Gisborne Attractions

The East Coast region enjoys a sunny, warm climate and has a multitude of attractions and leisure activities to keep you entertained during your visit.

All Gisborne leisure activities can be booked via the Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre reception or directly from your executive suite or apartment. Most activities can be billed directly back to your hotel room, saving you time and creating one easy account at the end of your stay.


Gisborne and the East Coast region offer some of the best fishing and diving in New Zealand. The East Cape area is home to many types of fish including shark, marlin, southern yellowtail (kingfish), groper, snapper, terakihi, bluenose and tuna. The East Coast Kingfish is renowned by international visitors as one of the best in the world. Mid to late summer (February / March are best) is the ideal time to go after game fish. Clear trout-filled streams and lakes surrounded by native bush abound on the East Cape.


There are two main golf course in Gisborne - Gisborne Park and Poverty Bay - with a furthereight qualitycourses all within driving distance from the hotel. The courses range from a nationally ranked links championship course and tree-lined fairways to country courses with grazed fairways and fenced greens.


Gisborne is one of New Zealand's largest grape growing regions with just over half its 2000 hectares of vineyards planted in chardonnay. A Mediterranean climate and suitable soils are key factors in the success of wine production in this region, which regularly produces unique, full-flavoured and award winning wines of international standard.Wine tasting and tours can be arranged by the hotel with most of the vineyards and wineries within a 15km radius from Gisborne city.

Gisborne wineries to visit include Bushmere Estate, Kirkpatrick Estate Winery, Matawhero and Millton Vineyards and Winery.

Gisborne also hosts the International Chardonnay Challenge (mid October) and the Gisborne Wine and Food Festival (Labour Weekend) every year.


Surfing and Gisborne go hand-in-hand. Just ask any Kiwi surfer where one of the best places in New Zealand is to surf and they'll say "Gizzy". A visit to Gisborne is not complete without saying you caught a wave at one of the beautiful surf breaks on the East Coast.

Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre staff can arrange surf lessons for beginners, share their local knowledge with experienced surfers or book you on a guided surf tour with well known and experienced Gisborne surfers.


Gisborne has both private and public gardens of tremendous beauty. Many of these gardens are open to the public, while those on private properties are available by prior arrangement. Enquire about Gisborne gardens to visit at the Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre reception desk.

Eastwoodhill Arboretum

Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the National Arboretum of New Zealand and one of the region's major visitor attractions. Just 35km from Gisborne, Eastwoodhill is home to the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees south of the equator. Trees and shrubs are set among 150 hectares of hills, valleys and ponds accessible by a network of easy walking tracks. The exquisite Homestead Garden covers one hectare of the arboretum, which is recognised as a Garden of National Significance in New Zealand.

Hackfalls Arboretum

Hackfalls Arboretum in Tiniroto features a wide range of trees and shrubs in a hill setting enhanced by two natural five and ten hectare lakes. Spring flower and autumn leaf colours are a must-see as well as the outstanding collection of Mexican oaks, rumored to be the largest collection in the world. Hackfalls Arboretum was awarded an Arboretum of Merit in May 2002 by the International Dendrology Society.

Gisborne walks

Gisborne has a number of historic and scenic walks available to the public. These walks cater for all levels of fitness and mobility, ranging from 10 minutes through to a four-day guided walk through native forests and pristine coast lines viewing spectacular waterfalls, golden sandy beaches, historic sights and breathtaking scenery.All walks can be fully guided with picnics or lunches supplied. Just talk to the experienced and knowledgeable staff at the Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre for more information.

Mount Hikurangi

Mount Hikurangi is one of the most significant natural features on earth it is the first place to see the sun due to its special location in relation to the international dateline. The mountain is 137km from Gisborne city and stands at 1754 metres high. Access can be arranged by Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre staff.


(the peace of nukutaimemeha) traditional waka taua (war canoe)

Nukutaimemeha is a 45-metre long waka and is considered one of the largest Waka Taua of its kind in the world. Ten years in the making, this Taonga (treasure) belongs to the descendants of Maui-Tikitiki-a-Taranga.Nukutaimemeha is situated near the mouth of the Waiapu River in Rangitukia on private land and may be closed from time to time. Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre staff will provide you with access information.

Whale Rider tours

Watch New Zealand's own Whale Rider movie in the private movie theatre, then experience the real thing with a guided tour of Whangara where the movie was filmed. Visit the home where much of the filming actually took place and listen to the story that inspired the film. The tour is hosted by Hone Taumaunu, cultural consultant to the Whale Rider. Tours are approximately two hours.

Guided tours of local marae, historic and cultural sights, cultural experiences and concerts can also be arranged by Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre staff.

Other activities

  • quad bike tours
  • farm tours
  • scenic helicopter flights
  • charter cruises
  • aquaculture (paua (abalone) farm) tours
  • vintage steam train (an incredible three-hour journey that takes in spectacular views of the East Coast)
  • surfing lessons
  • 4x4 driving
  • hot springs

The East Coast region has something for everyone. Just tell the Quality Hotel Emerald and Conference Centre staff what you want and they will arrange it all for you.

For more information about what's on in Gisborne visit the Tourism Eastland website.