Dress up and prepare to enjoy the lifestyle capital of New Zealand.
Hawkes Bay Museum
The Hawke’s Bay region stretches for 200 sun-kissed kilometres along the east coast of the North Island. From Mahia in the north, famed for fishing, diving and surfing, to Cape Kidnappers in the south, home to a cliff-top gannet colony and a world top 50 golf course, visitors to the Hawke’s Bay will be left in no doubt as to why it is considered New Zealand’s ‘lifestyle capital’.
Napier - Art Deco City
Most visitors to Hawke’s Bay base themselves in the seaside city of Napier. In 1931 Napier was rocked by a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed 256 people and levelled the town. The rebuild occurred when Art Deco was in vogue and today Napier’s architecture is regarded as the finest collection of Art Deco style buildings in the world. Take a self-guided tour and enjoy Napier at your leisure with its pleasant shopping streets, seaside restaurants and relaxed vibe.
Another of Napier’s popular attractions is the National Aquarium, home to the country’s largest display of aquatic marine life, and rare land-based species such as the prehistoric Tuatara and Kiwi. One of the highlights to see is Penguin Cove, home to incredibly cute Little Blue Penguins, like newly hatched chick ‘Dave’, and his doting parents, Captain & Flip.
Just along from the waterfront is the statue of Pania of the Reef. Have your photo taken with Pania and discover the story of this beautiful maiden of the sea and Karitoki, her handsome lover.
Pania of the Reef
Wine, Food and Culture
The Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s leading region for many wine styles, including Chardonnay, with numerous wine producers based here. Most wineries offer free tastings, and many have restaurants that showcase wines matched with regional produce.
Craggy Range vineyard
One of the best places to celebrate your love of food is the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market, held every Sunday morning at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds. Shop for a wide range of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, bread, eggs, pickles and preserves sold straight from the producer.
For a cultured evening out (with a glass of local wine in hand of course), visit the latest exhibition, movie or show at MTG Hawke’s Bay (Museum, Theatre & Gallery) on Tennyson St. Open Monday-Sunday, free for all.
Te Mata Peak
Havelock North and Te Mata Peak
A short drive from Napier, Havelock North is an amicable country town set amongst vineyards, with good cafes and boutique-style shopping. Just south of Havelock, Te Mata Peak rises 399m, with views from Mt Ruapehu to Mahia. A sealed road leads to the summit, with trails for hikers and mountain bikers.
Te Urewera is home to Lake Waikaremoana, a holiday destination popular for its fishing, tramping and stunning setting. The Lake Waikaremoana Track is one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’, a three to four-day tramp featuring spectacular vistas.
Header image: Gannets at Cape Kidnappers