holiday Park which also has a café on-site.

For up-to-date information on the lake and the history of the park, don''t miss the Department of Conservation''s Aniwaniwa Information Centre. Here you will learn all about the mysterious locals, commonly known as "the children of the mist".

Gisborne is renowned for its long empty white sand beaches, award-winning Chardonnays and golden sunrises. In fact, according to the locals, sunrise is the perfect time to enjoy all three!

Gisborne is the first city in the world to see the sun rise each day, and popular Wainui Beach provides a perfect spot from which to watch the sky slowly change as the sun bursts from the sea.

Then it''s on to the vineyards, for Gisborne is dubbed the Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand - and for good reason. It boasts the largest area of Chardonnay vineyards and is the third largest grape-growing region in the country.

Although better known for its Chardonnay, the city is also earning recognition for its other varietals including Gewürztraminer, Viognier and Chenin Blanc – to name a few.

Grab a wine trail map and visit any of its vineyards and boutique wineries, or for a complete wine and food experience, take part in Wine Week when the International Chardonnay Challenge and the Gisborne Wine and Food Festival are celebrated.

Enjoy the International Chardonnay Challenge''s Italian Long Lunch or groove to live entertainment and sample local food and wine at the Gisborne Wine and Food Festival.

Public buses provide safe transport between venues and make it easy to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of Gisborne Chardonnay in the "Chardonnay Capital" of New Zealand.

It''s one thing to slide down a grassy hill on a piece of cardboard (remember that as a kid?), whooping with excitement as your corrugated ride gathers bouncing momentum. But it''s another to slide at high speed down 60 metres of rock.

However, this isn’t just any rock face — it''s not a craggy shard of menacing dimensions that should be left to abseilers. Rather, it''s a wild ride made smooth by a coating of constantly running water.

Located approximately 50 kilometres from Gisborne on the Wharekopae Road — heading toward Eastwoodhill Arboretum — this natural rock slide is a part of the Wharekopae River.

Most age groups could give this rock slide a go, however, a little care is suggested. So is using a boogie board, inflatable mattress or inner tube to replace the traditional cardboard vehicle.

Just one word of warning — don''t mistake the Rere Falls for the rock slide! It may look like a gush of water that begs conquering, but these falls are better captured via photography. You''ll also find a great swimming hole and picnic area here.

And if Rere Waterfall remains too compelling to ignore, you could always try walking around its cascading curtain to slide from the rocks behind into the water below.