Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
A charismatic region where you can enjoy stylish historical architecture and wine in equal quantities.
Hawke's Bay is loved for its sunny climate, fabulous beaches, sheltered coastal plains and long-established vineyards. Ease into a pleasure-seeking style of life that will be hard to leave behind.
The Hawke's Bay region encompasses the area around Hawke's Bay on the east coast of the North Island.
As of June 2005, Hawke's Bay's estimated population was 131,500.
The Hawke's Bay region is known for its sunny climate, sheltered coastal plains and long-established vineyards. It is also one of the country's largest pip fruit growing areas.
Napier, the main city of the region was razed by earthquake and fire in 1931, and rebuilt in the art deco style fashionable at the time.
What makes Napier so special is that it has one of the largest concentrations of Art Deco buildings in the world.
Te Mata Peak towers 400 metres above sea level and offers panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges and Cape Kidnappers. According to Maori legend, Te Mata hillscape is a sleeping giant, with the hill being the body of Maori Chief, Te Mata O Rongokako. The volcano Ruapehu is also visible in the distance.
Main Attractions and Activities
A unique attraction is the Cape Kidnappers Gannet Sanctuary, the largest mainland colony in the world. It can be reached by 4WD vehicles, tractor and trailer, unimog or four-wheel motorbike, and at low tide on foot.
The Art Deco Walk is a permanent attraction, and each February there is the Brebner Print Art Deco Weekend, a not too serious celebration of the art deco style.
The Hawke's Bay vineyards are all within a short distance of Napier and Hastings cities, with over 30 open to the public for free wine tasting. Many also operate cafes and restaurants in both indoor and outdoor settings.
The region is especially known for its fine Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties.
Another unique attraction is the gannet colony on the very tip of Cape Kidnappers, believed to be one of only two mainland gannet colonies in the world.
Gannets are large sea birds with long, pointed wings and golden-yellow heads. Most spectacular is their method of fishing, when whole flocks suddenly dive straight into the sea from a great height, at speeds of up to 145 kilometres per hour.
You can also find plenty of adventure in Hawke's Bay, such as rafting on the Mohaka River, horse trekking, hunting and trout fishing.
- Art Deco Walk, Napier
- Marine Parade, Napier
- Visit to winery, Hastings/Napier
- Cape Kidnappers
- Gannet Sanctuary
- Hawke's Bay Museum, Napier
- Te Mata Peak - for expansive views over the countryside and the Bay
- Country Gardens, Central Hawke's Bay
- Napier - the Art Deco city
- Hastings - an ideal base to explore and enjoy the bay's wine country attractions
- Wairoa - centre of the vast Northern Hawke's Bay
- Waipukurau - scenic Southern Hawke's Bay countryside