• Your guide to

    3 days in Gisborne

    Surfing credit Brook Sabin town beach v2


3 Days


Surfing & fishing

Tracks & trails

Local produce & amazing wineries

Sightseeing & activities

..and so much more!



From Auckland: 494km

From Hamilton: 376km

From Wellington: 534km

If you're planning a trip to Tairāwhiti Gisborne - this 3-day guide is just what you need! We've thought of everything that makes this town special - you'll be treated to amazing local produce, quirky shops (and the quirkiest little cinema you'll ever come across!), the best waves for learning to surf, great fishing, endless sightseeing opportunities - and so much more!  

The most important thing to remember is when you're here it's all about slowing down and chilling out!


No matter where you are in Tairāwhiti Gisborne - you're never far from the water. We're a coastal crew who love spending time on and in the water and we get a kick out of seeing manuhiri exploring our rivers and beaches and finding out for themselves what makes this place so special.



Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or pro surfer, you'll find plenty of options to catch one of our world-famous waves. For beginners, Waikanae (Roberts Road) and the northern end of Makarori provide the perfect place to test the waters - and why not grab a lesson with a pro? Learn to Surf with Sarah, Salt Shack Surf School, and New Wave Surf School are all great options and will set up where the best surf is each day. 

For those with a little more experience under the belt, Wainui Beach and Makorori Beach tend to have the most consistent, year-round breaks. They're also pretty good spots to catch one of those famous East Coast sunrises. 

Fishing & Charters

If you're a keen fisherman, there's plenty of spots to cast a line out into the ocean in Tairāwhiti Gisborne or if you're driving down Highway 35, stop off at Waioeka River for some flyfishing. Keen to head out to deeper water? Jump on board with one of the local fishing charters and they'll take you to some of the best spots in the region. Touchwood Fishing Charters offers full and half-day private charters and cater for novices through to expert anglers. Another great way to get out on the water is a trip with MV Takitimu - they offer sightseeing tours and, if you're lucky, you'll get the chance to see some amazing ocean wildlife.

Activity of the day: Dive Tatapouri

After grabbing some tasty treats at the Farmers Market, head out to Dive Tatapouri to take part in their interactive marine experience - it's a must-do activity when you visit Gisborne! Manuhiri get the opportunity to get up close and personal with a range of sealife, including Stingray and other marine life, as well as learning about the local culture and the beautiful surroundings. 

Discover Rere Falls

One of the most charming waterfalls in New Zealand, Rere Falls, surrounded by farmland, is located on the Wharekopae River and is only 45-minutes drive from Gisborne. The waterfall is accompanied by a great picnic area and has a fantastic swimming pool near the falls. For an extra bit of fun - pack a boogie board and find out how fun it is to slide down a 60m rock waterslide!


Enjoy fish and chips on the beach

It wouldn't be a beach holiday without a casual fish and chip dinner on the beach! The hardest decision you'll have to make is which beach you want to visit! Wondering where to get the best fish and chips? The locals love: London St Fish & Chips, Aberdeen Fish Shop, and The Sail Away Fish & Chip Shop. 




The taste trail of Tairāwhiti is a flavourful culinary experience and a journey meant to be savoured. 


Gisborne Farmers Market

Held every Saturday morning from 9.30 am – 12.30 pm, the popular Gisborne Farmers Market is on come rain or shine. If you’re lucky enough to visit over a weekend, then make sure to head down to the corner of Stout and Fitzherbert streets across from the Tairāwhiti Museum to discover the charm, spirit and community of the much-loved Gisborne Farmers Market - a feast for the senses and the soul!

Activity of the day: Explore the East Coast

After your morning surf, why not jump in the car and head up the Coast? There's so much to see and the drive itself is beautiful! Tolaga Bay is well worth a visit with its historic wharf - the longest in New Zealand. Tipuna Tours is a locally-owned eco-tourism operator offering Māori guided tours by foot or 4X4 and are a great way to learn about the history and culture of the area. 

Stop for a drop at our world-class wineries

In this picturesque corner of Aotearoa, you'll find a handful of outstanding wineries that add to the charm of Gisborne. A journey to this region would be lacking without indulging in a day dedicated to the art of wine tasting. There are some great options to choose from, including TW Wines, Matawhero and Wrights - but check out our top tips for a day exploring the vineyards, you won't regret it!

Sunshine Brewery

Did you know Gisborne is home to the oldest independent brewery in New Zealand? Since 1989 Sunshine Brewery has been crafting thirst quenching beers for locals and visitors alike. Their taproom is located between the beach and downtown Gisborne, and is the perfect place to stop for a brew and tasty snacks! 




There's so many fabulous walking tracks and trails in the Gisborne region – think dazzling coastal trails, secret tucked-away coves, refreshing green bush walks, and even spots with an amazing history to be told. The best part? There's something to suit every fitness level! 


Beach walks

Our stunning beaches are pretty hard to miss - so start the day with a coffee and a morning stroll along the beach (make it an early one and treat yourself to the first light of the day). Stretching 1km from Gisborne's Waikanae Beach to Midway Beach is the Oneroa Cycle and Walkway which is the perfect place for a long walk or cycle along the coast.

Gisborne Railbike Adventures

Ever wanted to be a train conductor for the day? Gisborne Railbike Adventures can help you live out that dream! Jump on one of these unique tandem bikes and make your way along historic railway tracks - it's a wonderful and fun way to see Tairāwhiti Gisborne from a different angle!

Cycle Gisborne

Get off the beaten track with Cycle Gisborne; from fully guided tours to a drop-off/pick-up service, Cycle Gisborne will help you plan the best Tairāwhiti cycling adventure! 

Eastwoodhill Arboretum

Eastwoodhill Arboretum is a gorgeous, sprawling wonderland of trees; kind of like an ark, trees from all around the world have been planted here on over 131 hectares, since 1910. This makes for some beautiful walks. There are trails that are easy and flat, and strenuous ones that reward you with lookouts.


If you're looking for somewhere to stay when you visit Tairāwhiti Gisborne, you'll find plenty of accommodation options to choose from, including absolute beachfront camping, luxurious hilltop homes, and comfortable motel accommodation in the heart of the city.

Here's some of our favourites:

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