1. Gisborne Riverbank & Town Beach Walkway (up to 60 minutes one way)
It’s the locals’ favourite place to stretch their legs in Gisborne city! The flat and easy walks follow the banks of the Taruheru and Turanganui Rivers turning into a boardwalk as it hits the beach. Awesome ocean and riverside views can be seen along the walk. Additionally, with the many entry points onto the walk, you can cut it as short as you like along the 2.5km walk. The walk is wheelchair accessible and can be ridden by bike too.
Location: A good start is at the end of Grey Street along the Taruheru River.
2. Gray’s Bush (up to one hour loop)
For something a little out of town (about 9.5km), Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve is the place to escape to for a taste of the forest. The tall kahikatea forest once covered much of the Gisborne Plains and is the only surviving example of this forest remaining in Gisborne. There are several tracks to choose from 15-minute wheelchair-accessible tracks to a 60-minute loop. Take the walk slowly to increase your chances of spotting native birds. For more about native birds in New Zealand, check out 11 Animals and Birds Unique to New Zealand.
Location: Back Ormond Road
3. Waihirere Domain (40-50 minutes return)
A little bit further from Gray’s Bush is the Waihere Domain. This pretty picnic area also has a scenic walk following a streamlined with native bush leading to a small waterfall.
Location: Back Ormond Road (9km from Gisborne)
4. Gisborne Mural Trail (up to 30 minutes one way)
Go on your own self-guided art trail around Gisborne. Pick up a map from the Gisborne i-SITE on Grey Street and visit the mural painting at your own leisure. Many of the murals depict historical scenes and the region’s diversity.
Location: Pick up a brochure from the Gisborne i-SITE
5. Gisborne Historic Walk (up to one hour one way)
Gisborne is rich with a fascinating history of early arrivals and first encounters. Learn about the very first Maori settlers who arrived in Gisborne then check out the site where the British first landed on New Zealand. Pick up a Gisborne Historic Walk brochure from the Gisborne i-SITE which packed with information on the local history, and take yourself on your own guided walk. For more about New Zealand’s history, check out The Maori History in New Zealand.
Location: All points of interest are in the city centre. Pick up a brochure from the Gisborne i-SITE on Grey Street.
6. Te Kuri Farm Walkway (2-3 hours loop)
Escape to the countryside in this farmland walk to a stunning viewpoint. There are small sections of forest to walk through also on the way to the summit known as Town Hill. The viewpoint overlooks the Gisborne Plains as well as Poverty Bay making the steep sections worth the effort. Note that the walk is closed during the lambing season – August 1 to Labour Weekend in October.
Location: Shelley Road (2km from Gisborne city centre)
7. Okitu Bush (20-30 minutes loop)
Coastal views, native forest and wonderful wildlife await in the Okitu Bush Scenic Reserve, just 7km out of Gisborne. The area is protected and maintained for native birds, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled as you wander over footbridges in dense native forest. A lookout platform along the way reveals an awesome view of Wainui Beach and the surrounding hills.
Location: On State Highway 35 at Wainui Beach.
8. Wainui – Makorori Headland (10-30 minutes one way)
Another walk in the Wainui Beach area, the Wainui – Makorori Headland brings you some sensational coastal views for those willing to take the short but steep walk. The 1km walk takes you over a path and stairway to headlands with views overlooking Makorori Beach on one side and from Wainui Beach to Tuahine Point on the other side.
Location: On State Highway 35 at Wainui Beach. Start the walk from the car park at the bottom of the hill at the end of Wainui Beach.
9. Gisborne – Wainui Beach Cycle Trail (20-40 minutes one way)
The cycle trail connecting Gisborne and Wainui Beach is also a sealed walkway. It is a good means to get from Gisborne to the Wainui Beach walks (see the two points above) on foot. To get there, follow State Highway 35 from the city boundary opposite Watson Park which carries on as a walkway/cycleway for 1.7km.
Location: Follow State Highway 35 from the city boundary opposite Watson Park.
10. Titirangi Domain (30-minutes to two hours return)
A good place to stretch your legs while soaking in some views is at the Titirangi Domain on top of Kaiti Hill. There are a number of walks ranging from 30 minutes to two hours including a fitness trail and various picnic areas.
Location: Walks start from either Kaiti Beach Road near the Cook Monument, Queens Drive road access beside Te Poho-o-Rawiri marae, or from the Titirangi Drive vehicle exits off Endcliffe Road. Otherwise, you can drive to the top of the hill where there is a parking area.