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How to Book a Hotel in Gisborne
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Hotels of Gisborne
A hotel in Gisborne is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Gisborne hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Gisborne are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Gisborne hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Gisborne hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Gisborne have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Gisborne
An upscale full service hotel facility in Gisborne that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Gisborne hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Gisborne
Full service Gisborne hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Gisborne
Boutique hotels of Gisborne are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Gisborne boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Gisborne may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Gisborne
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Gisborne travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Gisborne focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Gisborne
Small to medium-sized Gisborne hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Gisborne traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Gisborne hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Gisborne
A bed and breakfast in Gisborne is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Gisborne bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Gisborne B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Gisborne
Gisborne hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Gisborne hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Gisborne
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Gisborne hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Gisborne lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Gisborne
Gisborne timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Gisborne often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Gisborne on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Gisborne
A Gisborne motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Gisborne for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Gisborne motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Gisborne (Māori: Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa "Great standing place of Kiwa") is a city in northeastern New Zealand and the largest settlement in the Gisborne District (or Gisborne Region). It has a population of 36,100 (June 2016). The district council has its headquarters in Whataupoko, in the central city.
The settlement was originally known as Turanga and renamed Gisborne in 1870 in honour of New Zealand Colonial Secretary William Gisborne.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Early history
Gisborne, New Zealand: First arrivals
The Gisborne region has been settled for over 700 years. For centuries the region has been inhabited by the tribes of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri and Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti. Their people descend from the voyagers of the Te Ikaroa-a-Rauru, Horouta and Tākitimu waka.
East Coast oral traditions offer differing versions of Gisborne's establishment by Māori. One of which legends recounts that in the 1300s, the great navigator Kiwa landed at the Tūranganui River first on the waka Tākitimu after voyaging to the region from Hawaiki and that Pāoa, captain of the waka Horouta, followed later. According to one legend, Kiwa waited so long for the Horouta canoe to arrive that he called its final landing place Tūranganui-a-Kiwa (The long waiting place of Kiwa).
However, a more popular version of events is that Horouta preceded Takitimu. In 1931, Sir Āpirana Ngata stated that Horouta was the main canoe that brought the people to the East Coast and that Ngāti Porou always regarded Takitimu as "an unimportant canoe". Māori historian Rongowhakaata Halbert affirmed this account, stating that Paoa's crew on the Horouta were the first inhabitants of the East Coast after migrating from Ahuahu or Great Mercury Island. Paoa gave his name to various places across the region, most notably the Waipāoa River (Wai-o-Pāoa).
During the 14th century, Māori tribes built fishing villages close to the sea and built pā on nearby hilltops.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Captain Cook landing
Gisborne's Kaiti Beach is the place where British navigator Captain James Cook made his first landing in New Zealand upon the Endeavour. Cook had earlier set off from Plymouth, England in August 1768 on a mission bound for Tahiti. Once he had concluded his duties in Tahiti, Cook continued south to look for a large landmass or continent. Young Nick's Head was thought to be the first piece of New Zealand land sighted by Cook's party, and so named because it was first observed by cabin boy Nicholas Young on 6 October 1769.
On 9 October, Cook came ashore on the eastern bank of the Tūranganui River, accompanied by a party of men. Their arrival was marred by misunderstanding and resulted in the death and wounding of nine Maori over four days. It was also on the banks of the Tūranganui River that first the township of Tūranga, then the city of Gisborne, grew as European traders and whalers began to settle in the river and port area.
The landing site was commemorated by a monument in 1906, on the 137th anniversary of Cook's arrival. In 1964 the Gisborne committee of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust registered the land around the monument as a historic reserve, and in 1990 it was designated a National Historic Reserve and put under the care of the Department of Conservation.
Gisborne, New Zealand: European settlement and town growth
Starting in the early 1830s, traders such as Captain John Harris and Captain George E. Read set up the first trading stations along the Tūranganui river and are attributed to the founding of the town. Over the next 30 years, many more European traders and missionaries migrated to the region. In 1868 the government bought 300 hectares of land for a town site. The town was laid out in 1870 and the name changed from Tūranga to Gisborne, after the then colonial secretary, and to avoid confusion with Tauranga. In 1872, Gisborne's first public school was opened and its first newspaper, the Poverty Bay Standard was established. A town council was formed in 1877.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Geography
NASA satellite photo of Gisborne
Gisborne is a coastal city located on the east cape of New Zealand's North Island. It sits at the south end of the Gisborne District and also within Poverty Bay. The Poverty Bay Flats encompass Gisborne city as well as surrounding areas Mākaraka, Matawhero and Ormond where vineyards and farms are prominent. Gisborne is flat towards the shoreline, but forested and hilly inland.
Gisborne boasts a large stretch of coastline encompassing the Waikanae and Midway, Kaiti, Sponge Bay, Wainui and Makorori white sand beaches, which are popular for swimming and surfing.
Sometimes referred to as the 'City of Rivers', Gisborne sits at the convergence of the Waimata, Taruheru and Tūranganui rivers. At only 1200 meters long, Tūranganui is the shortest river in New Zealand.
Kaiti Hill (Titirangi), which sits directly above Cook's landing site, provides expansive views over the city and wider Poverty Bay. Many archaeological sites have been identified on Titirangi, including burial grounds, terraces, and middens. Titirangi Pā sits near the summit.
In the wider area surrounding Gisborne are two arboreta, Eastwoodhill, the National Arboretum of New Zealand at Ngatapa which spans over 130 hectares, and the smaller 50 hectare Hackfalls Arboretum at Tiniroto.
Up until Samoa and Tokelau's dateline shift in December 2011, Gisborne claimed to be the first city on Earth to see the sun rise each day. However, this is now only accurate in New Zealand's summer months.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Climate
The region is sheltered by high country to the west and has a sunny climate with a yearly average of 2,200 sunshine hours. The annual rainfall varies from about 1000 mm near the coast to over 2500 mm in higher inland country. According to the NIWA dataset for 1981–2010 normals, Gisborne narrowly edged several other cities to have the warmest summer maxima of official stations. Winters are slightly cooler than more northerly areas, rendering that over the course of the calendar year, Gisborne is not the warmest station of the country. Even summertime mean temperatures are lower than northerly areas in spite of the highs due to the cooler nights. In spite of this, yearly mean temperatures are still some way above average for New Zealand as a whole.
Climate data for Gisborne (1981-2010 normals)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: NIWA Climate Data
Source #2: Météo Climat
Gisborne, New Zealand: Economy
The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool were shipped from here. Now the harbour is the home of many smaller fishing boats as well as ships loading logs for export.
The city maintains a rural charm and is a popular holiday spot. Local industries include agriculture, horticulture, farming and forestry. Wine production is also valuable to the local economy.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Lifestyle
Gisborne, New Zealand: Art and culture
Gisborne is home to a large Māori population, with 48.9% of the population identifying as Māori, compared to the national average of 14.9%. The Poho-O-Rawiri and Te Kuri a Tuatai marae are located in the city suburbs. The Tairāwhiti Tamararo Regionals are an annual regional haka competition held in Gisborne in memory of Karaitiana Tamararo.
Gisborne is host to Rhythm & Vines, an annual 3-day music festival held over the New Year at Waiohika Estate. In 2012 and 2013, Rhythm and Vines made skinny dipping world record attempts.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Sport
The Gisborne City football team won the Chatham Cup in 1987. Its home ground is the Childers Road Reserve.
In rugby union Gisborne is home to the Poverty Bay team, who play in the Heartland Championship rugby competition.
In cricket, Gisborne is part of the Northern Districts Cricket Association, and first-class matches are held at the Harry Barker Reserve.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Demographics
Historical population of Gisborne District
Gisborne, which in Statistics New Zealand census records is coterminous with Gisborne District, had a population of 43,656 according to the 2013 census. This is a decrease of 807, or 1.8 percent, since the 2006 census. There were 16,185 occupied dwellings, 1,824 unoccupied dwellings, and 51 dwellings under construction.
Of the residential population, 21,093 (48.3%) were male compared to 48.7% nationally, and 22,560 (51.7%) were female, compared to 51.3% nationally. The city had a median age of 37.0 years, 1.0 years below the national median age of 38.0 years. People aged 65 and over made up 14.0% of the population, compared to 14.3% nationally, and people under 15 years made up 24.6%, compared to 20.4% nationally. People aged between 15 and 24 made up approximately 12.7% of the city's residential population.
Gisborne's ethnicity is made up of (national figures in brackets): 56.1% European (74.0%), 45.1% Māori (14.9%), 2.2% Asian (11.8%), 3.5% Pacific Islanders (7.4%), 0.4% Middle Eastern, Latin American or African (1.2%), 1.4% 'New Zealanders' (1.6%), and 0.05% Other (0.1%).
Gisborne had an unemployment rate of 9.4% of people 15 years and over, compared to 7.4% nationally. The median annual income of all people 15 years and over was $24,400, compared to $28,500 nationally. Of those, 41.9% earned under $20,000, compared to 38.2% nationally, while 19.6% earned over $50,000, compared to 26.7% nationally.
Gisborne has the smallest percentage of population born overseas at 9.7% compared to 25.2% for New Zealand as a whole. The highest of these are British totalling 1,335 or 3.1% of the population. Furthermore, 73.0% of the population could speak in one language only, 16.2% in two languages and 1.1% in three or more languages.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Education
Main article: List of schools in the Gisborne District
Gisborne City has four main high (secondary) schools: Gisborne Boys' High, Gisborne Girls' High, Lytton High and Campion College. Campion College is a Catholic co-educational school.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Transportation
Gisborne, New Zealand: Air
Gisborne Airport serves as the domestic airport for the Gisborne Region. Regular flights between Auckland and Wellington are serviced by Air New Zealand under the Link brand, while the smaller airline Sunair provides services to other New Zealand centres such as Hamilton, Whakatane, Rotorua and Tauranga, and Air Napier provides services to Napier and Wairoa.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Highways
State Highway 2 connects Gisborne to Tauranga via Opotiki and Whakatane to the northwest, and to Napier and the rest of Hawke's Bay via Wairoa to the south. SH 2 travels towards Gisborne from the northwest from Te Karaka, a settlement approximately 31 km northwest of Gisborne. SH 2 passes through Makaraka, a suburb on the outer fringes of Gisborne. It then crosses the Waipaoa River and makes its way south through Manutuke and Wharerata before it enters the Hawke's Bay Region towards Nuhaka, Wairoa, and eventually on to Napier.
State Highway 35 (part of the Pacific Coast Highway network) begins at a junction west of Gisborne with SH 2 just before SH 2 crosses the Waipaoa River on its way south to Manutuke. SH 35 borders Gisborne Airport to the south and enters Gisborne city on the southwestern fringes. It makes its way through the city out to the east, and continues up the coast connecting Gisborne to the East Cape.
1916 bus and bullock team outside the Post Office
Gisborne, New Zealand: Public transport
Public transport is poorly developed in Gisborne, with only 0.2% of trips made by bus in 2013/14. This compares with 2.3% nationally, which itself is amongst the lowest proportions in the world. Go Bus is contracted to the council to run 22 services a day on 6 routes Monday to Friday, using 2 buses. From 1913 to 1929 Gisborne had battery-powered trams. Since then public transport has declined to about a fifth of the usage then. In 1930 the municipal buses travelled 6,631 mi (10,672 km), and carried 28,531 passengers in 2 weeks. In 2012/13 the city buses carried about 78,000 passengers in 52 weeks, at a cost of about $120,000 a year, with about another $85,000 from fares.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Rail
Gisborne is the northern terminus of the Palmerston North - Gisborne Line railway, which opened in 1942 and mothballed (track kept in place but all services cancelled) in 2012. The permanent way has since suffered storm damage including bridge collapses and the line is believed unlikely to re-open for economic reasons. Prior to this, an isolated section of line operated from Gisborne to Moutohora – intended to be part of a line to Auckland via Rotorua, and later part of the East Coast Main Trunk Railway line. This connection was never completed and the Moutohora Branch line closed in 1959.
Rail passenger services were provided between Gisborne and Wellington until 1988, when the Endeavour express was cancelled north of Napier. Today, only the Gisborne City Vintage Railway operates limited heritage train rides out of Gisborne.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Suburbs
Coastal suburbs of Gisborne viewed from Kaiti Hill
Gisborne, New Zealand: In popular culture
Gisborne City was the setting of the 2014 drama film The Dark Horse, a biographical film starring Cliff Curtis about the late speed-chess champion, Genesis Potini. The film was shot in Gisborne and Auckland in the winter of 2013.
In March 2016, Gisborne hosted the premiere of Mahana, a New Zealand film set in Patutahi and Manutuke, and based on Witi Ihimaera's semi-autobiographical novel Bulibasha: King Of The Gypsies.
Gisborne, New Zealand: Sister cities
Gisborne had three sister cities in the Sister Cities International Program, two are in the United Kingdom (one in Wales and Scotland), the third being Palm Desert, California in the US.
Palm Desert, California, United States
Nonoichi, Ishikawa, Japan
Gisborne, Victoria, Australia
Valverde del Majano, Segovia, Spain
Gisborne, New Zealand: Sister ports
Gamagōri, Aichi, Japan
Rizhao, Shandong, China
Gisborne, New Zealand: See also
List of people from Gisborne, New Zealand
Gisborne, New Zealand: References
"Gisborne District Council " Councillor contact details". Gisborne District Council. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
"Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2016 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-16 (2017 boundary)". Statistics New Zealand. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
Monty Soutar (25 March 2015). "East Coast places – Gisborne". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
"History of Gisborne – Lonely Planet Travel Information". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
"Story: Tūranganui-a-Kiwa tribes". Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
"The People – History". Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
"Gisborne History". Tairāwhiti Tours. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Spedding, Michael (October 2006). The Turanganui River: A Brief History (PDF). Department of Conservation in association with NZ Historic Places Trust, Tairawhiti Museum and Eastland Port Co. Ltd. pp. 13–29. ISBN 0-478-14120-3. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Tairawhiti Māori Association (1932). Echoes of the Pa: Tairawhiti Māori Association's Research Proceedings 1931–1932. Gisborne Publishing Co.
Halbert, Rongowhakaata (1999). "The Horouta Canoe". Horouta : the history of the Horouta canoe, Gisborne and East Coast. Reed, Auckland, N.Z. pp. 26–28. ISBN 0790006235.
Mackay, Joseph Angus (1949). Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
"Our district's history". Gisborne District Council. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
"Historic Cook Landing Site". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). "The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]". The Cyclopedia Company: 960–1002. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
"Tūranganui-a-Kiwa tribes: Contacts and conflicts". Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Nancy Swarbrick (12 August 2014). "Public history – Historic places and objects". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Soutar, Marty (25 March 2015). "East Coast places – Poverty Bay flats". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Holiday hotspot face-off: Bay of Plenty vs Gisborne". Stuff. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
Peryman, Bailey (June 2011). "Surf Break Identification and Protection in the Gisborne District" (PDF). Gisborne District Council. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
Soutar, Monty (15 November 2012). "East Coast places – Gisborne". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Our District". Gisborne District Council. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
"Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve" (PDF). Department of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai). Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Introducing Titirangi Reserve" (PDF). Gisborne District Council. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Plans revealed for Kaiti Hill-Titirangi". The Gisborne Herald. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.(subscription required)
McCarroll, Jo (22 April 2016). "Gardens to visit around Gisborne". New Zealand Gardener. Stuff. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Eastwoodhill – The National Arboretum of New Zealand". Eastwoodhill. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
Handford, Roger (4 January 2012). "Gisborne still first for the sun". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
Gisborne Weather at gisbornenz.co.nz
"Mean Daily Maximum Temperatures (°C)". NIWA. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
"Mean monthly temperatures (°C)". NIWA. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
"Climate Data". NIWA. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
"Météo climat stats Records for Gisborne". Météo Climat. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
"QuickStats about Gisborne District" (PDF). Statistics New Zealand. 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
Brown, Harata (24 April 2016). "5 teams to represent Te Tairāwhiti at Te Matatini". Māori Television. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
"Hundreds get their gear off in Gisborne". Television New Zealand. 31 December 2013.
"2013 Census tables about a place: Gisborne District". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
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