Photo Courtesy Manutuke Eco Retreat
Top Gisborne Accommodation & Places to Stay on the East Coast
By Justine Tyerman
The East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island is off the beaten track – that’s what makes it so special and unique. And while it may also mean that top-of-the-line, luxury accommodations on your Pacific Coast road trip may be limited, there are a number of excellent Gisborne accommodation options worth checking out. These include a great hotel, private luxury holiday homes and beach cottages, a charming farm house, and an eco-retreat that offers no-end of fun for those seeking a truly memorable vacation.
What each of them share in common, though, are their exquisite locations… itself something of a luxury. Indeed, what some may lack in luxury, they more than make up for in views and unique experiences.
As you read through our list of the top Gisborne accommodation options, be sure to click on the links provided. When you do, you'll be rewarded with a wealth of information on some of most memorable places to stay in New Zealand.
Kopana Guest House, Mahia
Kopana Guest House is stunningly-located on the northern side of Mahia Peninsula just one hour's drive from Gisborne.
Overlooking beautiful, unspoilt 8 km-long Mahunga Beach, the 180-degree views from this three-bedroom, two-bathroom Bookabach holiday home are simply breath-taking. Mahia is also a paradise for all kinds of water sports, especially fishing, diving, and surfing. There are gorgeous bush walks, a nine-hole golf course, and the popular Morere mineral hot springs nearby.
For prices, availability, and further details, click here.
Portside Hotel, Gisborne
The Portside Hotel - Heritage Collection is Gisborne's premier hotel. Set just metres from the waterfront, this classy hotel’s rooms and suites boast splendid views of the inner harbour or city.
Book the Portside's spacious two-bedroom penthouse suite with balconies overlooking the Turanganui River and Gisborne Harbour for the ultimate experience. The hotel has a lovely outdoor swimming pool facing the waterfront, a delightful place to relax and cool off on a warm summer day.
Learn more at www.heritagehotels.co.nz/portside-hotel-gisborne
Manutuke Eco Retreat, Gisborne
Manutuke Eco Retreat is Gisborne’s latest luxury glamping site. Consisting of two beautifully-appointed tents that sleep four adults, an ensuite bathroom, separate toilet, semi-enclosed kitchen, and outdoor lounge area, this stunning ‘glamp-site’ is located beside a lake near Manutuke, just15 minutes from Gisborne. Immaculately presented, the complex is built of eco-timber on a raised platform and a series of curved inter-connecting boardwalks, and a jetty that extends into the lake.
Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards allow guests to explore the native birdlife and a small island on the lake. The site is cocooned at the foot of hills criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails. Near the summit of the hill, there’s a yoga platform overlooking the sparkling bay and fertile plains of Tairawhiti.
Blackhouse Lodge, Wainui Beach, Gisborne
High on a ridge above the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean and the golden sands of Gisborne’s famous Wainui Beach, the elevated 360-degree panorama from the Blackhouse Lodge is stunning. This luxurious three-bedroom, three-bathroom lodge accommodates 10 with ease and style. The open-plan living area features a fireplace in the centre of the room that’s perfect for cosy winter entertaining, while in summer, doors and windows open wide to that spectacular view. Set on a 1000-acre farm property, guests are assured plenty of privacy, peace, and space.
Beach House, Wainui Beach, Gisborne
Located just six minutes’ drive from Gisborne city, you will find the lovely four-bedroom, three-bathroom holiday home – the Beach House – right on Wainui Beach. A great spot for families with plenty of space, a large lawn, a sheltered courtyard with a gas fireplace, a BBQ, pizza oven, outdoor dining area, hammock, swing chair, and a spa pool overlooking the beach. Wainui’s world-class surf is just a few steps away, and the East Coast sunrises are magic.
Click here to learn more about this great Gisborne accommodation from Bookabach.
Haurata Farm House, Matawai
Haurata Farm House is a cosy, stylish, four-bedroom holiday home with a woodburning fire and an outside hot tub. An hour’s drive (65 km) inland from Gisborne on State Highway 2, and then 13 kms on the Makaretu Road, the house is set ingorgeouspark-like garden surroundings on a rugged, backcountry farm… the perfect location to experience rural New Zealandat its best. It’s also an area rich in history with spectacular landscapes: steep escarpments and bluffs, bizarre sandstone formationsand rock sculptures, native birds and bushland, rivers, waterfalls, swimming holes, rock slides, sheep, cattle, wild goats, deer, and glow worms.
Haurata is a popular base for hiking holidays with threestunning day walks, each with their own unique landscape and breath-taking views. This secluded, tranquil, private retreat is a wonderful place to get away from city life, breathe the clean country air, drink pure spring water, relax and recharge your batteries.
If you are there at spring blossom-time, the avenues of cherry trees are magnificent. You can order delicious, gourmet meals which are cooked for you, on-site, using fresh produce from the farm garden and local area. Visit their website at www.haurata.co.nz/farmhouse.html for further details.
Tidal Waters Loglodge, Waihau Bay (AKA Loisels Beach, near Tolaga Bay)
Tidal Waters Loglodge sits on a beautiful, secluded beach 35 minutes north of Gisborne city, and 10 minutes south of Tolaga Bay, so it’s the perfect stop-off on your East Coast road trip. With seven bedrooms and four bathrooms, the lodge is incredibly spacious and can comfortably accommodate up to 24 guests. There’s also a self-contained, one-bedroom unit available to rent separately.
And with all the activities on offer at your doorstep or nearby, you might never want to leave; swimming, surfing, diving, surf-casting, and game fishing, deer and wild pig hunting, beach walks, or just gazing at the ever-changing face of the Pacific Ocean and breathing in the fresh sea air are all popular pursuits here. For nature-lovers, there are colonies of white-breasted shag and dotterel on the beach; for golfers, there’s a golf course 11km away; and for hikers, there are day walks along the Old Coach and Department of Conservation tracks to historic Cook's Cove and the Tolaga Bay Wharf. (see my ‘What to do on the East Coast’ story).
The lodge also provides a uniquely different venue for weddings, conferences, and special celebrations. Set on 24 acres of land overlooking 5.6 kms of beautiful unspoiled beach, this property is a truly in a class of its own. Learn more about this Bookabach property here.
Aruhe, Whanarua Bay
Aruhe is a lovely, secluded one-bedroom cottage near Whanarua Bay, one of the East Coast’s prettiest bays. Sustainably-built using recycled timber, Aruhe is on the edge of the Raukumara Forest with wonderful walks, birdlife, and a dark night sky for stargazing. Whanarua Bay, known for its own sub-tropical micro-climate, is 246 km from Gisborne and 88 km from Opotiki, a great place to stop on your road trip around the East Coast. From here, it’s only an hour and 15 minutes to journey’s end at Opotiki.
Click here for further details of this Bookabach location.
Contributing Editor Justine Tyerman is an award-winning travel writer, journalist, and sub-editor from Gisborne, New Zealand, with 20 years’ experience in newspaper and freelance work. Check out her work at www.just-write.co.nz and Tyerman’s Travels Facebook.