With a population of around 35,000 and located on the north island, Gisborne exudes history at every turn. Maori for “Great standing place of Kiwa”, Kiwa was a leading figure aboard the Maori ancestral canoe, Takitimu, which ran aground in Gisborne around 1450 AD. After landing, Kiwa became a coastal guardian, eventually marrying Parawhenuamea, the keeper of the streams. View more
The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.
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Nestled on the most easterly tip of New Zealand's North Island, Gisborne's wine region is celebrated for classic Chardonnays. Recently, Gisborne has expanded beyond its reputation for mass production, and a number of small, quality producers have begun experimenting with new varieties and organic growing methods. Your half-day tour visits two family-owned businesses, shining examples of Gisborne's wine renaissance.
Depart the pier area onboard a comfortable motor coach and set off through the verdant hills of Gisborne's wine region. Located in the Central Valley region of Gisborne, Bushmere Estate is a family-owned winery, growing grapes for over 40 years. This spectacular 42-acre vineyard primarily grows Chardonnay grapes, but smaller plantings of Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Montepulciano and Sangrovese can be found on the premises as well. In addition, the family owns part of a nearby vineyard where they source the grapes for their own full-bodied Merlot.
Wander the vineyard, the family estate, and the cellars as you learn about the family's venture into winemaking. At your tasting session, take a moment to admire the wine bottle's label; the logo depicts three elements - earth, water and sun, all vital to the growing of grapes. As you sip and savor, enjoy a delightful antipasto platter as an accompaniment.
Only a short, 15-minute drive away you will be introduced to Matawhero Wines, established in 1968 by Bill Irwin. It began by defying convention and made wines of boutique standing and international acclaim and in doing so, changed the face of New Zealand winemaking forever. Since its first vintage in 1975, Matawhero has produced many excellent and often adventurous wines. Following in Bill's pioneering footsteps, son Denis imparted his colourful style and won fame for his Gewürztraminer - everyone was drinking it, even the Queen of England. Today, revived by the Searle family, Matawhero is true to the founders' determination, producing individualistic wines of world class standard.
Learn more about the family's commitment to sustainable wine producing as you sample their varietals while nibbling on complimentary cheeses.
Your tour concludes with a relaxing drive through the scenery around Gisborne including two photo stops, one at Titirangi Hill, before returning to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Guests who are able to transfer from a chair would be able to participate. Walking at the wineries is on some unpaved surfaces and gravel paths and there are a few steps. We suggest wearing comfortable clothing and walking shoes and well as sun protection. Guests must be 21 years of age to participate in tastings. Order of tour may vary.
Just short drives away, yet worlds apart from Gisborne city life, explore Waipura Station, a sprawling 2,100 acre (849 hectare) working sheep and beef farm in a rural setting. Watch a sheep shearing demonstration and see the ranch hands herd the sheep alongside their working dogs. Enjoy morning tea and experience what the Kiwi considers a classic meal break between breakfast and lunch.
Travel by motor coach to an idyllic destination to experience the lives of a fourth-generation farming family. Your hosts, Graham, Anne, Caroline and Jo welcome you warmly as do the 3,000 sheep and 300 heads of cattle that call this pastoral paradise home. Your hosts are keen to answer any of your questions as they orient you to this lush, hilly property and show you around the 110-year-old homestead built from native New Zealand timber and surrounded by beautiful gardens.
An up-close encounter at the woolshed is an opportunity to observe a sheep shearing demonstration. Observe the remarkable dexterity and speed with which the shearers expertly and painlessly remove the long woolly coats of the animal. Sheep farming is a lead industry in this region and here you will learn the fascinating journey from sheep to bale and beyond.
Then it's on to the paddock to observe the shepherd muster a mob of sheep on horseback with their trusty farm dog assistants aiding in this process. Note how the highly trained "eye" dog doesn't bark but instead stares at the sheep to make them do exactly what he and the shepherd want.
After working up an appetite in the field, your hosts graciously invite you to a classic Kiwi home-baked smoko, a mid-morning break and light meal served to sheep shearers in New Zealand to tide them over between breakfast and lunch.
At the conclusion of the day, bid a fond farewell to your new friends and relax on your drive back to Gisborne.
Have the option of disembarking in the city centre to explore on your own before returning to the ship independently, or stay on the motor coach and return to port.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Walking at the farm is on some unpaved surfaces and loose stone areas plus there are 6 steps to enter/exit the woolshed. Approximately 50 metres (164 feet) of leisurely walking is the surface area covered. We suggest wearing comfortable clothing and walking shoes and well as sun protection. Order of tour may vary.
Experience this interactive reef tour that immerses you in the dynamic marine ecosystem that surrounds the waters of New Zealand's East Coast. Explore Tatapouri Bay, home to stingrays (whai), eagle rays and other reef dwellers, on this fascinating and educational tour.
Board a comfortable motor coach and travel north along the Pacific Coast highway to your coastal destination, Tatapouri Bay, enjoying views of Wainui Beach along the way. Only 30-minutes away, you will find Dive Tatapouri, a family-owned operation. Be greeted warmly by the staff upon your arrival and be outfitted in waders (high-wasted waterproof pants) and then take to the water with your knowledgeable guide to explore Tatapouri Bay's fascinating reef at low tide.
Be led by your guide to the nearby rocky reef shelf, where they will attract the stingrays with food. It only takes a few handfuls of food and the stingrays will be right next to you. Keep a keen eye out for short-tail stingrays, eagle rays, octopus, conger eels, yellowtail kingfish and more. You'll be amazed at the grace and gentleness of these wild sting rays and eagle rays swimming in their natural environment. The experience is perfectly safe as a naturalist guide will be with you at all times.
Learn also about the rich marine life in this area, which has been harvested by the local Maori people for many hundreds of years.
At the completion of the day, light refreshments are served, and the naturalist will stay to speak with you further about the environment and about the Maori people and their settlements along the coastline.
Re-board your coach and relax on the scenic drive back to the pier area.
The departure of the this tour is dependent on low tides which is approximately 2pm therefore this tour departure time has changed to 12:30pm.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Walking at the beach and into the water you may encounter uneven surfaces. You will be in shallow water, up to your waist for most guests, for the encounter. Approximately 250 metres (273 yards) of leisurely walking is required. We suggest wearing comfortable clothing and water shoes and well as sun protection. Bring a towel and bottled water with you from the ship. Guests must be 6 years of age to participate.