Capped 19 times by his country, the 28-year-old arrived in England in September 2002 from the Canterbury Crusaders, signing for Bristol Shoguns and making an immediate impact at the West Country club, whom he captained on numerous occasions.
But with Bristol crashing out of the Zurich Premiership after a disappointing season, Gibson has now decided to join the ever-growing list of players leaving the Memorial Ground and he will join up with new team-mates at pre-season training in July.
"Leicester are a very established, very successful and very well supported club and all those factors combined made me decide that this was the move for me," said Gibson.
"Tigers are a team packed with established internationals and also a lot of young talent coming through which should hold the club in good stead in future years.
"They have always been a team who have drawn comparisons with my home team, Canterbury, with the amount of success they have just about every season.
"The thought of playing in the same team as stars of the international scene like Martin Johnson and Neil Back gives me a real buzz.
"The Zurich Premiership is a really competitive league and I've enjoyed playing in it but I'm looking forward to playing in one of the top teams next season.
"It's obviously disappointing to leave Bristol – I've really enjoyed the city and, of course, the experience and I've made a lot of good friends, but now is time to move on.
"I'm looking forward to meeting up with the guys in the summer and getting started on the field."
The arrival of Gibson will be a major boost for the Tigers, helping to plug the gap left by outgoing midfielder Rod Kafer, the former Wallaby transferring to Saracens.
"Daryl is a world-class centre and is the kind of quality player we need," said Leicester Director of Rugby Dean Richards.
"I've been following his progress closely this season and have been impressed with the way that he has performed in a struggling Bristol side. I know he had a number of offers from other clubs and I'm very pleased he has chosen to join Leicester."