All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Gisborne – Perfect for a Rainy Day!
With Gisborne experiencing a sunny and dry climate most of the time, it could be considered pretty unlucky to get caught in the rain here. But with these amazing things to do in Gisborne on a rainy day, it will hardly matter. From a fascinating museum to a vintage railway ride to surfing or tasting the array of wine, craft beer and cider all on offer, there’s plenty to enjoy in Gisborne whatever the weather. So check out some of the best all-weather and indoor activities in Gisborne in the list below.
And when the weather clears up, be sure to have our list of 17 Best Things to Do in Gisborne at the ready.
1. Visit the Tairawhiti Museum
It might be cliché to go to the museum on a rainy day, but the regional museum of Gisborne is well worth a visit whatever the weather. The Tairawhiti Museum, “Tairawhiti” being the Maori name for Gisborne, tells the stories of the local culture and history through interesting relics and displays, as well as a few surprises along the way. Climb up into the wheelhouse of the Star of Canada that was salvaged from Gisborne’s shores, visit the oldest European house in Gisborne and much more!
Location: 10 Stout Street, Gisborne city centre.
2. Do Some Wine Tasting…
Gisborne is New Zealand’s hidden gem of wine regions, with plenty of wineries surrounding the city, most offering wine tastings and gourmet platters. First, head to Millton Vineyards & Winery, which is New Zealand’s first organic and biodynamic wine estate. Nearby is Wrights Vineyard and Winery, a family-owned winery, then head to Matawhero Wines, which boasts a rustic outdoor cellar door setting. Check out the Bridge Estate Vineyard and Bushmere Estate for more winery experiences. For more information on some of our favourite wineries, check out the 7 Best Breweries & Wineries in Gisborne.
Location: Millton Vineyards & Winery – 119 Papatu Road, Manutuke. Wrights Vineyard and Winery – 1093 Wharerata Road. Matawhero Wines – RD1/189 Riverpoint Road, Matawhero. Bridge Estate Vineyard – 16 Riverpoint Road, Matawhero. Bushmere Estate – 166 Main Road, Makaraka.
3. … Or Beer Tasting…
Yes, there’s beer tasting to be done in Gisborne too! The Sunshine Brewery has been turning out delicious batch-brewed beer using natural ingredients since 1989, claiming the title of the second oldest independent brewery in New Zealand. Pick up one of their generously portioned tasting trays along with the quirky tasting guides which are worth a read. There are also options to have an easy-going tour of the brewery too if you let the staff know you are interested. See more experiences like this in the 8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies.
Location: 49 Awapuni Road, Gisborne city centre.
4. … Or Cider Tasting
If you have spent any time down the alcohol aisle in any New Zealand supermarket, then no doubt you have seen ciders from Harvest Cider, especially their affordable “Scrumpy”. Well, the cidery is based right here in Gisborne and their taproom is open for tastings! Treat your taste buds to the sweet fruity flavours of Harvest’s huge range of ciders. Once you have finished, go to the viewing room upstairs to see all the action in the cider factory. What’s more, cider tastings are one of the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gisborne.
Location: 91 Customhouse Street, Gisborne city centre.
5. Ride the Gisborne City Vintage Railway
Families and train enthusiasts alike love riding the Gisborne City Vintage Railway, which is a ride in the train carriages pulled by a Wa165 steam locomotive. The journey takes you through Gisborne city, out to the suburbs, over the 329m (1,080ft) Waipaoa River bridge and even over an operating airport runway. Tours take place on weekends in summer and on holiday weekends. Tickets can be picked up from the local i-SITE (information centre) and trips depart from the railway station.
Location: Gisborne i-SITE, 209 Grey Street, Gisborne city centre.
6. Do Some Surfing
Gisborne is a surfer’s paradise, where experienced wave riders flock to the nearby Wainui Beach while newbies can learn on the safe sandy-bottom waves of Gisborne’s city beach, Waikanae Beach. If you’re new to surfing, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a surf school in Gisborne, including Surfing with Sarah, Salt Shack Surf School and Blitz Surf Shop.
Location: Waikanae Beach, Gisborne city centre and Wainui Beach, approximately 6km (4 miles) from Gisborne city centre.
7. Watch an Arthouse Film at the Dome Cinema
Relax in an oversized beanbag or on a sofa with a beer or wine in hand while watching a flick at the Dome Cinema. Showing art films from Wednesday to Sunday, the movie is just the beginning of the Dome Cinema experience. Hang out in their bar, enjoy the mood lighting displays, and the staff even help tuck you into your beanbag before the movie gets started. Now that’s service! See more activities like this in the 10 Romantic Activities in Gisborne for Couples.
Location: Corner of Customhouse Street and Childers Road, Gisborne city centre.
8. Take a Trip to the Morere Hot Springs
For a relaxing day escape, head to the village of Morere, which is home to one of the real hidden gems of the country. The Morere Hot Springs is a fantastic hot pools complex nestled in native nikau palm forest, featuring large swimming pools for the kids to have a splash, as well as smaller hot pools accessed via a bushwalk and some private pools. There are umbrellas available to help get to the hot pools undercover, while the smaller hot pools are also undercover. See how the pools compare to others in the 10 Best Hot Pools in New Zealand.
Location: 3968 State Highway 2, Morere, approximately 58km (36 miles) from Gisborne city centre.
9. Grab a Bite to Eat
No matter what the time of day, there are some fantastic options for dining in Gisborne while staying out of the rain. Starting with breakfast, brunch or lunch, check out the city’s cosy cafes like The Flagship Eatery providing a cool venue where it’s easy to lose track of time. For dinner, head to the world-inspired Globe on the riverside or The Works for a casual yet elegant set-up. And since we don’t have enough room here to list all of our favourites, make sure you head to The Foodie Guide to Gisborne for more recommendations.
Location: The Flagship Eatery – 14 Childers Road. Globe – 1 Vogel Street. The Works – 41 The Esplanade.
10. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand
If all else fails, you can always get some inspiration for your next New Zealand activity by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube. Watch as the team behind NZ Pocket Guide take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure to subscribe.
[CLOSED] Let the Kids Loose at Crazy Caterpillars
Finally, if you’re travelling with little ones, give them a quick and easy reward at Crazy Caterpillars! The indoor play area features ball pits, swingbridges, trampolines and more to wear them out while you all stay out of the rain. Meanwhile, parents can sit back and relax with a coffee or a meal at the cafe. For more like this, see the 10 Things to Do in Gisborne with Kids.
Location: 19 Pitt Street.