Hawke’s Bay is an absolute paradise for wine and food lovers. It is one of the warmest and driest regions of New Zealand and this has made it one of the country’s leading producers of wine. Here you’ll find some of the largest Farmers’ Markets in the country full of fresh fruit, locally made artisanal cheese and bread and the aroma of newly ground coffee beans; a great place to pick up a picnic lunch.
The region is crisscrossed with flat, good quality cycle trails, making it a great place to explore by bike. Many of the wineries are located on the trails providing ideal rest and refuelling stops. Some of the other activities include hikes around Te Mata Peak, watery adventures on the Mohaka River or a game of golf at one of the region’s many courses.
The quirky town of Napier showcases some of the most extensive Art Deco architecture in the world. Following an earthquake in 1931, much of the town was rebuilt immediately. Nearby Havelock North is a pretty country town with a thriving arts community.
If rugged natural beauty is more of interest, don’t miss Cape Kidnappers, a craggy peninsula that is home of the largest accessible gannet colony in the world. There are many different ways to get here, including on foot, on a tractor-trailer, in a 4WD or by kayak.