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What to Do for 5 Days in Gisborne

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5 Day Gisborne Itinerary

Make the most of your venture to New Zealand’s Eastland region with this itinerary for 5 days in Gisborne! This five-day sample itinerary for Gisborne incorporates a bit of all travel styles, from wine tastings to surfing to cultural activities such as the local museum. Most of the activities are affordable too keeping budget in mind. So get inspired for your time “out east” with this five-day Gisborne itinerary!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in our Gisborne – Guide for Backpackers.

Haka Tours

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Day 1 – Surf lesson, the Tairawhiti Museum & Beer Tasting

Morning  – Surfing on Waikanae Beach

Where: Roberts Road

Start the day off with a refreshing surf at Gisborne’s Waikanae Beach! If you’re a pro, simply hire a board from in town and enjoy the cruisy waves at the end of Roberts Road. Otherwise, get a surf lesson with Wow Surf School or Surfing with Frank. With a sandy seabed, consistent waves and some stellar sunrises, learning to surf on Waikanae beach is a safe and beautiful place to start the day.

Afternoon – Tairawhiti Museum

Where: 10 Stout Street

After you’ve dried off from your surf lesson, spend some time warming up indoors at the Tairawhiti Museum. This regional museum for Gisborne has a wealth of fascinating exhibitions, from the Maori history to the evolution of the surfboard (just to keep things on-theme). There is a small entry fee.

Evening – Sunshine Brewery

Where: 49 Awapuni Road

End the day with a nice cold beer, or an entire tasting tray, at the Sunshine Brewery. The Sunshine Brewery has been turning out naturally brewed beers since 1989 making it the second oldest independent brewery in New Zealand! Whether that fact impresses you or not, the brewery is a good place to try some of that famous New Zealand craft beer.

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Day 2 – Eastwoodhill Arboretum, Rere Falls, Rere Rockslide & the Gisborne Wine Centre

Morning – Eastwoodhill Arboretum

Where: 2392 Wharekopae
Travel Time: 1 hour

Set off toward Wharekopae Road to the Eastwoodhill Arboretum. This is the national arboretum of New Zealand covering 131 hectares with exotic and native trees. There are 25km of walking trails to enjoy, more than 40 species of birds to be seen, and one curator tour to join should you want to dive deeper into the Arboretum experience.

Afternoon – Rere Falls & Rere Rockslide

Travel Time: 15 minutes

Just 15 minutes further down the road from Eastwoodhill is the breathtaking Rere Falls. This 20m wide and 10m tall cascade is a great picnic and photo spot before making your way around the corner to the Rere Rockslide. This natural rockslide attracts hundreds of visitors each summer equipped with bodyboards and inflatables of all kinds! Join in on the fun sliding down the waterslide into a freshwater pool.

Evening – Wine Tasting & Dinner at the Gisborne Wine Centre

Where: 50 The Esplanade
Travel Time: 1h15 minutes

After the day’s excitement, sit down with a glass in hand at The Gisborne Wine Centre. Either book a guided wine tasting to learn more about the region’s wineries or just simply enjoy a glass alongside dinner at the centre’s Crawford Road Kitchen.

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Day 3 – City Cycle Tour, Sailing on the MV Takitimu & Watching a Movie at the Dome Cinema

Morning – City Cycle Tour

Where: 209 Grey Street

Hire a bike from the Gisborne i-SITE, grab yourself a cycle map and explore the city highlights by bike. Ride through the picturesque Botanical Gardens, along the Taruheru River and on the Waikanae Beach Walkway. Sculptures and statues commemorate the historic first landing of Captain Cook in New Zealand.

Afternoon – Sail on the MV Takitimu

Where: Tatapouri Fishing Club, get your tickets from the i-SITE

Enjoy a scenic cruise on the historic MV Takitimu boat leaving the Gisborne port and sailing out to the white cliffs of Young Nick’s Head. The pilot vessel, built in 1921, is believed to be the oldest pilot vessel in New Zealand still operating. The trip runs throughout summer every Sunday at 2pm.

Evening – Watch a Movie at the Dome Cinema

Where: Corner of Customhouse Street and Childers Road

The Dome Cinema is more than just watching a movie, it’s a whole dining cinema experience! Order your pizzas and drinks in the bar then literally get tucked into the plush beanbags by the staff before the screening of the arthouse film begins.

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Day 4 – Cider Tasting, Mini Golf & Wine tasting

Morning – Harvest Cidery

Where: 91 Customhouse Street

Ok, 10am isn’t too early for a cider tasting, is it? Take advantage of the complimentary tastings at the Harvest Cidery which has been producing award-winning ciders for more than 25 years. After your tasting, head upstairs to watch the brewers at work through the giant windows.

Afternoon – Play Gisborne Mini Golf

Where: 209 Grey Street

Don’t know whether to travel to the East Cape yet? Well, get a taste for it at the East Cape and Gisborne-themed mini golf course at the Gisborne i-SITE! This 18-hole golf course is a fun way to spend an hour while sticking to a budget. See more activities like this in our 11 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Gisborne.

Evening – Wine Tasting at the Millton Vineyard

Where: 119 Papatu Road
Travel Time: 15 minutes

Indulge in a wine tasting at the cellar door of the Millton Vineyards & Winery. Sample wine made with biodynamic and organic techniques and sit down in a garden setting to a cheese and cured meat platter.

See more winery options in our 7 Best Breweries & Wineries in Gisborne.

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Day 5 – Feed Stingrays with Dive Tatapouri

Time dependent on the tide

Where: 532 Whangara Road
Travel Time: 15 minutes

Your final day in Gisborne is an easy-going day but will still end with a bang with the spectacular Reef Ecology Tour with Dive Tatapouri. This activity is tide and weather dependent but all the details will be clear when you book. Wade out on a shallow reef with your guide to meet and the short-tailed stingrays and eagle rays. It’s sure to be one of the most unique things you do in New Zealand!

Have more time left in the day? Be inspired with our 10 Must Dos In Gisborne, as well as our 10 Gisborne Walks You Can’t Miss.

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