Gisborne is an easy 45 minutes from the bustle of Melbourne’s CBD, yet feels like a different world. Here, you can escape to a place that seamlessly combines country homesteads, heritage buildings, tree-lined streets and lush parklands with the amenities of a modern town.
South Gisborne is also home to the 2022 season of The Block Country.
What to do in Gisborne
Stroll under colourful autumn leaves in Sankey Reserve. Curl up in a cosy farmstay escape with a good book. Plan a day trip around local wineries and farm gates. Or visit a vibrant market.
The distinct four seasons of the region make this a beautiful country escape any time of year.
Jackson’s Creek walk
Meander along Jackson’s Creek walk, which snakes along grassy embankments and giant deciduous trees. Begin in Gisborne Botanic Gardens and wind your way across to Sankey Reserve. You’ll find barbecue and picnic spots along the way and plenty of friendly locals out for a walk or bike ride. Drop by Gisborne Ice Cream Co. afterward for the most sublime ice cream!
Wine or gin tasting in Gisborne
Gisborne Peak Winery is open seven days a week for wine tasting and lunch. This pooch-friendly cellar door and restaurant boasts a relaxing deck with gorgeous views perfect for summer drinks. Or cosy up in front of the fire during winter. They also have on-site cottages for the full vineyard experience.
For gin fans, make sure to drop by Mountain Distilling’s tasting room in New Gisborne. Open 10-5pm on weekends. This award-winning artisanal gin uses new growth pine needles and native Mountain Pepperberry found throughout the area.
Farm gate experiences
Stock up on local organic olive oil, olives, vinaigrettes and tapenade at Villa Pillegi Olive Oil. The picturesque Villa Pillegi orchard consists of 1250 Frantoio trees and is open to the public most weekends.
Gisborne for families
Head towards Gisborne Botanic Gardens and you’ll find a lovely children’s adventure playground along the banks of Jackson Creek. When they tire of the swings, go for a bike ride through the botanic gardens.
There’s also a fun miniature railway experience on the first Sunday of each month at the Gisborne Steam Park.
Gisborne Golf Club
Gisborne Golf Club is an attractive 18-hole golf course only 20 minutes’ from Melbourne’s airport and 45 minutes’ from Melbourne CBD. It offers one of the best and most affordable golfing north west of Melbourne.
Local tour experiences
Gisborne Golf Club is home to a large 200-strong population of wild Eastern Grey kangaroos. Book one of their unique Kangaroo Sightseeing Tours in the comfort of a five-seater golf buggy for something a little different.
Markets in Gisborne
Gisborne Old Time Market is listed as one of the top five markets in Victoria. Held on the first Sunday of every month, you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling handcrafted gifts, clothing, art, preserves, sweets, plants and more.
Where to eat and drink in Gisborne
3 Little Pigs is an award-winning cafe in town serving breakfast, lunch and sweet treats seven days a week.
Baringo Food and Wine Co in New Gisborne is a regional food and wine haven. Home to everything from a provedore, cafe and bistro to a wine bar, Baringo is located conveniently on the V/Line train line if you don’t wish to drive.
Or relax with a glass of wine, wood-fired pizza and spectacular views at dog-friendly Gisborne Peak Winery.
Places to stay in Gisborne
Located in nearby New Gisborne are Mews Cottages – offering contemporary cottage accommodations a short walk from New Gisborne train station and Baringo Food & Wine Co.
For a country retreat a short drive out of town, check out the dog-friendly, self-contained two bedroom Matilda Cottage. Or enjoy a farm stay experience at Rooks Edge B&B, located on a registered sheep stud.
See more places to stay in Gisborne.
Attractions near Gisborne
Dromkeen Homstead in Riddells Creek is a popular destination for families. You’ll find everything from a harpist performance in their heritage gardens to literature festivals, Easter egg hunts and an annual Christmas puppet show. Enjoy lunch or a Devonshire Tea in their cafe while you’re there.
Alternatively, time a visit with the Riddells Creek Farmer’s Market, held on the third Saturday of the month. Brimming with super fresh produce and treats from nearby farms, this is a great example of a true, country-style farmers’ market.
How to get to Gisborne
Gisborne is only 45 minutes’ drive from Melbourne CBD and can be reached via the VLine train departing Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station and Bendigo.