Reservations 877·97·CRAFT  (877·972·7238)

Gisborne, New Zealand

Located at the most easterly point of New Zealand, this boutique city sits on Poverty Bay at the confluence of three rivers. It is within close proximity to pretty beaches making it a water lover's paradise. Framed by stunning white cliffs, this was the location of the popular book and film, Whale Rider. In the heart of wine-country, Gisborne offers something for everyone including Maori culture, pretty beaches, vineyard tours and sheep farms. Throughout New Zealand, rich agriculture enables sheep farms to produce some of the most sought-after wool in the world.


What makes visiting here so memorable for many is how friendly and welcoming the locals are towards tourists. It is such a small town many locals come out to personally greet visiting cruise passengers. This is also a place where booking cruise line tours makes sense since the infrastructure is not built up to handle numerous visitors.


Ship Location - The ship will drop anchor in Poverty Bay and tender passengers ashore to the Inner Harbour at Eastland Port just 500 yards from the town center.


Getting Around - Walking around town, taking cruise-line-sponsored tours and hiring taxis by the hour are the primary forms of transportation in Gisborne. The town's main street is just a short 10-minute walk from the tender pier. The town often operates free shuttles into the main shopping area on days cruise ships visit but the walk is also flat and easy. Another popular way to experience Gisborne is on a bicycle tour since it is flat and safe with few obstacles.


Attractions - Popular attractions here include the Eastwoodhill Arboretum, known for its world- renowned tree collection in a park-like setting with hills, valleys, ponds and formal gardens. This Arboretum has the most comprehensive collection of Northern Hemisphere temperate trees in all of the Southern Hemisphere and is well worth a visit.


Visitors can also take a Craft Beer Brewery Tour where they can learn all about the brewing process. For those wanting to learn more about the Maori culture in a less touristy setting, take a cultural tour to visit a genuine, working Maori marae, or meeting place, where visitors will experience an in-depth look at the Maori culture and customs, beautifully preserved despite a rapidly changing world.


Take a hike at Gray's Bush Scenic Reserve where visitors will choose a tour with a theme -- nature and science, arts and culture, food and wine, history and perspective, or photography and active exploration.


Visit a sheep station in rural New Zealand. The Waipura Sheep Station is just a short drive from Gisborne where fiber enthusiasts can see a sprawling 2,100-acre sheep farm. This charming rural setting is the domain of a fourth-generation farming family and is home to 3,000 sheep and 300 head of cattle. Here visitors can explore a 110-year-old homestead surrounded by beautiful gardens and have an up-close encounter at the woolshed with an opportunity to observe a sheep-shearing demonstration. With quite remarkable dexterity and speed, the shearers expertly and painlessly relieve the animals of their long woolly coats. Sheep farming is a leading industry in this region, and it is fascinating to learn of the wool's journey from sheep to bale and beyond. See shepherds muster sheep on horseback with the help of highly trained dogs.


For those who enjoy trains, take a trip to Muriwai on the last steam locomotive in New Zealand. This memorable 40-minute steam train ride not only includes seeing stunning scenery but also provides train buffs the chance to ride on a beautifully restored vintage train. In Muriwai visitors will be entertained by a lively Maori cultural performance by local school children.


For those who want to learn about marine wildlife, visit the Tatapouri Reef where visitors can feed stingrays. Here you will learn about the rich marine life in this area while meeting locals and hearing stories about the Maori people and why they settled along the coastline.


Staying in Touch - Internet is available at some of the cafes in town.


Fiber Places of Interest - Other than a Bernina sewing and craft shop there are no yarn stores here.