Wellington Anniversary Weekend

Kicking off the New Year with an anniversary weekend?

Why not ditch the city for a long weekend in coastal bliss? Throw everything you need in the car, hit the road and head to greener pastures – we’re talking about Hawke’s Bay (of course). Don’t worry about the pre-trip research, leave the planning to us, we’ve put together the perfect itinerary for those wanting a romantic escape to Hawke’s Bay.

Check out our itineraries for some inspiration


Couples Getaway

Bridge Pa Wine Festival – Saturday 18 January

What could be better than a day-long wine festival featuring some of the region’s big hitters - Abbey Estate, Alpha Domus, Ash Ridge, Oak Estate, Paritua, Red Metal and Sileni? Answer: not much. The Bridge Pa Wine Festival is back in a big way, kicking of 2020 with exceptional local wine and delicious food – we are the ultimate food and wine destination after all – and music from morning till late afternoon. A day out that’s perfect for the girls, get a plan in place as soon as possible so you don’t miss out. There’s no need to worry yourself with the finer details. To take the stress out of transportation, you can select the ticket option that includes buses to bring you to the festival and home again. It’s that easy!  The day’s activities begin at 10:30am, so we recommend leaving Wellington with plenty of time to spare, if you are heading up on Saturday morning and the day will be wrapped up by 5pm.

Bridge Pa Wine Festival

Bridge Pa Wine Festival

Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market
One thing we know for certain: you can’t come up to Hawke’s Bay without visiting the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market – it’s the oldest and one of the biggest in the country. With the warmer months bringing those summer fruit and vegetables we love (think strawberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots and nectarines), the Farmers’ Market is bursting with fresh produce plucked straight from the source to the stall. Grab coffee and some breakfast or pick up fresh local produce, meats for the barbeques, gourmet goods for your platters, divine wines, beers and other non-alcoholic beverages, baked delights, sweet temptations, gifts and so many unique and interesting things to take home with you.

Art Deco Walking Tour or Vintage Car Tour
You may have heard of the Art Deco architecture lining the streets of Napier, but have you seen it for yourself? Lap up the city’s past from the knowledgeable folk at Art Deco Trust on a 2-hour walking tour of the city or a plush car ride through Napier’s affected suburbs. Did we mention, it’s an experience you can’t have anywhere else in New Zealand? After you’re done, wander through the CBD at your own pace and grab a coffee from one of the many talented baristas at one of the cafes/eateries.

Art Deco

Vintage Car Tour with Art Deco Trust

Winery Dinner for two
Nothing says romance like dinner at a Hawke’s Bay winery, so treat you and your loved one to a fine-dining experience while you’re visiting. Thanks to award-winning chefs, the food is always in a league of its own, matching the top-shelf wines. Choose from coastal settings with ocean views or inland wineries among the vines for your evening out. Our ‘Winery Dining’ page makes it even easier to make your choice – peruse the options and book your seat at the table.

Sunrise Gannet Tour
Have your own personal encounter with the magnificent Gannet seabirds as the sun rises over the plateau. You will be taken on a private tour in a 4x4 Range Rover to the Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony, while being given the story of the area on the way. When you’ve reached the colony, you’ll be metres away from the colomy, and be able to watch adults and chicks nesting and performing their courtship dance. You’ll also be served a gourmet breakfast of croissants, ham & cheese, pastries and more. It’s a one-of-a-kind tour you won’t forget in a hurry!

Gannet Overland Safari Sunrise Tour

Gannet Overland Safari Sunrise Tour

Te Mata Peak & The Redwoods
You’ll be able to spot mighty Te Mata Peak in Havelock North before you reach the carpark. Rising 399m above sea level, it’s the ultimate outdoor activity for a couple wanting to squeeze in fitness into their long weekend; New Year resolution and all that… There are a range of track options to choose from that best suit your fitness levels so you can take the flatter approach or challenge yourself with steep inclines. Trust us, the views are worth the climb! The sweeping 360-degree backdrop from the summit is spectacular. We also recommend wandering through the Redwood forest at the base of Te Mata Peak. Not only is it stunning grove of giant Californian Redwoods, but the clustered trees provide a cool respite from the summer sun, perfect for a leisurely rest.

Redwoods

Redwoods Walk

Central Hawke’s Bay
A trip to Hawke’s Bay wouldn’t be complete without a stop in at Central Hawke’s Bay. This rural gem has small towns each have their own distinct feel, offering plenty to see and do. Head out to the coast to discover the untouched beaches, purchase something special at the boutique shops in Waipawa and Waipukurau and stop in for a bite to eat at one of the unique cafes. Another activity that comes highly recommended is checking out the old, grand homesteads in the area (dating back to the 1800s) and booking in a high-tea or delicious meal while you’re there.

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Family Fun

T20 Black Clash at McLean Park
Get a jump start on the long weekend with a match that both rugby and cricket fans will love. Head up with the kids early to see Team Rugby take on Team Cricket on the cricket pitch to win the coveted Crowe Lomu Trophy. It’s going to be a high-intensity, hugely fun and competitive T20 match that the family will love and it’s all going down from 4pm on Friday 17 January. To get your tickets, click here.

Splash Planet
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 during summer from 10am – 5pm, is suitable for all ages and offers 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. All the action can make you hungry, so fuel up at The Fuel Shed, The Coffee Bean Cove or the Train Kiosk. You can also bring your own food into Splash Planet.

Splash Planet

Splash Planet

Explore Marine Parade
An undoubted jewel in Hawke’s Bay’s crown, Napier’s Marine Parade is a thriving playground for locals and visitors alike. The 3km stretch of iconic seafront connects Napier with the Pacific Ocean, with a stunning outlook of Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. Pick up electric scooters, e-bikes or push bikes from Fishbike or Napier City Bike Hire and zoom down the waterfront, show off your best tricks at BaySkate visit to the ocean-front playground and say hello to the animals at The National Aquarium of New Zealand. Top it all off with a tasty ice-cream from LickThis directly beside BaySkate.

Eat and Drink: Options in Hawke’s Bay
With an ever-growing foodie scene harnessing our fresh produce, it means you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner options in Hawke’s Bay. Whether you’re after fine-dining, street food or a quick bite on the go, we’ve got you covered. The brunch scene is also impressive – you can find more than just eggs on toast at one of the many cafes and eateries. Our ‘Food Guide’ makes it even easier to make your choice; with so many tasty options to choose from, you can make the entire family happy! Hit the link and thank us later.

Family Friendly Foodie Spots

Cool Cat Ice Cream Parlour

Mohaka Rafting
Mohaka Rafting lay claim to ‘the best rafting in New Zealand’, and as proud owners of a 5.0 Trip Advisor rating, it’s hard to argue. The Mohaka River offers something for both children and adults with easier Grade 2, 3 levels or 4/5 trips available that see you hitting the rapids at pace. Pack your swimwear, lunch and water and prepare for spectacular scenery, lots of laughs, a little bit of hard work now and then, and the satisfaction of a day spent as a family. A fun bonus is looking at the photos from the end of the day – a highlight that you can take away with you.

Gannet Beach Adventures
Discover the colonies of Gannets at Cape Kidnappers with a fun and informative Gannet Beach Adventure! Jump on the back of a tractor as you are pulled along the coastline, learning about the geological features of the area on the way. See ancient fossils, earthquake faultlines and gullies that will fascinate both young and old before you reach the magnificent birds gathered together at Black Reef. Marvel at one of the most stunning seabirds as they hatch their young, soar gracefully and preen one another. To book a place on a Gannet Beach Adventure tour click here.

Gannet Beach Adventure

Gannet Beach Adventures

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Girls Trip

Bridge Pa Wine Festival – Saturday 18 January
Kick Saturday off with a bang! What could be better than a day-long wine festival featuring some of the region’s big hitters - Abbey Estate, Alpha Domus, Ash Ridge, Oak Estate, Paritua, Red Metal and Sileni? Answer: not much.
The Bridge Pa Wine Festival is back in a big way, kicking of 2020 with exceptional local wine and delicious food – we are the ultimate food and wine destination after all – and music from morning till late afternoon. A day out that’s perfect for the girls, get a plan in place as soon as possible so you don’t miss out.
There’s no need to worry yourself with the finer details. To take the stress out of transportation, you can select the ticket option that includes buses to bring you to the festival and home again. It’s that easy!
The day’s activities begin at 10:30am, so we recommend leaving Wellington with plenty of time to spare, if you are heading up on Saturday morning and the day will be wrapped up by 5pm.

Bridge Pa Wine Festival 1

Abbey Estate, Bridge Pa Wine Festival

Get your food fix
With an ever-growing foodie scene harnessing our fresh produce, it means you are really spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner options in Hawke’s Bay. Whether you’re after winery dining, award-winning restaurant cuisine, street food or a quick bite on the go, we’ve got you covered. The brunch scene is also impressive – you can find more than just eggs on toast at one of the many cafes and eateries. Our ‘Food Guide’ makes it even easier to make your choice; with so many tasty options to choose from, you can make the entire group happy! Hit the link and thank us later.

Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market
One thing we know for certain: you can’t come up to Hawke’s Bay without visiting the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market – it’s the oldest and one of the biggest in the country. With the warmer months bringing those summer fruit and vegetables we love (think strawberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots and nectarines), the Farmers’ Market is bursting with fresh produce plucked straight from the source to the stall. Grab coffee and some breakfast or pick up fresh local produce, meats for the barbeques, gourmet goods for your platters, divine wines, beers and other non-alcoholic beverages, baked delights, sweet temptations, gifts and so many unique and interesting things to take home with you.

Farmers Market

Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market

Winery Bike Tours
Exploring the region on two wheels is arguably the best way to see the scenery – you can take it at your own pace while chatting with the girls, scout the best spots for that perfect Instagram shot, and take in the stunning surrounds with a turn of the head. Just add wineries and cellar doors to your outing and you’ve got yourself the perfect afternoon activity. Stop in at the cellar doors or book a table and enjoy a late lunch or platters. We recommend starting at Black Barn Vineyards and heading toward the coast, stopping in at Te Awa Winery and finishing up at Elephant Hill Winery. Hire bikes from your choice of tour operators, and let them pick you up at the end and drop you back at your accommodation.

Discover the bars
After a hot afternoon spent at the beach, and with the warmth extending into the night, it’s time to rehydrate at a few of Hawke’s Bay’s best bars. Every taste can be catered for with many hotspots offering an impressive drinks menu. If you’re staying in Napier, the CBD offers a few options all within walking distance of one another. Get your margherita fix at Mamacita Restaurant, sip on a creative cocktail at Monica Loves or Emporium Bar & Eatery, order your drink of choice at Market St or savour world-class wines at Matisse. Havelock North also offers a range of bars within the small village: Piku, Malo, and Mamacita just to name a few. For the full range of options, peruse or Drinks Guide here.

Monica Loves

Monica Loves

Hit the beaches
Sun, surf and sand is a combination best experienced in Hawke’s Bay. We’ve got a selection of top-notch beaches that we think will do the trick, mostly located in the Hastings District. Locals love Waipatiki Beach (approximately 35 minutes north of Napier), and Waimarama and Ocean Beaches located 25-40 minutes south of Havelock North. Each beach offers easy swimming, some higher swells thrown in for fun and golden sand to stretch out on. We recommend having a few supplies in your arsenal (shade cover, sunscreen, food and water) as the beaches are isolated on the coast with limited supplies available.

Waipatiki Beach4

Waipatiki Beach

Visit Central Hawke’s Bay
A trip to Hawke’s Bay wouldn’t be complete without a stop in at Central Hawke’s Bay. This rural gem has small towns each have their own distinct feel, with plenty to see and do. While you’re en route back to Wellington, take a minor detour and discover the beaches, get your shopping fix at the boutique outlets in both Waipawa and Waipukurau or stop in for a bite to eat at one of the unique cafés – it’s rural Hawke’s Bay at its best!

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Explore more

Hawke's Bay has so many hidden gems! Be sure to get exploring while you're here!

5 'Must Do's in Hawke's Bay

5 'Must Do's' in Napier

5 'Must Do's' in Hastings

5 'Must Do's' in Central Hawke's Bay

5 'Must Do's' in Wairoa

 

Looking for refreshments? Look no further...

Summer Hydration Hot Spots

Get a Hawke's Bay Scoop

Award Winning Dining

New kids on the Napier dining scene

 

Rest your weary head

After all this adventuring, you'll need a cosy spot to recharge at the end if the day. Check out our Accommodation Guide for accommodation options to suit all needs!