Hastings city and its wider district are an inescapable component of any Hawke's Bay holiday. With such a wide array of options, it can be a tough job knowing where to start.
We’ve got you covered with these five must-do summer experiences in Hastings District.
Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market
You would be hard-pressed to find a market as impressive as the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market. Having been around for nigh-on two decades, it’s the largest in the county and offers an abundance of fresh produce and artisan wares from local growers and producers. Pick up your morning brew from the coffee cart and wander through the market at your own pace accompanied by live music and the bustling atmosphere of locals grabbing their weekly groceries. Pop into the many stalls and spy what’s on offer – you won’t want to leave without taking plenty of goodies home with you!
Marvel at the gannets at Cape Kidnappers
Get within mere metres of the world’s largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony, perched at the top of Cape Kidnappers' iconic cliffs. Approximately 20,000 gannets will call the Cape home from September to April, hatching their chicks before taking off to warmer climates. Gannet Safaris provide many tour possibilities to take you to straight to the gannets in air-conditioned comfort. Not only will the gannets provide a fascinating sight, but the sweeping view from the cliff face is undoubtedly one to pop on the bucket list.
Visit world-class wineries
You simply cannot book a holiday to Hawke’s Bay without having wineries on your must-visit list. Hastings District is home to many spectacular vineyards, cellar doors and wineries, all offering world-class wine and award-winning chefs plating up culinary delights. From Elephant Hill, Clearview Estate and Te Awanga Estate on the stunning coast, and many inland favourites including in the renowned Bridge Pa and Gimblett Gravels winegrowing districts, you’ll have your pick of the bunch. Or, why not try them all? One thing we know for sure: wine lovers will be in heaven.
Get into the adventurous spirit and go white water rafting down the Mohaka River! The perfect group activity, every level is catered for at Mohaka Rafting. Whether you’re after smooth-sailing, floating your way to the finish line or really want to get the adrenaline pumping, there are different levels to suit your preferences. Choose from full-day and multi-day adventures on easier Grade 2 and 3 white water, or be propelled through the wild waters on a Grade 4/5 experience. You’ll get up close and personal with Hawke’s Bay’s incredible scenery, and have the opportunity to jump off cliffs into the river below.
Visiting Hawke’s Bay with children in tow? If you’re looking for a family activity that will keep the kids entertained for hours, you can’t go past Splash Planet. New Zealand’s only water park is open seven-days from November to February from 10am – 5pm, and then weekends until Easter. Suitable for all ages, the park has an impressive selection of dry rides and water attractions. Want to feel an adrenaline rush? Zoom down the indoor and outdoor waterslides, race around the track on the jungle jeeps, and collide with friends on the bumper boats. Rather take it easy? Choose your tube and float your way around the ‘Never Ending River’ while soaking up the glorious summer rays. It’s an entire day of jam-packed fun!