Road Trip to Gisborne – a City of Firsts

In 1879, New Zealand opened its doors to Captain James Cook and his crew on the Endeavour, and it was Gisborne they first sighted upon. However, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to exploring this sunny eastern settlement. We at RaD Car Hire Gisborne believe every summer holiday should feature some first-time experiences, so why not venture to Gisborne and start ticking off your list.

Start at Sunrise

Gisborne is famous for daylight. Why? Because it’s the first city in the world to see the sunrise. For the best seat in town, take a drive to Wainui Beach – just a few minutes north of the city – set the alarm and watch the sun rise up over the Pacific Ocean. After such a breath-taking experience a dip in the water may be in order, or potentially a surf. With Gisborne providing some of the country’s best waves and six protected surfing breaks, and all within an easy drive in your car rental of each other – you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Head Uphill

Captain Cook’s cabin boy, Nicholas Young, is said to be the first to see Gisborne from boat which is why the Poverty Bay Headland where they landed is named after him – Young Nicks Head. For the best view in town, including the cliffs of Young Nicks Head and Wainui Beach – take a drive in your hire car to the top of Kaiti Hill. Not only are the views spectacular, the reserve itself plays host to a World War II gun emplacement, a statue of James Cook and you can even picnic beneath a native Pohutakawa tree planted by Princess Diana.

Take a Slide

Fancy slipping and sliding down one of the country’s largest natural phenomenon’s? Travelling to Rere rockslide in your Gisborne rental car – just 50 kilometres northwest of Gisborne – is a drive you won’t want to miss and an adventure for all ages. The rockslide is 60 metres in length and runs alongside the Whareopae River. Grab your boogie board, lilo, cardboard – even an air mattress – and slide on down into a huge pool at the bottom. Insider tip, aim to get there early in the morning, say 7am – before the crowds set in for the day – that way you can be guaranteed a few hours of uninterrupted fun. Don’t forget to snap a few pics of the Rere Waterfall too, at five metres high and 20 metres in width, this cascade of water is one to behold.

Walk the Wharf

Take a Sunday drive up to Tolaga Bay in your car rental – just 55 kilometres north of Gisborne – and stroll along the longest wharf in the Southern Hemisphere. Tolaga Bay Wharf is a sight to behold and stand upon – just be warned, many a visitor has been caught unawares by waves crashing at the end of the wharf and walked home soaked! The 660 metre wharf was completed in 1926 and used primarily to ship outward goods of maize, livestock and dairy products and wool until 1967. Today, the wharf remains one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions.

Happy Gisborne exploring!

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