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Hawke's Bay', New ZealandHawke's Bay Regional Information

Hawke's Bay | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History



Hawke's Bay is a charismatic region where you can enjoy stylish historical architecture and wine in equal quantities.

Hawke's Bay Overview

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

The Hawke's Bay region encompasses the area around Hawke's Bay on the East Coast of the North Island. It is 332 kilometres (about four hours) north-east Wellington City.

Blessed with a sunny, Mediterranean-style climate, Hawke's Bay is one of New Zealand's warmest, driest regions.

The landscapes of Hawke's Bay begin with the high, forested Ruahine and Kaweka Ranges. From the mountains, the land steps down towards the coast, flattening out to become the Heretaunga Plains. A number of wide rivers run swiftly to meet the blue Pacific Ocean.

The twin cities of Napier and Hastings are the main population centres.

Hawke's Bay Highlights

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. View from Te Mata Peak, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
View from Te Mata Peak
Hawke's Bay
Photographer: Chris McLennan
(www.cmphoto.co.nz)

Hawke's Bay is loved for its sunny climate, fabulous beaches, 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, has one of the largest concentrations of Art Deco buildings in the world. It was razed by earthquake and fire in 1931, and rebuilt in the art deco style which was fashionable at the time. 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, the other city in the region. More than 30 vineyards are open to the public for 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—rafting on the Mohaka River, horse trekking, hunting and trout fishing.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Longest place name in the world, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Longest Place Name in the World
Hawke's Bay
Photographer: Scott Venning
(scottv@ihug.co.nz)

Hawke's Bay also has what is believed to be the longest place name in the world: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipuka-
kapimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu. It means 'place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as land-eater, played his flute to his loved one'. This name is usually shortened to Taumata.

Main Centres in 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

Useful Hawke's Bay Links

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Hawke's Bay Region Information

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Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.