Grade
Easy
Distance
13 km
Walking
4-5 hours
Cycling
1 hour
Information for this trail was last updated March 2024

This trail takes in the bulk of more than 20 murals created by artist Graeme Mudge (1932-2014) over 17 years. They illustrate scenes from the post-European settler era, as well as contemporary settings, in the city’s industry, arts, recreation and development.

In chronicling the artist’s work, Mark Peters – author of The Mudge Murals – talks of Mudge’s style and composition, art history references and wit, his energetic brushwork, fearless use of colour, and exuberant regionalism.

Mudge made his first public mural – the Wattie mural – in 1994 under a Keep Gisborne Beautiful initiative to combat graffiti.

History of the trail

 

 

 

Tips & Logistics

Start anywhere along the trail. One way is to park at the Ballance Street Village and view first Mudge’s 1997 superette mural on the corner of Ormond Road and Ballance Street.

Turn into the nearby Railway Lane towards Wi Pere Street. Turn left there and cross Taruheru River on the road bridge then drop down the steps into the Botanical Gardens. Walk through to Carnarvon Street, then along Aberdeen Road to join with the City Rivers Trail at the Derby Street/Aberdeen Road corner. Head right along the trail and see the 1997 Gisborne City Highland Pipe Band mural at Bright Street beside St John Ambulance. Continue up Bright St to see the 2011 Bus Shelter mural on the left past the H B Williams Memorial Library. This features Mudge’s wife Lisette in the window near the back of the bus. The artist himself is painted outside the bus at the rear of the work.

Follow Bright Street to Childers Rd, and turn left to see the 2000 Band Room mural. Then head to the War Memorial Theatre with the 2002 theatre mural able to be seen through the window at the right of the entrance. The theatre may be open for better viewing.

From there, head back to Childers Road to Grey Street. Turn left for 100 metres to the Cosmopolitan Club opposite. View Mudge’s 2001 mural and one of the old Cosmopolitan Club inside the building.

Head down Grey Street to the Information Centre and follow the path through Alfred Cox park to Stanley Road. Turn left into Stanley Road and continue walking or cycling to Centennial Marine Drive. Along this Drive, just past Kiwa Pools, is the 2008 mural of Gisborne’s 1910 gaol, which once housed 20 cells and had separate men’s, women’s and warden’s quarters … and an exercise yard.

Cross the road on to the Oneroa Cycle/Walkway and see the 1998 Ladies Surf Life Saving Club (now Eastland Triathlon and Multi Sport Club) mural just past Beacon Reserve.

Continue on the Oneroa trail, past the Young Nick and Cook statues until the trail veers off towards the Tūranganui River. Across the road is the 1999 Time of Sails mural in Awapuni Road and on the shed wall of the Wa165, the 1994 Watties mural.

Return to the river trail, past the small wharf where fishers are often trying their luck, to the 2001 Substation mural featuring the 1904 Gisborne Harbour Board building, Gisborne Borough Council, courthouse and 1900 Post and Telegraph building.

Take the path leading up to the Gladstone Road Bridge and cross it towards the port. Just past the end of the bridge is the 1999 Weighbridge mural depicting the former freezing works and fishing industries.

Further up Wainui Road on the other side of this very busy area is the 1995 Gisborne Bowling Club mural -- featuring a scene from the club’s establishment in 1884 and a modern scene.

Return to the path and continue past several wharf buildings until you meet Lower Crawford Road to the left and the brick The Works building on the right. At the end of this short piece of road is the 2011 Forestry industry mural just below Rakaiatane Road.

Back over Gladstone Road Bridge, take the path off the trail leading to Palmerston Road and then turn right across the Peel Street Bridge, past a park on the corner of Stout Street to the Army Hall carpark, at the far end of which is Mudge’s 2008 Farmers' Market mural. 

From here, cross Fitzherbert Street to Lawson Field Theatre. Go to the river-side of the building to see the 2001 Town Crier’s mural, which was digitised and erected beside the theatre in 2017 after the council building it was designed for was demolished.

Head back to Fitzherbert St, cross Ormond Road and turn left into Railway Lane. Follow this all the way to Ballance Street Village.

Two Mudge murals are excluded from this circuit as they are a little further away -- Watson Park where Mudge’s 1997 train station mural, complete with Wa165 steam locomotives, was relocated in 2010 from the Adventure Playground; and the Kaiti-Gisborne Croquet Club, at 140 Rutene Road.