• Getting around

    Tairāwhiti 101

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How do you get to Gisborne and explore the Stunning East Cape?

The wild beauty and remoteness of the region means transport options are limited and worth knowing about before you go. Whether that’s bus, rental car, or taxi, we’ve got you covered with info below.


Getting to Gisborne

Getting to Gisborne from outside the area is easy. Air New Zealand flies into Gisborne Airport, and Intercity buses take you from most major towns right to the Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Information Centre on Grey Street.

The region has had a tough year weather wise but we are pleased to say that all of our roads are open and there are plenty of ways to visit Tairāwhiti Gisborne. It is always helpful to keep an eye on Waka Kotahi for any 

Within Gisborne and immediate surrounds

Gisborne City itself is fantastically compact – it’s only a 5-minute drive from the airport to the CBD.

In Gisborne, you can choose from a taxi, rental car or a bus (weekdays only) and it’s really quite hard to get lost.

  • Taxis, of course, can take you anywhere: we recommend Gisborne Taxis 0800 468 294, or Eastland Taxis 0800 282 947.
  • It’s very easy to rent a car at the airport – Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty are all there for you to plan your trip with, immediately after you touch down.
  • The Gizzy Bus is a great option on weekdays (they also allow bikes on board at no extra charge). The routes that swing past the airport are the 3A and 1B – the buses stop within walking distance of Gisborne Airport at the southern end of Chalmers Road. You can download the timetables and routes here. The adult cash fare is $2.20 – make sure you signal the driver to stop.
  • Bicycle hire: some would say the best way to see a town or region is by a leisurely cycle (it’s also a great way to work off those amazing vineyard lunches!).  Cycle Gisborne and Bikeys both have bikes for hire, whether that’s mountain bikes, BMX or road cycles, with hourly, daily and multi-day rates available.

Round the East Cape

The roads winding up the coast and around scenic State Highway 35 are gorgeous, and the settlements are remote. There is no major bus service, so your options are Cooks Courier, rental car, or hiring a bike for a real adventure.

Cooks Passenger and Courier Service leave from the Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Information Centre daily between 1.30 pm and 2 pm, and drives as far as Wharekahika/Hicks Bay, stopping at towns along the way. For bookings, please call 021 371 364.

If you’ve explored the area and are wanting to get from the top of the Cape over to Ōpōtiki, you can take the Bay Bus from Pōtaka (Lottin Point) to Ōpōtiki: timetable and stops here.