Seasonal gridlock in Gisborne

Rhythm and Vines crowd soon to make way for beach-goers.

Rhythm and Vines crowd soon to make way for beach-goers.

CHOCKA IN THE CAFES: Rhythm and Viners enjoy coffee as they wait for food at Verve Cafe on Gisborne’s main road. They are Matt Sleith and Jordan Gillies at the back with Sam Matthews and Georgia Fabish at the front, all from Wellington. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

WITHOUT wanting to state the obvious, it has been a bit busy in town.

The best time to shop if you want to beat the crowds is first thing in the morning before the kids get up, or mid-afternoon once they’ve gone back to bed or out to Rhythm and Vines, says Pak’n Save manager Ewan Atherton.

The rest of the time, Gisborne is packed with people and traffic.

Cafes mid-morning have very long queues, unusual for locals, with young people refuelling before another day at New Zealand’s biggest New Year’s Eve festival, Rhythm and Vines.

Even fast food outlet Kentucky Fried Chicken had a 40-minute wait yesterday around 11am.

And retailers spoken to could not be happier.

“As normal they are a great crowd,” said Mobil Portside owner John Hopkins.

“Our figures are slightly up on last year, which we are very happy about and it’s a great experience.

“It’s busy during the day until the festival starts, then tapers off and gives us a chance to have a cup of coffee.”

Gisborne Taxis’ phone operator said the long waiting times for customers were because the drive from town to Waiohika took up to half an hour at times.

“It is gridlocked in Gisborne and it takes them a while to get out of town. But the customers are marvellous and the business is good for Gisborne,” she said.

Parking warden Mandy Cottle sees most things on her daily walks around town.

The increase of cars and people in the CBD was great for businesses, she said, but not hers. The number of parking tickets given out had not increased.

“The visitors are being quite responsible.

“This is what we want for the retailers. I absolutely love it. It just brings prosperity to our little town. I wish it was like this every day,” she said.

Tonight is the last night of the three-day festival and tomorrow morning is expected to be a peak time for traffic as the guard changes and festival-goers head out of town.

Then the new batch of tourists will flock in to enjoy Gisborne’s climate and beach lifestyle.

WITHOUT wanting to state the obvious, it has been a bit busy in town.

The best time to shop if you want to beat the crowds is first thing in the morning before the kids get up, or mid-afternoon once they’ve gone back to bed or out to Rhythm and Vines, says Pak’n Save manager Ewan Atherton.

The rest of the time, Gisborne is packed with people and traffic.

Cafes mid-morning have very long queues, unusual for locals, with young people refuelling before another day at New Zealand’s biggest New Year’s Eve festival, Rhythm and Vines.

Even fast food outlet Kentucky Fried Chicken had a 40-minute wait yesterday around 11am.

And retailers spoken to could not be happier.

“As normal they are a great crowd,” said Mobil Portside owner John Hopkins.

“Our figures are slightly up on last year, which we are very happy about and it’s a great experience.

“It’s busy during the day until the festival starts, then tapers off and gives us a chance to have a cup of coffee.”

Gisborne Taxis’ phone operator said the long waiting times for customers were because the drive from town to Waiohika took up to half an hour at times.

“It is gridlocked in Gisborne and it takes them a while to get out of town. But the customers are marvellous and the business is good for Gisborne,” she said.

Parking warden Mandy Cottle sees most things on her daily walks around town.

The increase of cars and people in the CBD was great for businesses, she said, but not hers. The number of parking tickets given out had not increased.

“The visitors are being quite responsible.

“This is what we want for the retailers. I absolutely love it. It just brings prosperity to our little town. I wish it was like this every day,” she said.

Tonight is the last night of the three-day festival and tomorrow morning is expected to be a peak time for traffic as the guard changes and festival-goers head out of town.

Then the new batch of tourists will flock in to enjoy Gisborne’s climate and beach lifestyle.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the call for a feasibility study into developing an "inland port" and sending the district's export logs to Napier Port by rail, to get log trucks out of the city and to repurpose the port and harbour area?