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Gisborne

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Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia New Zealand North Island Gisborne Region Gisborne

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Introduction

Gisborne (6)

Gisborne (6)

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Gisborne is a city in the Gisborne Region (East Cape) on New Zealand's North Island and has about 34,000 inhabitants. The settlement was originally known as Turanga and renamed Gisborne in 1870 in honour of New Zealand Colonial Secretary William Gisborne.

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Sights and Activities

  • Tairawhiti Museum, 10 Stout St, ☎ +64 6 867-3832. M-Sa 10:00-16:00; Su & public holidays 13:30-16:00. Solid local museum with Māori taonga and history displays. The basement houses a local surfing/ocean exhibit, including documentation of Captain Cook's first landfall in New Zealand and an entire boat wheelhouse from The Star of Canada, which sank in the harbour in 1912. There is also an historic house open to the public and a café on-site.
  • Eastwoodhill Arboretum, 2392 Wharekopae Rd, ☎ +64 6 863-9003. New Zealand's largest planting of North American trees. It has plenty of walks and gardens, and is lovely in the autumn when the leaves change.

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Events and Festivals

  • Gisborne Wine & Food Festival - Nestled in the middle of New Zealand’s wine region on the east coast, the Gisborne Wine & Food Festival is a must over Labor Day weekend in October. Visitors can taste some of the best local wines while enjoying great music and food. Tickets for the event need to be purchased in advance.

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Weather

The region is sheltered by high country to the west and has a sunny climate with a yearly average of 2,200 sunshine hours. The annual rainfall varies from about 1,000 mm near the coast to over 2,500 mm in higher inland country. According to the NIWA dataset for 1981–2010 normals, Gisborne narrowly edged several other cities to have the warmest summer maxima of official stations. Winters are slightly cooler than more northerly areas, rendering that over the course of the calendar year, Gisborne is not the warmest station of the country. In spite of this yearly mean temperatures are still some way above average for New Zealand as a whole. Even summertime mean temperatures are lower than northerly areas in spite of the highs due to the cooler nights.

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Getting There

By Plane

Gisborne Airport (GIS) offers flights to/from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Napier, Palmerston North, Rotorua and Tauranga.

By Car

Gisborne is three hours drive from Napier, the nearest city. It is a half day's drive from Rotorua, and a good day's drive from Auckland or Wellington, perhaps longer depending on the route you take.

By Bus

Naked Bus offers low cost bus services between Gisborne and many other North Island towns with fares starting at $1.
InterCity Coachlines is an alternative with similarly priced tickets most of the time so it's worth comparing the two.

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Getting Around

By Car

Gisborne's a long town, as it is spread out along the coast. A car is handy, especially if you want to visit Wainui Beach (7 kilometres north of the central business district), Rere Falls, or the outlying wineries.

By Foot

The CBD is quite small and can be walked easily. It's an easy 10-15 minute walk from the CBD to Waikanae Beach.

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Eat

Dining in Gisborne is fairly casual. Daytime cafes and evening takeaways, including fish and chips, dominate, and a local speciality is the "all sauces," or a scoop of chips with tomato sauce, mayo, and garlic butter.

Many restaurants mark their hours as "til late," meaning when their last customer of the night has finished. Eating out after about 21:00 can limit your options.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
YHA Gisborne32 harris st kaitiHostel86

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand at rates of around NZ$2-4, though sometimes more in smaller places. Besides internet and e-mail services, most big internet cafés also offer some way for travellers to connect their digital camera and burn cds. Many public libraries have public Internet access, and most of them offer short free internet sessions. Wi-Fi access is getting more and more common in for example coffee places or fast food chains. It is becoming more common for Wi-Fi to be provided at hotels and motels, though sometimes at a fee. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Dial 111 for emergency police, fire or ambulance services. The worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used.
The country code is 64.

Most payphones in New Zealand require the use of phone cards for payment and it is getting harder to find payphones that accept coins. As phone cards are available at a lot of outlets, they are easy to purchase and very handy as a backup in case of emergencies. Many of them also accept creditcards. Local calls are free from residential phones and charges for calling outside that area can be found at the front of the regional phone books, amongst many other services.

Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have huge dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call 555 only to report Non-emergency traffic safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police. There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand.

  • Telecom operates a UMTS (3G) network, named XT Network, nationwide on 850MHz with supplementary 2100MHz in metropolitan areas. (the same frequencies as Telstra in Australia and AT&T in the U.S.)
  • Vodafone operates a GSM network on 900MHz/2100 MHz and a UTMS (3G) network operates nationwide 900MHz with supplementary 2100MHz coverage.
  • 2degrees operates a UMTS (3G) network (2100MHz) in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with supplementary GSM coverage provided elsewhere by Vodafone.

A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $10 credit from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $10. Telecom has broader coverage in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone and 2degrees.

Post

Most areas have dedicated PostShops, however stamps can also be bought at grocery shops, supermarkets and book stores. There are two main formats for domestic mail, namely Standard Post and Fast Post. Fast Post is used next day delivery between major towns and cities (two days from rural areas), whereas Standard Post will take a few working days to deliver nationwide. Standard costs NZ$0.50 for letters/postcards (NZ$0.80 for larger envelopes), Fast Post costs NZ$0.80 (NZ$1.20 for larger envelopes). International mail takes about 3-6 days to Australia (NZ$1.50), and 6-12 days to Europe, Asia and the United States (NZ$2). Post boxes are white, red and black and can be found in many areas throughout towns and cities, including information about when their contents are collected. Most post offices and smaller post shops have opening hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. You can buy stamps here, or at newsagents and general stores. For parcels, you can use the NZ Post or otherwise courier companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.

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Accommodation in Gisborne

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Gisborne searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Gisborne and areas nearby.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 7:11 on Aug 29, 16 by Utrecht. 12 articles link to this page.

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