I ended 2019 and rang in the New Year at a festival. Afterwards, I took a couple of nights for some R&R in Gisborne. Gizzy (not kidding that is the actual abbreviation/nickname) is an east coast town known for being the first point of New Zealand (and first “major country” the contradiction is that there are some smaller islands further east) to see the sunrise and they also produce award-winning wine. It was the perfect place to spend the first couple of days of the new decade if you ask me.
This little break was just what I needed. Being that RnV just ended and that it was around New Years, Gisborne seemed a little sleepy. Truthfully the small town/community was most likely recovering from the mass of people coming if from the festival. I’m not sure what a “normal” weekend looks like here. I spent my mornings hanging out, reading, doing laundry, etc. and I didn’t feel like I needed to load up on activities. Then I would walk into town and stop by the beach. The weather was sunny and warm throughout my stay. Thankfully, when I was finally walking about the town the shops were closed so I couldn’t be temped into shopping. Window-shopping sufficed.
Some restaurants tempted me, but I was trying to make healthier and economical choices (New Year’s resolutions and all). I finally caved to try Burger Wisconsin, which is claimed to be the “best burgers in New Zealand,” however it seems like every burger joint in NZ makes that claim. I ordered the veggie burger and they had the option of making it petite. I thought having the option of a smaller portion was so cool. I seriously wish that was the norm whilst eating out. All in all it was a good meal. Was it the best burger? Not sure I can judge that because I had a veggie burger, but there was constantly a line and a steady flow of people so it was definitely popular spot and apparently it is a chain.
During these couple of days I started feeling as if I may have been coming down with something so I reconciled that I needed lots of veggies and nutrients. I saw a Tank in town and kept craving it since getting an awesome smoothie and wrap in Rotorua a few weeks back. It is a healthy food chain similar to a Sweetgreen in the States, but with salad, wrap, and smoothie options.
After camping for 5 nights I stayed at an Airbnb in Gizzy. It was a lovely back room in a house facing the yard with plenty of fresh air and sunlight. Also, being that I don’t think this area is very touristy, the prices were reasonable/affordable after the RnV crowded left. This was the perfect little oasis to spend a couple of days before traveling on.
I wouldn’t say Gisborne is a must if you are traveling the North Island, but it’s nice and not as touristy as other areas of the country. If you were looking to fill your schedule and have your own car you should carve out some time to check it out!