East Cape 9: Some Gisborne tiki-touring
Finishing off this series is a gallery of our Gisborne explorations in the snippets of time between family gathering stuff.
Mike had flown up on Saturday morning and we stayed near Waikanae Beach in a motel, part of which was a house where Mum rented a flat in the late 1960s when she moved to Gisborne. In due course she would meet my father on a blind date while he was on leave from the army.
There was a bit to look at in the general vicinity of the motel.
Gisborne’s old prison was interesting. It opened in 1911 but due to changes in thinking around prisoner reform, the facilities were outdated from the outset. Still, it continued to be used until 1950. The building and grounds were then converted into a motor camp which ran for about the next 30 years. Today this funny old out-of-place-looking building has a heritage status which will hopefully ensure its future.
The old railway station sits a bit forlorn and forgotten, a victim of circumstances which saw the demise of the main line into Gisborne. It opened in 1902 and after reverting to freight-only from 2001 due to declining passenger volumes, closed altogether in 2012 after storm damage. The line is not seen to be economically viable to repair and as a result the station sits largely idle, gradually wearing away.
Gisborne is almost synonymous with sunshine and beaches and while the former was lacking, the coast is great in any weather. These were taken about 15 minutes out of town, back along the East Cape road.
On Sunday after the final stint at the family gathering and farewells to the collection of parents, aunties, uncles and cousins remaining, it was time for the 6.5 hour drive home.