The popularity of New Zealand as a tourist destination is without question as it continually gets voted year after year as one the most popular holiday locations by many nations. As its popularity spreads so people are beginning to look for new places to visit across New Zealand. Auckland has traditionally been one of the most visited destinations in New Zealand but more and more locations are being explored recently. One such place which is experiencing more visitors is Hawke’s Bay, in the North Island.
Being located on the east coast it is a very easily place to access whether it is by land, air or sea. It is well known due to its fantastic climate, world renowned wine production and glorious scenery. The bay itself, from which the region gets its name, stretches for around 100km from Cape Kidnappers to Mahia Peninsula. It is an area rife with things to do for any visitor and whilst it is not the most built up area of New Zealand you will certainly not struggle to find things to do. A few of the biggest must do activities have been picked out to provide examples of the sheer scope of activities on offer.
The region is probably best well known for the quality of the wine it produces. There are over 70 wineries in the area and you really can’t come to Hawke’s Bay without having visited one. A great many of them will offer tours, tasting and even food so you can choose to go for a brief visit or even make the day of it. You could choose to go on a wine tour given the vast number of wineries. These tours could range from travelling around the area by car to bike tours and even helicopter tours. No matter what method you choose you will be able to soak up the picturesque nature of your local surroundings.
The city of Napier is famous across the world for its Art Deco appearance and architecture. In 1931 the city experienced an enormous earthquake which caused vast damage to the city. It destroyed vast swathes of it and many parts needed to be rebuilt almost from scratch. Given the time period this meant that everything was constructed in the Art Deco style and this is what has led to the city’s individual look. In respect of the traditional culture of the region many of these buildings have had Maori design influences incorporated into them. You can either explore the city yourself and hunt down the Art Deco buildings or go on a pre-arranged tour. Whichever way you go about it some of the stand out buildings to visit include The Daily Telegraph Building, The National Tobacco Company and ASB Bank. There is even an Art Deco McDonald’s to be found!
Another must do thing for visitors to the region is to see the Farmer’s market. This is held in Hastings on every Sunday and really cannot be missed. It is like stepping back in time to an age when you could buy your fresh produce directly from the famer. The quality of food and drink on offer needs to be savoured and the overall atmosphere is unlike anywhere else around the region. It runs every Sunday from 8:30am – 12:30pm on Kenilworth Road in Hastings. Come down and speak with the locals and socialise with the farmers and local artisans.
Gannets & Cape Kidnappers
Only half an hour from Hastings you can find the peninsula of Cape Kidnappers. You can explore the region by land, sea and air and one of the big pulls to the area is its vast gannet colony. In fact, it is so vast that it is said to be the largest one in the world. It is recommended that you visit between November and February before they leave on their migratory trips to warmer parts. If you are coming to the region this is another one of those things which you can’t miss out on. One of the best ways to see it is on a 4WD or tractor tour down the beaches but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous then helicopter tours are available. Being only half an hour away from Hastings you are still within easy access of it from luxury bed and breakfast accommodation so you can experience wild nature and then return to your accommodation for all the mod cons and pleasures of quality living within a short drive.