Work and Play in Gisborne – Tairawhiti

Gisborne is the first place in New Zealand to see the sun, and in the summer months, the first place in the world to see the sun.

The region hosts a wide range of fruit and vegetable production, with horticulture being the largest and fastest-growing industry in Gisborne.  There are some of the best soils in the world and a climate that facilitates growing everything from bananas to cool climate crops.  Given the broad range of crops and fruit grown in the area, seasonal job opportunities are available year-round.

Gisborne is renowned for its sunny climate, fertile soil, and relaxed lifestyle, and is home to a mix of large producers, boutique wineries, and entrepreneurial growers.

Gisborne is on the east coast of the North Island.  The region is sheltered by high country to the west and has a temperate oceanic climate with warm summers and cool winters.   Gisborne has some of the most consistent surf in NZ with several different bays and breaks to try, both close to town and further round the east coast. You can sample a stunning range of wines from the local vineyards, enjoy trails and treks on a bike or on foot, and explore the meandering coastline steeped in history and culture.

Visit to apply for current jobs in the horticulture industry in Gisborne and see an up to date calendar

Seasonal work opportunities

Winter – grape propagation, citrus pruning, citrus harvest

Spring  – grape propagation, squash weeding, machine planting and cultivation of summer crops eg. corn, squash, maize, peas

Summer – corn harvest, squash harvest, machine harvest for summer crops eg. tomatoes and maize, apple thinning, grape harvest and wine vintage

Autumn – apple harvest, kiwifruit harvest, persimmon harvest

Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, salad greens and lettuce are grown year round with constant job opportunities.

Where to stay

There are a range of backpacker and camping facilities across the region.

Important information to know before you start

You must have a valid work visa to legally work in NZ.

Before you start work, you must sign an employment agreement with the employer.  It is advised that you take a photo of the first page of the agreement showing the business name and address and ask for a copy of the signed agreement.

Keep your own record of what days you worked and the number of hours you worked each day.

What to see and do in Gisborne

Gisborne has a population of approximately 40,000 people.  The township itself is relatively small, with rural outposts across the region to service the farming and horticulture communities.

Gisborne township has a range of supermarkets, shops, cafes and restaurants, however, the larger shopping centres are situated in the Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty, both being about three hours’ drive from Gisborne.  Whilst small in population, there are some large innovative businesses based out of Gisborne, with connections worldwide.

The gems in Gisborne really exist in the outdoors.  A strong swell, consistent winds and wide open beaches have created some of New Zealand’s best surf breaks.  The town beaches generally have the mellowest swells and are great for beginners and surf lessons.  Further up the coast, there are several spots you can surf from Wainui Beach through to the Makarori Point.

Take a trip even further up the coast and you will find remnants of the past in the Hicks Bay and Tolaga Bay wharves, take a walk down the sleepy sandy stretch of Anaura Bay, camp on the beach, meet the local artist community in Tokomaru Bay, have lunch at the iconic Tokomaru Bay pub.

Some of the best game fishing in the world can be found in Gisborne –  fly fishing in the Ruakituri River, around the many beaches and waterways and throughout the Waikaremoana Lakes.

Top 10 must-do activities:

  1. Rere Falls – slide the 60 metre long natural water slide
  2. Gisborne Railbike Adventure – 90 kms of coastal railway between Gisborne and Wairoa. A totally unique tandem cycle allows you to pedal side by side along the rails.
  3. Surf a range of waves and breaks
  4. Feed the stingrays at Tatapouri Beach
  5. Visit wineries, sampling boutique local wines
  6. Hike on of the Great Walks at Waikaremoana Lake
  7. Eastwoodhill Arboretum – the National Arboretum of NZ, encompassing 135 hectares of exotic and native trees, shrubs and climber plantings with a variety of walking tracks and formal gardens.
  8. Visit Morere Hot Springs, where the mineralised waters are said to be amongst the most rejuvenating in the world
  9. Be the first to see the sun on the sacred Mount Hikurangi
  10. Attend Rhythm and Vines – attracting music lovers from around the world, this 3-day outdoor music festival is a must do if you are in town over the New Year period.

Contact us



Find Seasonal Work across NZ

Looking for a new seasonal job in New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable industries? Find seasonal jobs across NZ on PickNZ’s Job Board.

Check out the New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme if you need support to take up seasonal hort work.

© Copyright 2022 - PickNZ