Four Days in Gisborne

Trip Start Apr 02, 2012
Trip End Jul 26, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I have been travelling on the Pacific Coast Highway from Napier clinging to the beautiful blue ocean in the east heading North.
I thus arrived in Gisborne on Saturday for four days. I was hoping for great things from this largish, busy and well-known city, but alas it's a little boring. I'm staying in a quaint old-style ranch house YHA hostel in a large double room in the attic. It's a long way from the lavs so I'm now a master of the art of 'holding it in' and rationing my fluid intake before beddy-byes. There's even a sofa in here!!
I got a bit worried on the first evening as I had a look around the city centre and couldn't find an Indian restaurant! That and here was another dead town after 3pm!!
I wandered into the only thing that was open, which just happened to be a pub!! They didn't make me feel welcome really and eyed me like a stranger in town - could be because I hadn't shaved I suppose, but I got my own back as I ordered a slap-up pasta! Ha! They wern't gonna get rid of me that easily! No sir!
The next morning I fared better as I took a nice long walk around the place in the light of day and discovered 3 lovely rivers all in the same place, apparently one of them, the Turanganui is just 1200m long and is NZ shortest river also a great working port, a great beach (Poverty Bay) and a couple of statues of Capn' Cook (it was here that he first set foot in NZ). 
They have had violent storms here last week and the beach is completely stacked with logs, trees and other detritus washed up by the sea (amazing!). I even found a very nice Indian and had a take-away that night!
In the afternoon I took a very pleasant boat trip on another restored old pilot boat, lovingly rebuilt by some old geezers who let plebs like me on it on Sundays. I got more than a little concerned when they issued us with life jackets! I did ask when the last time the boat capsized - he said "never" with a twinkle in his eye! Later on the sea got rough and choppy and the little boat rocked about more than I was comfortable with, however it was smooth more than not! 
The next day I visited Eastwoodhill Arboretum. This was a most magical place about 40mins drive west of Gisborne. I took a 4 hour stroll around the magnificently set out gardens, trees and field. The Autumn colours and incredible views from the highest areas was amazing! (see photos). I was in la la land what with the clean, perfumed air, views and my music (Elton John compilation, if you must know) was all I needed. What topped it off nicely was that when I entered an enchanted wood (and I mean enchanted) I was accompanied for 20 minutes with a Fantail (bird) who was bolder than any Robin I have ever seen! It flew all around me, followed behind on the ground beside me and led the way real close. It was absolutely amazing! He was so compliant that I was able to take some amazing photos - it truely was magical.
This morning I took a climb up Kaiti Hill which overlooks the city with brilliant views and of course great weather. Another Cook monument is up there (they love their connection with the good captain round here). From up there, I spent about an hour observing the workings of the port way down below. It was fascinating observing a logging ship and a fruit freighter being loaded. There are actually guys who spend all day just driving big trucks round and round the port transporting thousands of logs to the ships and crane drivers on the ships spending days just loading them into the holds. Well I thought it was great!!
I also visited Kere falls and stayed an hour photographing these great curtain falls.
Now, some of you may be wondering (definitely Sheri) why, when I am in Gisborne have I not visited yet another winery?? Well I tried to get on a tour but unfortunately there was not enough people who wanted to do one, so it was suggested I visit one on my own, so I did! I went to Milton Vinyard in Gisborne  and after nearly running over a wine harvester, backing into a wall and parking in the wrong place I tasted 6 wines of various vintages and ended up buying a bottle of Viognier! I know....and you're right!!! I can't help it!
I am writing this after spending my last meal in a rather posh restaurant and had a scotch fillet with a very smooth chardonnay (I toasted Marie x).
By the way, that smell of pine (in the title) is very heavy in the air due to the major logging industry here, especially in the port area.
Well! I'm off again tomorrow and heading for two nights in Whakatane (in a motel with proper en-suite!!) and then onto Tauranga for 3 nights.
Oh! While I'm in Whakatane I will be taking a boat trip to White Island - really looking forward to that!  More about that in my next scribblings!
See you then!

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marioz on

Your blogs are actually quite entertaining Clive. Can't wait for the next adventures... :)

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