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Headed into Gisborne today to see the city. Not much to do though. My first stop was the tourist office, who suggested that I could see some statues, visit a small museum, go on a walk by the river and visit the Gisborne wine centre.
I started by viewing the statues of Captain Cook and Young Nick, the cabin boy who first saw the land of New Zealand. Captain Cook named the bay Poverty Bay, as due to a misunderstanding with the locals they were unable to obtain any food or repairs.
Next I headed to the Gisborne Wine Centre, where I was invited on a vineyard tour which was just leaving. It was pretty expensive, but offered the chance to visit 3 vineyards, taste wine at all three and included a lunch platter. I decided to go ahead and soon found myself being introduced to the local wine. Gisborne specialises in white wines, especially Chardonnay, though every winery had a variety of different white wines. There were also always some red wines to try, but these tended to be watery merlots and not up to the usual standards which I am used to. One of the winerys also had a fortified port-like wine on offer, which was the best wine of the whole day. The platter consisted of a spread of various cheese, meats, dips, bread and pickles which were thoroughly enjoyable. They would really bring out the different characteristics of the different wines, but I opted to stick to the water for lunch due to my low tollerance for alcohol. It was just as well as we tried a total of 14 different wines over the course of the tour.
At the end of the tour, I got the driver to drop me off at the botanical gardens so I could take a rather drunken strole down the river and back into town. The riverside is the most picturesque area of Gisborne with lush green banks and colourful flowers.
Back in town, I just had time for a quick shop at the local supermarket before catching my lift back to the backpackers.