Beaches in Gisborne

Photo by Jun Kaneko


About Gisborne, NZ

Gisborne is located on New Zealand’s North Island’s most northeastern tip. Because of its position, this region is the first place in the world that sees the sunrise in the east to greet a new day. This region is known for its incredible surfing beaches and stunning coastline, wooded mountain parks, agriculture, wineries, and Maori culture. 45% of those living in Gisborne are Maori.

The Pacific Ocean meets Gisborne on the east, and rugged mountain ranges dominate the area to the region’s west. Sandy and pebbly coastal beaches can be found on the eastern shores of Gisborne, and inland there is forested, hilly terrain. Rough ridges run through the centre of Gisborne, ultimately leading to Mount Hikurangi in the northeast, which is the North Island’s tallest non-volcanic summit.

For freshwater swimming, Lake Waikaremoana can be found in the southwestern part of Gisborne. In addition to this scenic lake, Gisborne also has rivers to swim in. The Waimata and Taruheru Rivers converge at the centre of Gisborne to form the Turanganui River. Some even call Gisborne the city of rivers.


Swimming Water Quality in Gisborne

Gisborne District Council monitors 33 swimming spots in Gisborne. These swimming spots include 19 coastal beaches and 14 rivers, which are monitored weekly from October 15 to April 15.


Water Sports and Activities in Gisborne

There are lots of things to do in the water in Gisborne. You can explore the coast by swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling, water-skiing, slaloming, or wave sailing. Fishing and camping are also popular activities here. This region is also the only one in New Zealand where you can feed wild stingrays.

One of Gisborne’s must-visit spots in the Rere Rockslide, located near the Rere Falls on the Wharekopae River. This 60-meter natural waterslide traverses riverbed rocks that have been made smooth by the water flow. The slide leads to a calm, refreshing swimming hole. This natural wonder is free, but it’s recommended that you bring your own floatation device for your adventure down the rocks.


Weather in Gisborne

Gisborne’s climate is warm and temperate. It’s also one of New Zealand’s sunniest places. The hottest months in Gisborne are December and February, with temperatures ranging from 23-24 °C (73-75 °F). The water temperature during these months is around 20 °C (60 °F).

Much of this region is lightly populated and remote, which makes for some of New Zealand’s most uncrowded beaches–perfect for peaceful getaways.

Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA. See Legal.

© SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA, 2011 - 2020