Travelling to Hawke's Bay
Updated 21 March 2023
Q. Can I travel to the Hawke’s Bay region?
Yes. Much of Hawke’s Bay remains operational for business. We encourage all travellers to book ahead and/or contact accommodation providers and experience operators to confirm current operating conditions.
State Highway 2 from the south, and Hawke’s Bay Airport is fully operational. State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupo is now open, with drivers advised to adhere to speed limits and take their time. Some road closures apply. Please check Waka Kotahi for most up-to-date information on the roading network.
Hawke’s Bay’s Visitor Economy is the third largest contributor to regional GDP, and is estimated to represent 9-10% of the total employment in the region. It will, therefore, play an important role in the recovery, bringing money into the economy, and supporting jobs and businesses, including both Hastings and Napier CBDs. Please go to www.hawkesbaynz.com for further updates.
Q. Is it safe to visit the Hawke’s Bay region?
Yes. Much of Hawke’s Bay remains safe and operational for business.
Some communities remain without reliable power or communications, and we recommend checking Waka Kotahi before arriving as some roads in and around the region remain closed. Some areas impacted by flooding may be contaminated by silt, which contains contaminants that could be harmful, so please stay away from these areas.
We encourage potential travellers, including those keen to check in on family and friends, to book ahead and/or contact your accommodation providers and experience operators to confirm current operating conditions before departing for Hawke’s Bay.
Q. How can I get to Hawke’s Bay?
State Highway 2 from the south, and Hawke’s Bay Airport is fully operational. State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupo is open, with drivers advised to adhere to speed limits and take their time.
Other roads in and around the region remain closed, including State Highway 2 between Napier and Wairoa. For full roading updates, please visit Waka Kotahi at https://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/.
Please be aware some roads are for essential/critical travel and workers only. Please ensure you take your time and allow for diversions.
Q. What is the value of tourism to the Hawke’s Bay economy?
Hawke’s Bay’s Visitor Economy is the third largest contributor to regional GDP (after processing/manufacturing and agriculture) and is estimated to represent 9-10% of the total employment in the region. It will, therefore, play an important role in the recovery, bringing money into the economy, and supporting jobs and businesses, including both Hastings and Napier CBDs.
Analysis undertaken by specialist economic impact modelling agency Hughes Economics, Auckland (January '23) indicates that the total direct visitor spending in Hawkes Bay over the year ended October 2022, of $696 million, has a total direct plus flow-on or multiplied GDP or economic activity impact within the region of $666.31 million and a total flow-on employment impact in the area of 9,468 full/part-time employees.
Total visitor industry GDP in the region grew at an estimated annual average rate of 5-6% over the 2012-2022 interval, compared to the ‘all industries’ growth figure of 4.7%.
Q. When should I plan to visit Hawke’s Bay?
Much of the region is operational for business now, so if you have a reservation or have plans to visit, operators will value your support.
Looking forward for holiday plans, mid-late Autumn is beautiful, and June is a fantastic time to visit with Winter F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic running throughout the month. Please visit www.hawkesbaynz.com for updates.
Q. How many tourism operators have been impacted by the flooding?
Hawke’s Bay Tourism has conducted a detailed audit of operators, with emphasis on who is operating as normal. As of Friday, March 3rd, more than 85% of operators spoken with were safe and operating as normal.
Many businesses are back to business, with more coming online each day. We recommend you reach out directly to your accommodation and experience providers for updates.
Q. Is accommodation available or is it being used for emergency accommodation?
Much of the region, including accommodation providers, is operational for visitors now.
We recommend visitors book ahead, ensuring operators can be prepared for your arrival. Please be aware, some accommodation providers may be prioritising displayed residents and/or essential workers.
Q. I have booked a holiday in Hawke’s Bay in the next few weeks. Should I cancel?
Much of Hawke’s Bay remains operational for business. We encourage potential travellers to book ahead and/or confirm with accommodation providers and experience operators. Businesses will value your support.
For those visitors who make arrangements to delay their visit, we look forward to welcoming you in the future. Your support will play an important part in Hawke’s Bay’s recovery, bringing money into the economy, supporting jobs and businesses. For further updates, please visit www.hawkesbaynz.com
Q. I want to cancel my trip – will I get my money back?
We recommend you check with your travel agent or review the cancellation policies of each individual provider. We encourage you to check insurance policies as well.
Q. What is happening with Cruise?
On February 28, it was announced that Napier City Council, in association Napier Port and Hawke’s Bay Tourism, had confirmed the cruise season would re-start from March 6.
The decision was made in an effort to support the region’s cyclone recovery efforts. The immediate economic boost that tourism could bring to Napier, CBD businesses, and Hawke’s Bay, was considered valuable, particularly as other significant contributors to the Hawke’s Bay economy, including the primary sector, recover from the damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle
Q. What is Tourism doing to support the response and recovery?
Many businesses that play key roles within the Hawke’s Bay Visitor Economy are working hard to support fellow businesses hardest hit and those helping with the immediate response.
Hospitality businesses have delivered meals to affected communities and volunteers, while others have contributed both financially and with time and energy to the clean-up. Industry peers in other regions, including Wairarapa and Auckland, have created fundraising opportunities to contribute financially to the region’s recovery.
Q. What support do Hawke’s Bay Visitor Economy businesses need right now?
After three years of dealing with the ups and downs of the Covid pandemic, the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, during what ought to be one of our busiest months, will be significant.
Businesses that cannot trade or have had business severely affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and/or the subsequent impacts, may need financial support to get through. Hawke’s Bay Tourism is working to advocate on their behalf.
Q. I have tickets to an event in Hawke’s Bay/I want to attend an event in Hawke’s Bay, what should I do?
Please check the status of both your event and accommodation. While decisions have been made to postpone or cancel several events, others have indicated their intention to proceed as planned. Please reach out to event directors and promotors for further information.
Accommodation will likely be in short supply around events, so please ensure you have accommodation secured.
Q. Can I visit beaches, rivers and waterways while in Hawke’s Bay?
Napier City Council has advised people (Feb 22, 2023) should avoid the beach and sea water along Napier’s coast. Don’t eat kai moana and stay out of the water and away from the beach.
Q. Are the Hawke’s Bay Trails and cycling paths open?
Large parts of the network reopened on Tuesday February 28. Some sections remain closed. A map showcasing this is available at www.hawkesbaynz.com. Caution is advised on other cycle trails throughout the region. Pan Pac Mountain Bike Park and Te Mata Park mountain bike trails are closed.
Q. Can I visit Te Mata Park or other parks while in Hawke’s Bay?
Large parts of Te Mata Park have reopened. Please refer to www.tematapark.co.nz for further information.
Q. Can I visit Bell Rock or Shine Falls?
Access to Bell Rock/Shine Falls/Boundary Stream is currently unavailable.
Q. Are iSITE Visitor Informational Centres open?
Napier iSITE is open from 9am-5pm, seven days.
Hastings iSITE is open from 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri, & 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun.
Havelock North iSITE is open from 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri, & 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun.
Wairoa iSITE is open from 10am-4pm, seven days.