For details on cruise ships booked to visit Gisborne see
Click here for the Port Fact Sheet for Gisborne
Gisborne the first city in the world to see the sun each day, is located on the sunny East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The Maori name for the district is Tairawhiti which means:
"The coast upon which the sun shines across the water"
c/o Tourism Eastland Inc
209 Grey Street - PO Box 170 - Gisborne - New Zealand
Ph + 64 6 868 6139 - Fax + 64 6 868 6138
On October 8th 1769 Captain James Cook first sighted New Zealand. He named a prominent Gisborne landmark after midshipman Nicholas Young who was the first to sight New Zealand from the masthead of the "Endeavour". Cook then anchored off Gisborne and came ashore to make the first contact between Maori and European on a beach where Port Gisborne now stands. This historic meeting between the two peoples was the beginning of modern New Zealand.
The descendants of Ngati One One (the Maori people) who met Cook that day still maintain Te Poho O Rawiri Marae (the meeting house) at the base of Titirangi Hill, approximately 1km from Port Gisborne where the ship will berth. Te Poho O Rawiri has over the years welcomed many famous dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana among others.
Cruise ship's would be met by a number of Waka (Maori canoes) and other vessels, then one of New Zealand's top Kapa Haka (cultural) groups would entertain passengers as the ship docks. The passengers could also have the opportunity to be officially welcomed onto the local Marae. A history of events that happened over 200 years ago on this site would be outlined.
Gisborne can offer a number of unique shore excursions for cruise ship passengers. A brief overview is listed below.
Gisborne City Vintage Rail have restored this famous steam train first built in 1896. It is the only one of its kind in NZ and with 3 restored carriages and makes for an exciting experience especially for rail enthusiasts.
Tairawhiti (Gisborne region) has one of the highest Maori populations in NZ and Maori is very much a daily living culture with many people speaking Maori. The descendants of the Maori people who met Cook in 1769 still live in the same area as they did when he first arrived. There is the opportunity to experience authentic Maori welcome and culture, visit superbly carved marae and listen to history from the Maori perspective. Read more
Make an appointment to visit Te Poho O Rawiri Marae +64 6 868 3659
Gisborne is the Chardonnay Capital on New Zealand. While Gisborne producess some great Chardonnay's it is also famous for a number of great other wines. Tours and visits to a number of boutique wineries can be organised through the Gisborne i-SITE Visitor Information Centre.
Gisborne is centrally located for fixed wing or helicopter flights over some stunning scenery. It is only short flying time to see White Island, the Motu River Valley, Mt Hikurangi, East Cape Lighthouse, Lake Waikaremoana and the beautiful East Coast down to Mahia. Read more
Gisborne’s main street is an easy 10 minute flat walk from where the cruise ship would dock. Walk past the inner harbour marina, café’s, fishing club and wharf market. Alternatively free shuttles are available. Gisborne would feature special local arts, crafts and indigenous carvings to welcome our visitors.
A picturesque drive (30 minutes) from Gisborne city to Eastwoodhill Arboretum, a world-renowned tree collection set in a park like setting with hills, valleys, ponds and formal gardens. 10 minutes from Eastwoodhill is Tangihau Station. Enjoy a quad bike tour of a working New Zealand hill country farm. Read more