A very warm welcome to Gisborne from HealthStaff Recruitment

Gisborne, the first city in the world to see the sun each day, is located on the sunny east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Gisborne is located on Poverty Bay, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of the Turanganui River. The area around Gisborne is one of New Zealand’s most important centres for growing grapes for wineries. Gisborne is a busy market and service centre for nearby farms and timber operations, as well as a busy industrial centre. Industries include engineering, hosiery and fertilizer plants, and dairy, food, and wool processing. The east coast region is also the contemporary heartland of New Zealand’s native people, the Maori, and Gisborne has a gallery of Maori art. Poverty Bay was the first area visited by British explorer Captain James Cook when he arrived in New Zealand in October 1769. Cook gave the bay its name because he could find little food for his crew. The first permanent European settlers arrived in 1852; Gisborne was named for the British colonial secretary Sir William Gisborne. The settlement was declared a city in 1955. Gisborne claims to be the world’s most easterly city, lying less than 900 km (less than 560 miles) from the International Date


The Gisborne district (population 45,000 with about 30,000 residing in the city) generally has warm summers and mild winters. Gisborne is one of the sunniest places in New Zealand with average yearly sunshine of around 2200 hours. The region’s annual rainfall varies from about 1000mm near the coast to over 2500mm in the higher inland country. Temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius have been recorded and an average 65 days a year have a maximum of over 24.


Eastland Visitor Information Centre
209 Grey Street Gisborne
Ph: 06-868-6139
Fax: 06-868 6138

Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve at Kaiti Beach marks the place where Captain James Cook landed on 9th October, 1769.

Gisborne Harbour was formed in the 1920s when the Turanganui River was divided lengthways with the construction of a diversion wall and the dredging out of the inner harbour basin. The inner harbour is now a marina and a developing cafe and restaurant scene. The outer harbour is being developed to meet the demands of the expanding overseas logging and produce trade into the 21st century.

Nearby stands the picturesque Toko Toru Tapu Church. Permission required.

Phone 06 867 2835.

Gisborne’s magnificent Te Poho-o-Rawiri is one of the largest carved Maori meetinghouses in New Zealand.

The Cenotaph on the Esplanade, overlooking the Turanganui River, is in memory of those who fell in all wars.

Te Kuri Farm Walkway is a 2.5 hour walk to a trig station over looking Gisborne and Poverty Bay. Closed for spring lambing season.

The Turanganui River is the shortest river in New Zealand being only 1200m in length. Young Nick’s Statue, situated at the mouth of the Turanganui River near Waikanae Beach, commemorates the young boy, Nicholas Young, reputed to have been the first crewman on board the “Endeavour” to sight land. The white cliffs across the bay bear his name.

The Museum and Arts Centre, Stout Street, houses a fine collection of Maori and European artefacts, an extensive photographic collection and art galleries which exhibit local, national and international art works. There is a shop specialising in local art and craft. Free admission.

Star of Canada Maritime Museum on the bank of the Taruheru River is the wheelhouse saved from wreckage of the “SS Star of Canada” which broke moorings, struck rocks and sank off Kaiti Beach in 1912.

Wyllie Cottage, built in 1872, is a six-roomed cottage furnished in the 19th century style. It was the first house built on the northern side of the Taruheru River and is now the oldest house still standing in Gisborne. It is part of the Gisborne Museum complex.

H B Williams Memorial Library, Peel Street. Hours are 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday; late night till 8pm Tuesday; 9.30am-1pm Saturday.

East Coast Museum of Technology, Main Road, Makaraka. Open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm, preserving a huge collection of vintage farm machinery, home and office equipment, fire engines, etc.

Margaret Sievwright Memorial in Fitzherbert Street commemorates an early suffrage worker. It overlooks the Gisborne Rose Garden, which contains a splendid display of hundreds of rose varieties. Across the road is shady Kelvin Park, the site of Gisborne’s coloured fountain.

Marina Park, Ormond Road, is an inner-city riverside park centred around the Marina Boat Ramp giving access to the three rivers and to Poverty Bay via the Turanganui River. It gives access to Lawson Field Theatre and an historic mansion housing a restaurant. BBQ areas.

Wi Pere Memorial in Reads Quay honours a Maori leader who was a member of parliament from 1884-1912. He commands the Riverside Walkway, which winds its way around the cities riverbanks.

Heipipi Endeavour Park, on the corner of Gladstone Road and Customhouse Street is the site of the ornately carved canoe prow, Te Tauihu Turanga Whakamana.

Botanical Gardens, Aberdeen Road, on the banks of the Taruheru River is a 4ha area close to the city centre featuring native bush and ponds, a species rose collection, a cactus collection, an aviary and a children’s playground with picnic areas.

Adventure Playground, Awapuni Road near Midway Beach, contains a boating lake, numerous items of timber-structured play equipment, and a miniature train.

Alfred Cox Park, Grey Street, behind the Gisborne Visitor Information Centre, offers a mini-golf course and a BMX track. A Canadian Totem Pole stands here. Early every Saturday morning there is a market.

Anzac Park, Score Road on the Waimata River. Base for rowing, kayaking and waka paddling. Large sports field. BBQ, toilet, boat ramp, play equipment and large trees. Good swimming at high tide. An ideal spot for a quiet, riverside picnic, or friendly game of cricket, football, touch etc.


Most sports are well catered for in Gisborne with bowling, tennis, squash, golf and fitness gyms having excellent facilities. Wineries abound on the fertile flats – see why Gisborne is called the ‘chardonnay capital’ of New Zealand. Go trout fishing in the outlying rivers, or try some excellent deep-sea fishing (inquire at Tatapouri Sport Fishing Club on the wharf, visiting anglers welcome), surfcasting or underwater diving.

There’s swimming at the heated Gisborne Olympic Pool – waterslide, play area, BBQ, racing pool, diving pool, covered heated pool and therapeutic spa pools. Enterprise Aquatic Centre, Nelson Road, has a covered heated pool. There are patrolled beaches at- Waikanae, Midway and Okitu. Always swim between the flags for safety. – Gisborne is world-famous for its surfing beaches. Yachting and windsurfing are based off Kaiti Beach or try windsurfing at Wainui.

Hunting, horse trekking, off-roading, mountain biking, and tramping are pursuits well-catered for throughout the region. Indoor Sports such as – archery, bowls, badminton, volley ball and basket ball are catered for. Gisborne has a well-equipped YMCA.

There is a flea market every Saturday morning at Alfred Cox Park, Grey Street. Be early.

Vintage Railway WA 165 Project is open for viewing Saturdays 9am-12 noon.

Enquiries phone 06 867 0385.

Downtown Gisborne is a living museum of turn-of-the century architecture and Grays Bush is a 12 ha pre-European native bush reserve close to Gisborne.

Numerous talented artists produce and sell a fine range of arts and crafts in the Gisborne district.

For the latest information on any of the above activities, or for the name of the appropriate club or organisation, contact the Gisborne Visitor Information Centre.

Around Gisborne

The flats and hill country surrounding Gisborne provides many interesting and unique places to visit on day trips and picnics.

Wineries abound on the fertile flats – see why Gisborne is called the Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand.

Makaraka Cemetery (Gisborne 4k). This historic cemetery contains many memorials to early pioneers including a monument in memory of the victims of the Poverty Bay Massacre of 1868.

East Coast Museum of Technology (Gisborne 5k) is housed in the old Kia Ora Dairy Factory building at Makaraka. Here can be seen an interesting collection of old gadgets, vehicles and agricultural machinery, many of which have been restored to working condition.

Matawhero Historic Church (Gisborne 8k) built mid-1860s is the oldest building still standing in Poverty Bay surviving the Poverty Bay Massacre of 1868. Originally a school room it has been a Presbyterian Church since 1872 and is one of the most historic buildings in this area.

Manutuke (Gisborne 14k) is a very historic area which includes several Maori marae. Te Poho o Rukupo, a finely painted house, is one of the oldest meeting houses standing in Poverty Bay. Nearby is Toko Toru Tapu, an Anglican Church, the interior of which is adorned with magnificent Maori carvings. Close by at Whakato Marae stands the richly carved house Te Mana o Turanga which was opened in 1883.

Doneraille Park (Gisborne 53k) on Tiniroto Road is a beautiful, native bush reserve and tranquil picnic area on the banks of the Hangaroa River. Good fishing, safe swimming, picnic and camping facilities. A tranquil, riverside, country retreat well-worth the drive.

Tiniroto (Gisborne 61k). The Tiniroto Lakes are renowned for year round trout fishing. A photographer’s paradise.

Hackfalls Arboretum (3km from Tiniroto) has one of the largest private collections of oaks, poplars and maples in New Zealand. Allow 2-3 hours for this visit. For Information phone 06-863-7091.

Rongopai (Gisborne 18k), Lavenham Road, Waituhi, built in 1888 has a remarkable painted interior where Maori decorations and motifs show a strong and unique European influence. Permission is required before entering the marae.

Eastwoodhill Arboretum (Gisborne 35k) on the road to Rere. World-renowned tree and shrub collection in a park setting including hills, valleys, ponds and formal gardens. Established in 1918. Spectacular in Autumn and Spring; but highlights, views and pleasant walks in all seasons.

Rere Falls Picnic Ground (Gisborne 50k). Photogenic water fall and swimming hole. Plus Rere Rock Slide – a natural, very exciting, 100m waterslide is sign-posted not far up the road. Own risk, care needed.

Grays Hill Lookout (Gisborne 13k) on Waimata Valley Road. Spectacular views of Poverty Bay plains, Gisborne and out to Young Nick’s Head.

Grays Bush (Gisborne 12k) on Back Ormond Road, is a 12ha pre-European bush remnant that is thought to be the only forest community of its type left in New Zealand. The reserve contains the unique mixture of tall kahikatea over puriri with a light undergrowth of nikau, puketea, karaka and tawa.

Waihirere Domain (Gisborne 15k) on Back Ormond Road, is a picnic area with swimming pool and play equipment surrounded by native bush. The bush walk leads to Waihirere Waterfall. Toilets.

Mangatu Forest (Gisborne 67k). A total of 20,200 ha planted between 1960 – 1987 to stabilize the erosion prone hills in the Mangatu/Tarndale area. Harvest began in 1990 and by the mid-1990s had reached a quarter of a million tonnes of logs per annum. Permission must be obtained before entering the forests. In this area can be seen the spectacular Tarndale Slip, one of the largest earth movements in the world.

Otoko Walkway (Gisborne 46k). 5km track follows part of the old Gisborne to Motouhora railway taking 2 hours and is suitable for all age groups. There is a 500m detour to view a picturesque waterfall set amongst native bush that is noted for kowhai blossom in spring. The walkway is closed during lambing season, 1 August to 30 September.

Motu (Gisborne 87k) was once a busy sawmilling settlement, and includes the Whinray Scenic Reserve, a wholly pre-European forest containing 50m giant podocarps, is considered one of the best in the district. A good 5km walking track crosses a swingbridge over the Motu Falls (not a loop). Trout fishing, hunting, put-in for rafting.

The Old Motu Coach Road, a relic from coaching days linking Matawai and Opotiki. An unsealed, very scenic road through wild rugged country surrounded by much native bush. Not recommended during wet weather, two fords to cross. Popular, but testing, mountain bike ride.

Pakihi Track, a 1 to 2 day walking and 6 hour mountain biking track off the Old Motu Road to Opotiki. Real bush country.