Take an introductory drive through Gisborne, an easy-going beach-blessed city that revolves around life’s pleasures such as surfing, dining and wine production.
After departing from the pier, you'll set off on a journey of discovery. Gisborne is home to approximately 44,000 people and is the birth place of a diverse variety of New Zealand notables, including pro surfer Maz Quinn, opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, several Olympic medalists, and Footrot Flats comic book creator Murray Ball.
The shores of Gisborne are legendary for their beauty and history. Your tour will take you past the spot where Captain Cook, the English explorer who discovered the area, first landed and met the native Maori people.
Then, travel up Titirangi (Kaiti) Hill for a photo opportunity, passing a stately Marae, a Maori meeting house, considered to be the largest in New Zealand. When you reach the top of the hill, you'll be treated to spectacular views of Poverty Bay, Young Nicks Head, the first piece of land sighted by James Cook's crew and named for the young lad who spied it-and your anchored ship.
Continue along the shoreline to admire two of the area's premier beaches. Wainui and Okitu are known for their impressive waves, which draw top surfers to their sands. Keep your camera ready for a stop at the sand dunes of Lysnar Reserve.
In just a few miles, the scenery changes dramatically, and you'll find yourself in Gisborne's idyllic rural area. Thirty percent of all wines produced in New Zealand come from this region. Enjoy the view as you drive along roads bordered by sweet-smelling orchards, award-winning vineyards, and lush, fertile plains. You'll also see fields dotted with adorable fluffy sheep happily grazing beside quaint farmhouses.
On your return to the city, you'll travel down the main shopping street, the tree-lined Gladstone Road. Named after former British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, the boulevard houses boutiques, souvenir stores brimming with handcrafted gifts, surf shops and colorful outdoor cafes perfect for a bite to eat and people watching. You will have the option of disembarking to explore independently, making your own way back to port, or simply remaining on the motorcoach and returning to the ship.