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'Gizzy' to her friends, Gisborne (pronounced Gis-born, not Gis-bun) is a pretty place, squeezed between surf beaches and a sea of chardonnay, and it proudly claims to be the first city on Earth to see the sun each day. It’s a good place to put your feet up for a few days, hit the beach and sip some wine.

If you're into festivals, make a dance-music-and-DJ date for late December, or experience the best of the local food, wine and beer scene in October. Across other times of the year, walking in an arboreal wonderland or exploring New Zealand's best regional museum are fine reasons to visit the country's most remote city.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Gisborne.