Gisborne, located on New Zealand’s North Island, is known for its stunning beaches, sunny climate, and outdoor activities. However, even in this coastal paradise, rain occasionally graces the region. Don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits! Gisborne has plenty to offer on a rainy day, from exploring local history and culture to indulging in delicious food and drink. In this detailed blog post, we’ll guide you through a selection of rainy day activities that will ensure you make the most of your time in Gisborne.

Dive into Local Culture and History

  • Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery: Start your rainy day adventure by immersing yourself in Gisborne’s rich history and culture at the Tairawhiti Museum and Art Gallery. Explore fascinating exhibits, learn about the region’s Maori heritage, and appreciate the works of local artists.
  • Eastwoodhill Arboretum: For a unique indoor-outdoor experience, visit the Eastwoodhill Arboretum. Explore the extensive collection of trees and plants from around the world in this beautifully landscaped garden. Rainfall can add a magical touch to the lush greenery.

Discover Local Art and Craft

  • Gisborne Craft Market: Spend your rainy day perusing the Gisborne Craft Market. This market showcases the work of local artisans, including pottery, jewelry, textiles, and more. It’s an excellent place to find unique souvenirs or gifts.
  • Evolve Gallery: Visit the Evolve Gallery to admire contemporary art from Gisborne and beyond. The gallery often features rotating exhibitions, so there’s always something new to discover.

Savor Local Cuisine and Beverages

  • Local Cafes: Seek refuge from the rain in one of Gisborne’s charming cafes. Sip on a hot cup of coffee or indulge in a sweet treat while watching the world go by. “The Coffee Club” and “The Wharf Café” are popular choices.
  • Gisborne Wineries: Gisborne is renowned for its wine, and a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to explore local wineries. Many wineries offer indoor tastings where you can sample their exquisite wines and learn about the winemaking process.
Local Gisborne Winery
Local Gisborne Winery

Cultural Experiences

  • Hikurangi Tunnels: Embark on a fascinating tour of the Hikurangi Tunnels, which were built during World War II. Discover the history and stories behind these underground structures, which are sure to intrigue history buffs.
  • Gisborne Olympic Pool: If you’re traveling with family or simply want some aquatic fun, the Gisborne Olympic Pool is a great choice. The indoor pool and leisure facilities are perfect for a rainy day swim or relaxation.

Shop ’til You Drop

  • Gisborne Farmers’ Market: Rain or shine, the Gisborne Farmers’ Market is a must-visit. Browse stalls brimming with fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and more. Sample local flavors and stock up on ingredients for a cozy meal.
Gisborne Farmers' Market
Gisborne Farmers’ Market
  • Gisborne CBD: Spend some time exploring the shops and boutiques in Gisborne’s central business district. From fashion to homeware, you’ll find a range of products to browse and purchase.

Learn Something New

  • Cooking Classes: Sign up for a cooking class at a local culinary school. Learn to prepare delicious dishes using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and take home new cooking skills to impress your friends and family.
  • Maori Workshops: Gisborne offers unique opportunities to learn about Maori culture. Participate in traditional Maori workshops that teach you about customs, crafts, and the Maori way of life.
Maori Workshop
Maori Workshop

Relax and Recharge

  • Spa and Wellness: Treat yourself to a day of relaxation and pampering at one of Gisborne’s spas or wellness centers. Enjoy massages, facials, and other rejuvenating treatments.
  • Library Time: Gisborne’s public library offers a peaceful retreat for book lovers. Cozy up with a good read or use the library’s resources to research local history and culture.

Plan Ahead for Rainy Days

  • Check the Weather Forecast: Before your trip, keep an eye on the weather forecast to anticipate rainy days. This will help you plan indoor activities in advance.
  • Pack Accordingly: Include rain gear like umbrellas and waterproof jackets in your packing list to stay dry while exploring.


Rainy days in Gisborne offer a chance to explore the region’s cultural richness, culinary delights, and indoor attractions. Don’t let the weather deter you from enjoying this coastal paradise; instead, embrace the opportunity to discover Gisborne’s hidden gems and create memorable experiences, rain or shine. Whether you’re sipping coffee in a cozy cafe, learning about Maori culture, or browsing local art, Gisborne offers a diverse array of activities to ensure you make the most of your time, regardless of the weather.