Our top 5 places in the Gisborne Region – Backpacking Tipps

Our favourites between Gisborne and the East Cape of New Zealand

Today we show you our personal Top 5 from the Gisborne region. There is a lot to see in the Gisborne Region, we drove through the region relatively fast but with many stops. Besides the proximity to the sea we also went to the East Cape to see the earliest sunrise. Have fun browsing through our 5 most beautiful places in the region.


Rere Rockslide

The Rere Rockslides are a kind of natural water slide. With bodyboards, air mattresses or inflated rubber tyres you can have a lot of fun here! Just go into the river, get on the board or lay down and enjoy the descent into the big pool. It is advisable to wear a wetsuit, on the one hand because the water can be quite cold, on the other hand as protection against minor scratches. But even without a board or wetsuit a visit here is worthwhile, it is a lot of fun to watch! Check out the video from Dan & Kirsty, there you can see what to expect at the Rere Rockslide and the Rere Falls.


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Rere Falls

Five metres high and more than 20 metres wide, the Rere Falls make their way through the green. With a little bit of courage and in good or warm weather you can climb behind the curtain of water and swim in the natural pool. Wide green meadows invite for a picnic and the adjacent forest offers a beautiful view.

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Rere falls are one of the widest falls in New Zealand

If you have a good day, at the rere falls you can go for a little shower under the natural falls.


Whitikau DoC Camping ground

The journey of 40 kilometres of gravel road off the highway requires over 1 1/2 hours of concentration while driving. The road is narrow, there are steep slopes right next to you and in case of oncoming traffic there is only one possibility: backwards to the next stop! But those who love adventurous roads and remote places should take the trouble, the DoC place compensates this! A beautiful forest place directly at the river with a super water quality (the tastiest water we have drunk so far in New Zealand)! There is a small outhouse, 2 barbecue areas, running water thanks to the river and with a cloudless sky a breath-taking starry sky!


The Whitikau DOC campground, one of the tiniest campgrounds off the beaten path

At the Whitikau campground, you can stay for yourself on most nights of the year.


Tokomaru Ghost Town

At the beginning of the 20th century industry flourished here, a shipyard was located, several warehouses and large sales halls were also built. About 400 workers were employed and lived nearby in a small town. In 1952 the plant was closed and all workers were forced to leave their homes. Today about 350 people live in the town between the closed shops. The ruins can be visited for free; it is really impressive to get an insight into the way of working 100 years ago. Those who like to go on a tour of exploration will find a suitable gateway to the past here.


The old ruins of Tokomaru ghost town in New Zealand wait for you

Explore the old buildings of Tokomaru Ghost town


East Cape

The road to the East Cape only leads directly along the coast, you have a wonderful view over the bays, the turquoise sea and the lonely islands. It continues through steppe-like vegetation, past cow and sheep meadows. You have a lot of time to enjoy the landscape as the gravel road does not allow you to drive fast. Now and then a cow leaves the pasture and crosses the road. The road to the lighthouse passes through private land and a private herd of horses before climbing 800 steps up the mountain. At the top you have a fantastic view on all sides over the landscape, the mountains, the sea. The climb is definitely worth it.

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Beautiful lighthouse at the East Cape of New Zealand

The eastern most lighthouse of New Zealand, based at the East Cape.



The region around Gisborne is far away from big tourist streams. Most popular in the region is probably the East Cape, besides Gisborne. Because there you have the chance of the earliest sunrise on the New Zealand mainland. For all action lovers we strongly recommend a visit to the Rere Rockslides in summer.


More posts to the New Zealand Regions

We have made a map for your easy navigation, with which you can visit the respective contribution to the region directly. Have a look around what we like in the other regions!


Questions, comments or additions

Do you still have a question or comment about our article? Or do you have an addition because you have found another great place? Then we look forward to your comment here under the article.


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