Discover - Hawke's Bay

There are two words that best describe Hawke's Bay and they are Wine Country - but there is much more than wine to this sunny region.

To get a feel for the Hawke’s Bay region’s geography, head up to Te Mata Peak, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views in every direction. The nature trails here are perfect for hikers and mountain bikers, and on a clear day you can see as far as the volcano of Ruapehu in the distance – hundreds of kilometres away.

If wildlife interests you don’t miss Cape Kidnappers, home to the largest accessible gannet colony in the world. There are many different ways to get there, including on foot, on a tractor trailer, in a 4WD or by kayak. Perched on the edge of a rugged coastline, Cape Kidnappers is a must-see in the Hawke’s Bay region. The other major attraction at Cape Kidnappers is the golf course. Designed by American Tom Doak, the course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf and makes the most of the breathtaking natural landscape. The sixth hole is widely regarded to be one of the great golf holes of the world.

Blessed with fertile soils and a warm, temperate climate, Hawke’s Bay is among New Zealand’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah – and stunning chardonnays. Hawke’s Bay is the first stop on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, and is a popular place for bicycle wine tours with many of the region’s 30+ cellar doors, and numerous artisan producers, connected by the flat, easy riding Hawke’s Bay Trails. Taste your way around some of the region's vineyards, including the award-winning Te Mata Estate Winery and Craggy Range. Stop for lunch at Church Road Winery or Mission Estate, New Zealand's oldest winery.

Hawke's Bay Trails combine more than 200km of tracks that are helpfully split into themes (water, landscapes and wineries). You can visit all of Hawke's Bay's attractions by bike - cycle by the seaside, venture to the vineyards or explore the countryside. With flat, easy trails for all levels, it's the best way to experience the stunning region.

Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s Art Deco capital, with the cities of Napier and Hastings rebuilt in the architectural styles of the time following the devastating 1931 earthquake. Year-round guided tours and vintage car rides are surpercharged each February as tens of thousands flock to participate in the week-long Art Deco Festival.

Visit the local farmers' market and stroll among the stalls of fresh fruit, vegetables, artisan bread, cheese and meats, before finding a shady spot to picnic. You'll also find seasonal produce for sale by the roadside, often just with an honesty box for payment.

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GuidesRichard Pitt