Sample some of New Zealand’s finest wines and world-renowned Art Deco architecture in a pretty coastal setting bathed in sunshine.
Hawke’s Bay wine country offers great scenery and stylish culture. Abundant sunshine makes this an ideal region for relaxing and indulging in wine tasting, al fresco lunches and long walks. The main centre, Napier, is a charming town featuring stunning Art Deco architecture dating from the early twentieth century. A wander around the city streets will reveal an abundance of stunning Art Deco-style buildings. McDonald’s McDeco in Taradale – one of only two Art Deco McDonald’s in the world – is a must-see! Art Deco-themed events feature highly on the social calendar and a lively arts scene is another important aspect of the local culture. Along Napier’s magnificent coastline, visitors can explore golden sand beaches, cafés and the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Further south is the world’s largest mainland colony of gannets, a magnificient seabird.
Sampling the local produce will be high on the to-do list of any traveller. Hawke’s Bay’s fertile plains and warm, sunny climate have given the area a reputation as the fruit bowl of New Zealand. It is wine, however, that has really put this region on the map. Hawke’s Bay is the country’s second largest winemaking region and holds the distinction of being New Zealand’s leading producer of award-winning red wines. Many of the region’s wineries are open to the public for wine tastings and meals. But Hawke’s Bay also offers a host of more active pursuits: from jet boating or paragliding to golf, fly-fishing or scenic walks, there’s no shortage of things to do.
Download the Hawke’s Bay section from New Zealand Trade Manual 2012Hawke's Bay (from New Zealand Trade Manual 2012) (242)
Climb to the Top of Te Mata Peak Towering 400 metres above sea level, Te Mata Peak offers panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru Ranges, and Cape Kidnappers. Cape Kidnappers This craggy peninsula is home to the world’s largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony. White sand coastal beaches Explore Mahia, Waimarama, Ocean and Blackhead Beaches. Art Deco buildings in Napier The main centre of Hawke’s Bay is home to an internationally significant collection of Art Deco buildings.
Tandem paraglide Te Mata Peak is internationally renowned as a superb paragliding location. Skydiving (Hastings) Experience the thrill of skydiving over wine country. www.0800skydive.co.nz White-water rafting (Napier) A variety of options ranging from Grade 1 to 3 are available on the Mohaka River. www.mountainvalley.co.nz Eskdale Mountain Bike Trail Home to one of New Zealand’s largest mountain bike parks. Kiwi Adventure Gorging (Napier) No rafts, no kayaks, just you and cascading waterfalls, deep plunge pools and rock slides. www.kiwi-adventure.co.nz Caving (Napier) Hard-core caving including abseiling and negotiating an underground river. www.kiwi-adventure.co.nz
Relax & Indulge
Take a wine tour Travel by coach, limousine, bicycle or horse and cart. Soak at Ocean Spa (Napier) This oceanfront complex offers open air hot pools, leisure pools and private indoor spas. www.hawkesbay.com/oceanspa
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course (Te Awanga) Play a round at a world-class international golf course in a cliff-top setting. www.capekidnappers.com Early Morning Balloons (Hastings) Sunrise flights over farmland and vineyards. www.hotair.co.nz Greenhill Lodge (Hastings) Modern facilities and luxury accommodation at a sumptuous lodge. www.greenhill.co.nz
Guided Maori Tour (Havelock North) Learn about the history and traditions of the Maori people with a guided cultural tour. www.waimaramaori.com Art Deco Walks & Tours (Napier) Guided walking tours of Napier’s Art Deco Quarter. www.artdeconapier.com
Natural New Zealand
Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony (Te Awanga) See these amazing birds nesting, preening, flying and performing the ‘dance of the Gannets’. www.gannetsafaris.co.nz
On a Budget
Napier Rotary Walkway A wonderful walkway that will eventually surround Napier. Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market (Napier and Hastings) Mix with the locals and enjoy the flavours at this showcase of local produce. www.foodhawkesbay.com Napier Prison Tours (Napier) Discover the truth behind the walls of New Zealand’s oldest prison. www.napierprison.com
The Iconic Experience
Learn about the devastating 1931 earthquake and resulting Art Deco architecture with a walking tour of Napier City with the Art Deco Trust. www.artdeconapier.com
Dining & Shopping
Mission Estate Winery (Napier) An upgraded seminary building is the unique location for this ever-popular restaurant. www.missionestate.co.nz
Church Road Winery (Napier) Lunchtime diners can sit indoors or in the garden at this highly regarded winery. www.churchroad.co.nz
Clifton Bay Café (Hawke’s Bay) Drop in for a coffee and casual food overlooking the Pacific Ocean. www.cliftonstation.co.nz
Soda (Napier) Enjoy fresh tapas, locally brewed coffee, premium New Zealand wines and beers and an extensive cocktail list in this funky lounge located in the suburb of Taradale. www.soda.net.nz
Rose & Shamrock (Havelock North) Enjoy a local or imported beer in this lovely old-world English/Irish freehouse. www.roseandshamrock.co.nz
Food and Wine Trail Taste honey, olives, wine and chocolate as you explore the region.
Shop or Gallery
Wine Country Gallery (Havelock North) Browse the work of New Zealand and Pacific artists. www.winecountrygallery.com
1 day in Hawke’s Bay
Hawke’s Bay Wine Country
Arrive at Clearview Estate Winery for wine tasting, and a private vineyard and winery tour before heading to Craggy Range Winery tasting room to taste single vineyard wines. Enjoy a casual winery lunch at Vidal Estate with barrel tasting. In the afternoon, move on to Mission Estate Winery for wine tasting and a tour of the winery museum before finally arriving at Sileni Estates for tutored vintage wine tasting in the library.
2 days in Hawke’s Bay
Day 1 Napier
Day 2 Havelock North
Start Day 1 walking around the city of Napier, admiring the art deco architecture. Visit the Hawkes Bay Museum and watch a film about the earthquake that hit the city in 1931, as well as some excellent Maori art and culture. Enjoy a spot of lunch at one of the al fresco cafe’s before wandering around the boutiques. Take a stroll around the Rotary Walkway on the waterfront and then enjoy dinner at a restaurant serving local produce. On Day 2, take a trip to Cape Kidnappers and marvel at the spectacular gannet colony and then stop for lunch at your choice of one of the many wineries in the region. In the afternoon, head to Te Mata Peak, visit the local art galleries or join the Hawke’s Bay Food Trail.
Travel through a truly unique coastal region. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the great touring routes of the world.
Napier Airport offers domestic flights to main centres around New Zealand. There are ten direct flights per day to/from Auckland, six direct flights to/from Wellington per day and two direct flights to/from Christchurch per day.
Hawke’s Bay is located on the Pacific Coast Highway, one hour, 45 minutes from Taupo and four hours, 30 minutes from Wellington. Coaches provide regular services and shuttle services operate around the area with wine tours a specialty.