Explore the ‘hidden Hawke’s Bay’ with a trip to Central Hawke’s Bay. With plenty to see and do, there are plenty of activities to keep the good times rolling this summer.
Why not plan a trip to see it for yourself? We’ve rounded up our top 5 picks to put on your Hawke’s Bay playlist.
Visit Historic Homesteads
Bursting with early New Zealand history, Central Hawke’s Bay is home to six homesteads built in the 1800s. Each have their own unique build and story to tell, with friendly hosts who have put in plenty of time and effort to preserve them, plus plenty to see and do at each one. Whether you’re driving past and fancy a high-tea, a walk through the spectacular gardens, or want to rest your head for a few days in the rural surrounds, the collection of incredible estates has all your bucket list items covered.
The Limestone Loop in Central Hawke’s Bay, is an easy driving route that will allow you to discover the very best of Central Hawke’s Bay - block out a day in the diary and tackle it from either the northern or southern routes! A fantastic day-excursion, the loop offers plenty for you to see and do including award-winning wineries, fabulous local shopping, cafes, art galleries, a thriving local market and more. Pick and choose what suit you best and leave the rest for another day – trust us, you’ll want to come back!
Visit the Settlers Museum
Take a trip back in time to the days of early settlers at this one-of-a-kind museum housed in the Historic Bank of New Zealand building. As Waipawa is one of the oldest inland towns in New Zealand, the treasures on display date back to the 1800s. Browse the comprehensive collections of photographs, discover collections of items from days gone by illustrating the history, Military, taonga and technology of Central Hawke’s Bay. Wander through a settler’s cottage, a shed full of old engines, saws and farming equipment, plus check out the river waka in the exhibition hall.
Hit the beaches
A quintessential Hawke’s Bay summer comprises three of life’s greatest pleasures: sand, sun and surf - all of which can be experienced at some of Central Hawke’s Bay’s best beaches. If escaping the crowds is also high on your priority list, the relatively untouched and quiet stretches of sand will provide the peace and quiet you’re searching for. Take your pick of Pourerere Beach, Aramoana Beach and Kairakau Beach and relax for the day. A post-beach stop at the Patangata Tavern for a cold drink on the way home comes highly recommended.
Visit the Longest Place Name
Add something a little different to the holiday agenda… Near Porangahau in Hawke’s Bay is an unassuming hill known as "Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu" - the longest place name in the world. It translates into English as "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as 'landeater’, played his flute to his loved one." Locals simply call it Taumata Hill. You can find the hill on Wimbledon Road, 55km south of Waipukurau. Make sure you have your camera ready – this is the ideal photo opportunity!