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