The Hastings District takes in a large and diverse area that includes local geographic heroes, Cape Kidnappers and Te Mata Peak, as well as the vast majority of productive land that is the engine room of the regional economy.
While its central position determines that Hastings City is home to the regional hospital and a busy supply town to the surrounding farms, orchards, and vineyards, there’s a free thinking band of locals determined to reinvigorate the CBD and help Hastings break free of its rural perceptions.
Evidence of their work can be found at the east end of Heretaunga Street where there’s an evolving enclave of restaurants, cafes and bars, and the Focal Point Cinema – an old lady of Heretaunga Street who was given a makeover not so long ago.
The Hastings Night Market, held every Thursday from 5-9pm during the daylight saving season, has brought a new vibrancy to the inner city with its fresh produce, artisans and ethnic street food, local artists and performers.
Hastings has an impressive display of public artworks placed throughout its central business area. Of special significance is Ng Pou o Heretaunga – a collection of Maori carvings (pou) that sits permanently in Civic Square. Unveiled in 2013, each of the 18 pou that make
up the collection represents an important Maori ancestor from the Heretaunga district.
Hastings too has its own standout examples of Spanish Mission architecture built after the 1931 earthquake. Best known is the magnificent Hawke’s Bay Opera House. The Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trails are a well-used alternative for exploration of the outlying district by locals and visitors, and have fast become a reason in themselves to visit the area since construction began in 2003.
Hastings District is the centre for all things wine and food. It covers a vast and scenic area boasting fabulous produce, traditional Farmers Markets and some of the New Zealand’s finest wineries.
Shop and dine in the chic village of Havelock North and the stunning Spanish Mission city of Hastings. The areas of Te Awanga, Haumoana and Clifton are well worth a day excursion as are the beautiful white sandy beaches of Waimarama and Ocean Beach.
Stunning landscape scenery includes Te Mata Peak and the dramatic Cape Kidnappers, home of the world’s largest mainland gannet colony and one of the top 50 golf courses in the world.
Some must do’s when you are in Hastings include wine tastings in one of the 65 wineries found in the district, walk to the top of Te Mata Peak, a day in Havelock North, bike on one of the many trails, rise for an early morning hot air balloon ride, follow the Art Trail and have an ice cream at Rush Munro’s old fashion ice cream garden. For those wanting to cool off in the summer sun, then a visit to Splash Planet water-park is a great idea. Located in over 6.5 hectares of subtropical gardens, this theme park is a whole days fun with many rides and attractions to keep all the family happy.
For information and assistance on what to see and do or where to stay, visit the Hastings i-SITE Visitor Centre, situated in the magnificent Westermans Building. Designed in Spanish Mission style, it incorporates modern-day visitor services and facilities with striking architecture dating back to the 1930s. It is open seven days and conveniently located in the heart of the city. Tel 0800 VISIT US.