8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies© NZPocketGuide.com
8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies

8 Best Foodie Experiences in Gisborne

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Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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The Top Food Activities and Tours in Gisborne

We should technically change the title of this article to “drinkie experiences in Gisborne”, 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 this east coast city, especially with all of these amazing foodie experiences in Gisborne!

For more advice on activities, restaurants and places to stay, check out The Food Guide to Gisborne. Plus, see a whole range of Gisborne listings and specials at GisborneCity.co.nz.

1. Check Out the Wineries Around Gisborne

Do some winery-hopping around Gisborne, with most offering wine tastings and gourmet platters. First, head to Wrights Vineyard and Winery, a family-owned winery whose cellar door offers a “build-your-own gourmet picnic” experience. In the Matawhero area, start with Matawhero Wines, which boasts a rustic outdoor cellar door setting. Nearby, check out the Bridge Estate Vineyard. Finally, Bushmere Estate offers a more fine wining and dining experience at their Vines restaurant. Note that wineries have seasonal hours, so check before setting off! For more information on some of our favourite wineries, check out the 7 Best Breweries & Wineries in Gisborne.

Location: 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.

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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, Gisborne city.

8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies© NZPocketGuide.com

3. 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 and something from the food trucks and enjoy the community ambience.

Location: Old Army Hall car park, Corner of Stout and Fitzherbert Streets.

8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies© NZPocketGuide.com

4. 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 available through operators like Experience Gisborne and Brews & Vinos Gisborne Wine Tours. Alternatively, Experience Gisborne offers bike hire and either a guided or self-guided tour of Gisborne’s vineyards. The experience includes three wine tastings and a vineyard lunch.

Location: Driving tours usually have pick-ups available from your Gisborne accommodation.

8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies© NZPocketGuide.com

5. 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 (Crawford Road Kitchen). 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. Note that the Gisborne Wine Centre is closed on Mondays.

Location: Shed 3, Esplanade Inner Harbour.

8 Things to Do in Gisborne for Foodies© NZPocketGuide.com

6. … Or on the Great Taste Tour

If hopping from one foodie venue to the next is more your style, jump on the “Great Taste Tour” with Experience Gisborne. This fully-guided experience takes you to three venues, covering wine, beer and cider, each with its own unique laidback atmosphere. Not only will you enjoy insightful commentary from your passionate guide who has lived in the area for more than 20 years, but an indulgent lunch of a platter, pizza or something similar is included.

Location: Pick-ups are available from Gisborne accommodations.

8 Best Foodie Experiences in Gisborne© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Dine Out at Gisborne’s Delectable Eateries

From breakfast to dinner, Gisborne has many fantastic eateries to excite the senses. 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 Works, offering casual fine dining yet still elegant serving up the latest seasonal offerings with something to suit carnivores to vegetarians. Alternatively, enjoy the delectable bistro menu of the USSCo in the historic Union Steam Ship Company building. And since we don’t have enough room here to list all of our favourites, make sure you head to The Food Guide to Gisborne for more recommendations.

Location: The Flagship Eatery – 14 Childers Road. The Works – 41 The Esplanade. USSCo – 16 Childers Road.

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8. Hit One of Gisborne’s Wine or Beer Festivals

As a top wine-producing region, a lover of beer and usually having festival-worthy weather, it probably comes as 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.

Location: First Light Wine & Food Festival – Transport provided from Gisborne i-SITE (209 Grey Street). Gisborne Beer Festival – A&P Showgrounds, 20 Main Road, Makaraka.

8 Best Foodie Experiences in Gisborne© NZPocketGuide.com

[CLOSED] 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

More About Gisborne for Foodies

That’s it for our list of the best foodie experiences in Gisborne. For more food-related goodness, or just more things to do with Gisborne, take a look at these guides:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Gisborne.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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