Hawke’s Bay is the ideal summer destination for all you sun and adventure chasers. After all, what’s not to love? With 32 cellar doors to visit, superb beaches, striking waterfalls and the ever-iconic Te Mata peak, there’s so much to see and do while you’re here.
Explore Shine Falls
Those with an adventurous spirit will be right at home with a visit to Shine Falls. Considered one of New Zealand's most spectacular waterfalls (if we do say so ourselves), you can discover this 58m-tall beauty after a 1hour drive north of Napier. Make sure you pack your walking shoes and have your drink bottle in hand, as you will need to walk along the 1.5hour return track that leads to the base of the waterfall. You’ll pass farmland and towering sandstone bluffs, plus there are a few uphill sections and safe stream crossings on the way. Trust us, the trip will be well worth it after seeing the falls.
Taste your way around the wineries
Arguably Hawke’s Bay's most well-known feature is our reputation as a world-class wine destination. Across Hawke’s Bay you’ll find 35 cellar doors waiting for your visit. From Merlot Cabernet to Chardonnay (plus so many more), the region packs quite the punch for wine lovers. Prefer a self-guided experience? You can easily navigate your way around wine country with a wine map, highlighting all the must-visit locations. If you would rather relax and let others guide the way, we have plenty of local experts offering a range of tour options to suit your preferences. The hardest part of it all will be knowing where to start!
Cool off at Waimarama beach
There are so many benefits to being a coastal region and one of them is our sprawling, spectacular beaches. Do it like the locals do, and head out to Waimarama for day soaking up the surf, sun and sand. The seemingly endless stretch of golden sand means it’s ideal for walking, jogging, swimming, sandcastle-building, surfing, picnicking and fishing. Kids will also be well-entertained with a fully equipped playground next to the Surf Lifesaving Club. Pack all the essentials you’ll need for a day out and hunker down to experience the best of Hawke’s Bay. A trip to Waimarama beach wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the general store for an ice cream at the end of the day.
Climb Te Mata Peak
One of Hawke’s Bay’s most-visited spots, Te Mata Peak affords a 360-degree view of the region from its summit. You’ll be able to spot Napier and Mahia Peninsula to the north, hill country to the south and the Ruahina, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges beyond the fertile Heretaunga Plains. Rising 399m above sea level, the Peak is steeped in Maori legend and is known as the ‘Sleeping Giant’. We think the best way to experience the Peak is by walking to the top! With a range of walking tracks ranging from easy to advanced, you will be able to enjoy the climb at your own pace and fitness level. Make sure you have your camera handy for snapping shots of the stunning landscape - and to prove that you made it to the top!
Discover Central Hawke’s Bay
If your'e wanting to shake up your itinerary, why not explore the hidden Hawke’s Bay? Take a drive 45 minutes' south of Hastings to discover a slower-paced lifestyle. Boasting outstanding and relatively untouched beaches, fishing and diving spots, historic homesteads, wineries, and towns with plenty of character, there’s plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your visit. Top tip: If you don’t know where to begin, we recommend the Limestone Loop, a self-guided excursion that will have you seeing the very best on offer: an eclectic mix of food, art, wine and retail delights.