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  • Gannets, Cape Kidnappers – Hawke’s Bay
  • Art Deco Napier – Hawke’s Bay
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Life & Style

Welcome to Hawke’s Bay-This is the life…

Locals love to tell visitors about our fantastic Hawke’s Bay weather, boasting that it is “the best in New Zealand” but there is much more to Hawke’s Bay than its Mediterranean climate.

Whether it’s a lazy summer alfresco lunch, a long walk on a beach in the golden light of autumn, a glass of merlot beside a toasty winter’s fire or the dazzling view from Te Mata Peak on a crisp spring morning, you’ll want to stay awhile to discover Hawke’s Bay.

Hawke’s Bay is also home to a world-class concentration of Art Deco architecture, fresh local produce and artisan food producers complemented by a vibrant arts scene and a rich Maori culture. The region also hosts a number of ‘must see’ events throughout the year.

Things to see and do

Hawke’s Bay offers a wide varietyof activits to enjoy. Its natural landscapes offer great outdoor opportunities including water sports, golf, fishing, walking, hiking and cycling. Home to three of the 19 New Zealand Cycle Trails (Landscapes, Water and Wineries Rides), The Hawke’s Bay Trails rides are 180km of mostly off-road routes. They offer riders a range of scenery,attractions and vistas that ensure a truly unique experience.

With wine and food being a part of everyday life in Hawke’s Bay it is no surprise that there are many culinary events and festival on the calendar to enjoy alongside a vist to one of the many wineries and farm gates

Must Do’s

Include a visit to Cape Kidnappers to see the world’s largest accessible mainland Gannet Colony, an Art Deco tour with a local guide who can share the story of the devastating 1931 earthquake that reduced the cities of Napier and Hastings to rubble, a round of golf at the internationally renowned Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, a swim with the Sharks at the National Aquarium and a trip to visit The Longest Place Name in the World. Food and Wine

Hawke’s Bay is a premium food and wine producer, renowned for its meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and grapes – earning its reputation as one of New Zealands’ leading food and wine regions.

Hawke’s Bay’s many award-winning restaurants and cafés pride themselves on sourcing fresh produce from local orchards, market gardens, fishermen, and the farm gate.

Food and wine trails take visitors direct to the doors of a rapidly growing number of artisans and commercial producers. On weekends, traditional farmers’ markets, including the oldest farmers’ market in New Zealand, are an opportunity to sample, taste, and meet and buy direct from growers.

You will find New Zealand’s oldest Farmers Market operating every Sunday rain or shine in Hastings. Wander at leisure around the market, listening to local music and discovering the diverse range of products grown and produced in Hawkes Bay – from hand-made cheeses, breads, ice-cream, chocolates and meat products to seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood. Enjoy hot freshly roasted coffee and a choice of breakfast fare while you take in the live music and enjoy the lively atmosphere and cooking aromas.

Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s oldest wine region and has been producing fine wine for over 100 years. It has over 80 per cent of the country’s plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes, and an established reputation for superior quality red wines. The warm, maritime climate and varying landscapes also produce New Zealand’s richest and most complex Chardonnays.

The region has 170 vineyards and more than 70 wineries, forty of which open their cellar door to visitors. Many also offer dining, outside. Visitors can self drive, ride the cycle trails that link them together or take advantage of guided tours which use vehicles or bikes, catering for groups and individuals, and can be personalised on request.

The Hawke’s Bay Food Trail features 85 stops, providing food-lovers with a complete gourmet experience. Locals and visitors alike can discover the epicurean delights on offer – everything from gourmet meats and small goods, to game and seafood, to olives, honey, eggs, cheese and chocolate.

Shopping

Hawke’s Bay is the retail hub for the eastern North Island.
Shoppers are spoilt for choice with the twin cities of Hastings and Napier both offering a wide variety of retail outlets and convenient parking in centrally located pay-and-display areas.

The central business area of Hastings City is compact with shoppers able to walk from one end to the other in 20 minutes, enjoying the many street art sculptures that line the route.

The busy village of Havelock North is known for its boutique shopping and is also a bustling weekend destination for coffee connoisseurs.
The palm-lined streets of Napier have shops and café s aplenty. Emerson and Tennyson Streets, with their distinctive Art Deco buildings, lie at the heart of the shopping district.
Taradale’s shopping centre, a short drive from downtown Napier, also has a range of retailers offering everything from gourmet delights to gifts.

The seaside village of Ahuriri – a five minute drive from Napier city – is home to a bohemian mix of businesses. Here you can buy world-class art, browse antiques stores, select gourmet food, indulge in beauty therapy or take time to select a special gift.

Shopping guides and trail maps are available at i-SITE visitor information centres in Hawke’s Bay.

Shopping hours:

Hastings – Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-2pm
Napier – Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-4pm
Havelock North
National retailers opening hours are often extended.