Top 10 things to do in Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Looking for things to do in Tairāwhiti Gisborne? We've done some of the groundwork for you.

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 Eastland 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. A longer third trail between Wairoa and Mahia is in the making.

Experience traditional Māori culture and waka sailing

Waka Voyagers Tairāwhiti offer authentic Māori culture and sailing experiences aboard the 70-foot traditional Māori waka hourua (two-hulled canoe) named Tairāwhiti. Step aboard to learn about the seafaring and navigation techniques Māori voyagers used to cross the Pacific and discover New Zealand or join the crew for a hands-on sailing experience.

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!