Foodie Experiences and Food Tours in Gisborne
We should technically change the title of this article to “things to do in Gisborne for ‘drinkies’”, especially as Gisborne is renowned for its wine, craft beer and cider. Nevertheless, if you appreciate aromatic wines, fresh-tasting cider and hoppy beer, then you’ll love a foodie getaway to Gisborne, especially with all of these amazing things to do in Gisborne for foodies!
For more advice on activities, restaurants and places to stay, check out The Foodie Guide to Gisborne and the 10 Best Accommodation in Gisborne for Foodies.
1. Check Out the Wineries Around Gisborne
Do some winery-hopping around Gisborne, with most offering wine tastings and gourmet platters. First, head to Millton Vineyards & Winery, which is New Zealand’s first organic and biodynamic wine estate, open Monday to Saturday. Nearby is Wrights Vineyard and Winery, a family-owned winery whose cellar doors are open between October and April or by appointment. In the Matawhero area, start with Matawhero Wines, which boasts a rustic outdoor cellar door setting. Nearby, check out the Bridge Estate Vineyard, open Wednesday to Sunday. Finally, Bushmere Estate offers a more fine wining and dining experience at their Vines restaurant. 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.
2. Try Craft Beer at the Sunshine Brewery
If you’re more of a beer drinker, then a visit to the local brewery is a must! Taste the craft beer of the Sunshine Brewery in some of the most generous tasting tray portions in New Zealand (make sure you have a designated driver). Tasting notes are also available so you can get a deeper knowledge of what you’re drinking. The brewery also offers casual brewery tours on request.
Location: 49 Awapuni Road.
3. Taste Cider and Watch the Cider-makers at Work at the Harvest Cidery
And if you prefer cider or just want to do a tasting somewhere easy to get to, the Harvest Cidery is right in the city centre. They offer free cider tastings in their shop, while upstairs is a mini-museum with displays about the history of the cidery. Plus, there’s a viewing area into the cidery so you can watch the cider being made.
Location: 91 Customhouse Street
4. Mingle with the Locals at the Gisborne Farmers’ Market
The perfect place to pick up foodie souvenirs and try some of the tastiest treats in the region, the Saturday morning Gisborne Farmers’ Market is well worth waking up to. Pick up fresh local fruit and vegetables to take back to your self-catering accommodation or pick up some artisan goods, like raw manuka honey, macadamia nut butter, cheese, bread, preserves, meat and more. Grab a locally-roasted coffee, something from the food trucks, and enjoy the community ambience.
Location: Old Army Hall car park, Corner of Stout and Fitzherbert Streets.
5. Take a Wine Tour by Road or by Bike
Visitors can enjoy visiting the region’s wineries, cidery and brewery without having to worry about who’s driving with one of the driving or cycling tours. Driving tours to the region’s top wineries are typically available to cruise ship passengers through operators like Wright Wines and Archer Tours. Alternatively, Cycle Gisborne offers bike hire and either a guided or self-guided tour to Gisborne’s vineyards on their Vineyard Tour. The experience includes three wine tastings and a vineyard lunch.
Location: Driving tours usually have pick-ups available from port or your Gisborne accommodation. Cycle Gisborne – 124 Ormond Road, Whataupoko.
6. Try it All at the Gisborne Wine Centre
If you have limited time in Gisborne, don’t have a means of getting to the surrounding vineyards, or just want to try a selection of Gisborne’s wines, then head to the Gisborne Wine Centre. The wine centre showcases a wide range of wines from around the Gisborne region available to taste and purchase. Tailored and guided wine tastings are available by appointment or simply relax with a glass along with lunch or dinner. The Gisborne Wine Centre is closed on Mondays.
Location: Shed 3, Esplanade Inner Harbour.
7. Dine Out at Gisborne’s Delectable Eateries
From breakfast to dinner, Gisborne has many fantastic eateries to excite the senses. The Flagship Eatery is a cool little venue with exposed brick walls, big red doors and a delectable breakfast and lunch menu. For something special for dinner, head to the world-inspired Globe, which is the riverside restaurant is the city’s premium fine dining venue. The Works offers more casual fine dining yet still elegant serving up the latest seasonal offerings with something to suit carnivores to vegetarians. 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. Marina Restaurant – 1 Vogel Street. The Works – 41 The Esplanade.
8. Hit One of Gisborne’s Wine or Beer Festivals
As a top wine-producing region, a lover for beer and usually having festival-worthy weather, it probably comes at no surprise that Gisborne has its fair share of wine and beer festivals. The First Light Wine & Food Festival happens every Labour Weekend giving you access to three vineyards to try a variety of wines, sample local foods and listen to live music. Additionally, the Gisborne Beer Festival is a popular summer event bringing together the top craft breweries of the North Island for drinking and live music.