Sunscreen is a must!
Some may think, oh yeah, thats a given, but it really is important. The burn time in New Zealand, especially in the height of summer can be as little as a couple of minutes, and without that ozone layer up there to stop those rays, you'll be doing yourself damage if you don't cover up
Whangara: "Whale Rider" village
Whangara is situated about 30 minutes drive from Gisborne along the way to the East Cape. Before reaching the exit to this Maori village we passed some beautiful bays.
We had seen the movie “Whale Rider” before we went to New Zealand and were just curious about the site where the movie was filmed. There are a lot of places we did recognise; among them the school (just after the turn off of the main road) and off course the marae (meeting house) and other buildings on the beach.
We were lucky because one of the villagers showed us around and he was very proud of his Dutch visitors.
(more about the movie: www.whaleriderthemovie.co.nz)
Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve
In Mahia Beach (see other tip) starts a gravel road called Kinikini Road which brought us in the uninhabited world of the Mahia Peninsula. The road is narrow, winding and on some places rather steep and goes through a rugged landscape with views over Hawke Bay.
After 7 km’s is a very small parking place, but it doesn’t matter, because we were the second visitors of that day. Just opposite the car park starts a walking track through the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve.
First we reached a kind of a look out with superb views over the peninsula and the sea. The track goes down and we came in the green green native bush of New Zealand, with a always wonderful smell. We had to cross a little stream about ten times, but without any problems.
We reached the car park again through a long staircase. All together we walked about two hours. A fantastic experience. (Oh, indeed we did see four other human beings !!)
Go Deep sea Diving or Fishing
Being a coastal town, Gisborne naturally leads itself to being a good spot for fishing. I'm not much of a fisher-person myself, but my father is, and in fact, all the men on my Dad's side are keen fisherman, and all own their own boats!
There are plenty of companies that offer chartered fishing and diving excursions. Follow the link below for a good list of people who provide it.
If you're not keen on heading out to sea, quite a few people will head down to the rivers in the centre of town, or the wharf, and cast a line over the edge.
Home is where the heart is
I've now decided to make it my mission to show Gisborne for what it really is here on VT! It may be falling on deaf ears, because even I know that Gizzy will never be at the top of anyone's list when they travel to New Zealand. But I really feel Gizzy gets mis-interpreted.
I was incensed recently when my boyfriends' friend's new girlfriend (who is from New Zealand) insinuated that I must be hick if I was born in Gizzy!
That simply isn't true, and Gisborne is a lovely city. These pages will prove it.
"One little Gizzy Girl"
Well, this is the place I call home. I was born is Gisborne (Gizzy) and lived there for 21 years (save 3 years in Palmerston North studying at University, and even then I was constantly driving back as my then boyfriend still lived here). I have so many fond memories of this town, and some of my family still live here. However, I won't ever be going back to live in Gisborne, only for holidays to see my family.
Aside from being the first city in the world to see the sun, which is one of it's main claims to fame. The other's being, it's lovely beaches, surfing and more recently, it's wine.
It is a small town, which is part of it's charm (or it's downfall, depending on your own personal outlook), but in recent years it's realyl started to pick up. The last time I was home there were so many changes, new buildings and luxury hotels and apartments being built.
It's a little out of the way when compared to other destination in NZ - it's surrounded entirely by hills, and the roads into town are all windy and steep, and can get blocked during any bad weather.
The best time of the year to visit Gisborne is of course, over the summer to take advantage of the beaches. More specifically, the New Years period is filled with so many festivals and activities, the place comes alive.
But Gisborne really does have it's own little charm. It annoys me when people put it down!
"First City in the World to See the Sun"
Gisborne, the first city in the world to see the sun each day, is located on the sunny East Coast of the North Island.
The Maori name for the district is Tairawhiti which means "The coast upon which the sun shines across the water". Kaiti Beach, near the city, was where the Maori immigrational waka, Horouta, landed; and is also the first European landing place in New Zealand.
Captain Cook first set foot here in 1769. European settlement was established in 1831 and the town which developed was named after Hon. William Gisborne, the Colonial Secretary, in 1870.
Prior to this the settlement was known as Turanga but confusion with Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, led to the name change. To the early Maori the Poverty Bay area was known as Turanganui-a-Kiwa, "The stopping place of Kiwa". Gisborne became a borough in 1877 and a city in 1955