The Best Day Trips from Gisborne©
The Best Day Trips from Gisborne

The Best Day Trips from Gisborne


The Top Places to Visit Near Gisborne

Secluded on the remote east coast of the North Island, Gisborne makes an amazing base to explore the less-visited side of New Zealand. There are many hidden gems to discover between the natural waterslide of Rere and gorgeous hot pools nestled between the palms in Morere. Start planning your road trip with this guide to the best day trips from Gisborne.

For more trip-planning tips, head to The Complete Guide to Gisborne.

5 Best Day Tours from Gisborne

If you don’t have your own vehicle to do the self-drive road trips from Gisborne featured below, no worries. You can always do these guided day tours from Gisborne.

  • Guided backcountry hike with Haurata High Country Retreat and Walks
  • Bike tours of Gisborne’s vineyards with Cycle Gisborne
  • Helicopter tour to Mt Hikurangi with Maunga Hikurangi
  • Cultural tour to Tolaga Bay with Tipuna Tours
  • Sightseeing cultural cruise with Waka Experiences Tairawhiti.

The Best Day Trips from Gisborne©

Rere and Eastwoodhill Arboretum

The Best Day Trip from Gisborne for Families

Travel time by car: 45 minutes one-way

Some amazing sights await down Wharekopae Road, making for an excellent day trip from Gisborne. Your first point of interest is Eastwoodhill Arboretum, the national arboretum of New Zealand and the largest collection of exotic trees in the Southern Hemisphere. Next, you’ll reach the dramatic waterfall picnic spot of Rere Falls. Then, get your bodyboard or lilo at the ready for the natural waterslide known as the Rere Rockslide.

For more attractions near Gisborne, check out the 10 Awesome Things to Do in Gisborne.

The Best Day Trips from Gisborne©

Tolaga Bay

The Best Day Trip from Gisborne for Budget Travellers

Travel time by car: 45 minutes one-way

Head up the Pacific Coast Highway to reach the quaint settlement of Tolaga Bay along with its cool coastal attractions. Walking along the 660m (2,165ft) wharf is a must, while those with more energy will not want to miss the dramatic coastal scenery and swimming spot found at the end of the Cooks Cove Walkway.

Learn more about the attractions found on the road to Tolaga Bay in the 9 Pacific Coast Highway Walks You Can’t Miss.

The Best Day Trips from Gisborne©


The Best Day Trip from Gisborne for Couples

Travel time by car: 45 minutes one-way

Delve into forests of New Zealand’s native palm trees called Nikau and indulge in a hot soak at the Morere Hot Springs. This tiny village, with seemingly nothing to offer other than a tea room, is actually full of hidden gems. They range from the Mangaone Caves to the waterfalls of the Mangaweka Track.

Find out more about the walks around Morere on the Department of Conservation website.

The Best Day Trips from Gisborne©

Mahia Peninsula

The Best Day Trip from Gisborne for Luxury Travellers

Travel time by car: 1h15mins one-way

If you’re looking for a scenic road trip near Gisborne, you’ll certainly find is on the Mahia Peninsula. Drive the winding Kinikini Road for the best views, stretch your legs on the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve Track, and conclude your adventure with a bite to eat at the Beach Cafe in Mahia village.

Add more activities to your day trip from Gisborne with the 11 Mahia Peninsula Must-Dos.

The Best Day Trips from Gisborne©


The Best Day Trip from Gisborne for Foodies

Travel time by car via SH2: 1h20mins one-way
Travel time by car via Tiniroto Road: 1h40mins one-way

Finally, an excellent loop road trip can be found by heading to Wairoa. Take the backcountry Tiniroto Road to stop by attractions like Te Reinga Falls and Hackfalls Arboretum on your way to Wairoa. In Wairoa, get an obligatory photo with the Wairoa Lighthouse, discover the intriguing Maori artefacts at the Wairoa Museum, and enjoy the town’s quirky cafes and art galleries. Then, head back to Gisborne via State Highway 2, stopping by Morere for a soak in the hot pools or a short walk.

Check out the 10 Unmissable Things to Do in Wairoa and 10 Must-Do Stops Between Gisborne & Wairoa for more items to add to your road trip from Gisborne.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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