You are spoiled for choice with first-class accommodation options at TairÄwhiti Gisborne, whether you are looking for a patch of grass to park your caravan, an entertainment base for the whole family, or a luxurious abode overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
For free camping
In addition to hosting the longest concrete wharf in the southern hemisphere, Tolaga Bay is a great camping spot for those on a budget. Blue Waters offers space for campers between October and April, a short walk from the beach.
The grassy site at the northern end of Tolaga Bay is a short drive from local attractions including the Cooks Cove Wharf and Boardwalk. Campers must have a permit before settling in for their maximum stay of three nights. They must also comply with all permit conditions, including waste management and the provision of chemical toilets.
* Eastwoodhill Arboretum: Inside Noah’s Ark in New Zealand, ready for nuclear war
* SH35, Gisborne: The forgotten tourist highway full of hidden treasures
* Gisborne: New Zealand’s most underrated vacation spot
For an outdoor experience
The 135 acre Eastwoodhill Arboretum in Gisborne has its own self-catering studio and bunk bed rooms for those who want to make the most of their visit or are just looking for a place to relax in the great outdoors.
The bedrooms have access to common areas including toiletries, kitchen, living areas and laundry room. Accommodation can accommodate groups of up to 20 nature lovers, with food and drinks available on request.
Those who decide to bring their own supplies should be prepared before they arrive – the nearest store is 30 km away. Self-contained trailers are also welcome to park for $ 10 plus park entrance fees.
For the whole family
Waikanae Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park has everything you need for a great family vacation, including traditional electric campgrounds, self-contained units, and multi-room apartments with views of the Pacific Ocean.
The two-bedroom apartments can accommodate up to five people, while the three-bedroom bach on the beach, with its own kitchen, bathroom and dining area, can accommodate up to ten.
To keep the little ones entertained, the holiday park includes a playground, recreation room, inflatable cushion, trampoline, swimming pool, as well as kayak, surfboard and go-kart rentals. It’s also conveniently located next to the heart of town – the Sunshine Brewery and the Gisborne Wine Center are both within walking distance.
For a convenient central location
The Emerald Hotel is in the heart of central Gisborne on Gladstone Road, making it easy for guests to dine near the Inner Harbor Marina, stroll to Gisborne Farmers Market on Saturdays, and cross the Taruheru River to explore the TairÄwhiti museum.
Those staying on site have access to the hotel’s outdoor pool and spa, while the rooms – ranging from one-bedroom suites to fully-equipped apartments – are spacious and come with all the comforts for a comfortable stay. Views stretch from the Inner Harbor to historic KaitÄ« Hill and Young Nick’s Head.
For an extraordinary experience
90 kilometers from Gisborne along scenic SH35, the white sands of Tokomaru Bay are home to the Te Puka Tavern. The pub – once rated one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 country pubs – is the area’s center of gravity; everyone comes to enjoy the view of the beach, a leisurely catch-up and a delicious country kai.
The tavern also offers a series of affordable beachfront units and electric parking for self-contained RVs at $ 15 per night. The modern units can accommodate up to five people, each with its own private balcony overlooking Tokomaru Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
The shallows in front of the tavern provide safe swimming conditions for children and the reefs to explore.
For glamping by the sea
Tatapouri Bay is home to one of the most affordable seaside glamping spots in the country.
Nestled on the Golden Coast, just 15 minutes from Gisborne, this campground has something for everyone. Their lotus tents, just steps from the water, start at $ 150 a night and offer one of the best soundtracks for falling asleep – the lapping of the waves.
When the lotus tents are out of order in the winter, you can rent a capsule starting at $ 150, which also gives you access to a beachfront hot tub. The newly launched luxury Zen cabins offer self-contained luxury for two adults – just meters from the beach. They are equipped with a queen-size bed and benefit from a free reservation for the spa and sauna.
For a romantic getaway
Manutuke Eco Retreat is also just 15 minutes from Gisborne on a huge farmhouse, overlooking its own lake. The camp can accommodate up to four adults between a large, luxuriously appointed safari tent and a smaller bell tent. But the site is never booked by more than one group at a time.
There’s even your own jetty, where you can go kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The site is off-grid, but there is solar-powered lighting and a claw-foot tub for late night soaking.
Take an ATV and explore the hills around the lake, where you’ll find giant hammocks dotted around – the largest measuring over 6 meters long on a hill overlooking the town and beaches.
For serious luxury
The Blackhouse is serious luxury accommodation overlooking Wainui Beach on a 1000 acre working farm. The unique all-black structure, made in part from shipping containers, has a huge chimney at its center and uninterrupted 360-degree views of the beach and the bush.
The retreat has three spacious bedrooms with two en-suite bathrooms, one shared bathroom and can accommodate up to ten people all year round. An industrial style kitchen is available for guests, or the lodge can arrange a chef to meet your needs.
For a charming guest room
Cedar House is a bed and breakfast set in a historic boutique house, located just a short walk from Gisborne town center and the weekly Gisborne Farmers Market.
The large lodge has four king-size bedrooms, all with private bathrooms. Operators Jane and Rob Mitchell provide complimentary tea, coffee and refreshments to guests as well as a continental breakfast served in the downstairs dining room.
Touches inside the house include a beautiful stained glass window designed by local artist Tony Ogle and showcasing local landmarks. A plunge pool with salt water and a gym complete the luxury facilities.
Stay Safe: New Zealand is currently subject to restrictions related to Covid-19. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.