Four Days in Gisborne
Trip Start Apr 02, 2012
45Trip End Jul 26, 2012
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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
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
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.
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!