5 reasons why Hawke's Bay this Summer

World class wineries

Here in Hawke’s Bay, wine is a way of life. As a leading wine destination, the region boasts more than 70 wineries and 30+ cellar doors showcasing an impressive range of wines. From Merlot Cabernet to Chardonnay, and many other delights, the region packs quite the punch for wine lovers!   

Did you know Hawke’s Bay is packed with cycling trails? With over 200km of mostly-limestone paths linking outstanding wineries, you can soar between cellar doors with ease. The trails also offer a variety of options for all skill levels. Spend a few hours, or a day (or two!) exploring the stunning countryside while sampling some of the best food and wine on offer.  With plenty of cycling providers available, it’s easy to plan your holiday escape ahead of time - book bikes in advance, download trail maps and winery locations.

So, what are you waiting for? Escape the hustle and bustle, grab your friends and family, and take a relaxing spin around wine country – you can thank us later.

It’s a foodie heaven 

From high cuisine to street food and the freshest produce, Hawke’s Bay has a foodie scene that will delight the most astute critic.   

Taste award-winning dishes at Pacifica (named New Zealand Restaurant of the Year at the 2017 Cuisine Good Food Awards), stop in at Bistronomy for inventive cuisine that will leave you wondering when you can schedule your next visit, or dig into authentic pork bao at Funbuns.  Fancy dessert? Hawke’s Bay has you covered with plenty of options.   

Weekend morning markets in Napier, Hastings and Havelock North are enough to get you up and at ‘em.  Overflowing with fresh produce, the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market (New Zealand’s largest and oldest weekly farmer’s market) delights with boutique cheeses, fine meats and locally sourced gourmet goodies.  You can also enjoy your choice of brew while picking up your favourite fruits and vegetables.  

Go back in time with Art Deco 

Napier is widely recognised as being the Art Deco capital of the world thanks to the rebuild after the 1931 earthquake. The city centre architecture was inspired by the style of the era – buildings featuring geometric blocks separated by sweeping curves and coloured with soft pastels.

In February every year, thousands of Art Deco lovers flock to the city for the Napier Art Deco Festival. At a glance, it is easy to feel transported back to the 1930’s: men, women and children dressed up in the style of the time, vintage cars pack the streets, with jazz and dancing combining to create an electric atmosphere. 

Art Deco Trust guided walking tours provide in-depth insight into Napier’s fascinating past. Top off your experience with a delicious brunch or cup of hot brew from one of many talented baristas dotted around the city centre.    

Either way, if you are keen for a weekend fiesta or a quick tour, Art Deco is a unique experience you simply cannot miss.  

Spectacular scenery on your doorstep 

Hawke’s Bay locals like to think that the region can give the South Island a run for their money with views of the vast Pacific, the rolling hills, rivers and valleys.  On a clear day northward views expose the Mahia Peninsula, while turning your head south shows the rugged coastline of Cape Kidnappers.  

The much-loved Te Mata Peak is a prominent feature and stands tall on the outskirts of Havelock North. Explore the Peak on foot or drive up and park at the lookout.  Once there the stunning 360-degree views of Hawke’s Bay will definitely be worth the climb!

The region is not just a pretty face: the trails are perfect for all the adventurers – mountain bikers, runners, and hikers.  There is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Cool off in Summer

Leave the crowds behind and head to the hot Hawke’s Bay.

There are plenty of benefits to hugging the coastline and one of those is the relatively untouched sandy beaches. Waipatiki Beach is a hidden gem only 35 minutes north of Napier that is perfect for a day trip. Waimarama Beach is another popular option for people of all ages – bring your surf or boogie board and hunker down for the day.  The Waimarama Store is just down the road for ice creams when you are done. 

Splash Planet in Hastings will keep the kids occupied.  New Zealand’s only water park is open seven days a week from November to February and weekends until Easter and has a huge selection of dry rides and water attractions. Zoom down the water slides, take a spin on a dirt bike, battle your friends in mini golf - the options are endless. If you want to take it easy, choose your tube and leisurely float around the ‘Never Ending River’.  It is sure to be a whole day’s fun for the family.

Hawke's Bay road trips

Nothing like a summer roadie. Good music, great company, tasty food, windows down, arm out (with sunscreen on of course). 

And where better to do a summer trip than Hawke’s Bay. We’ve put together a super selection of trips to supercharge your summer holiday.


Here's some more great ways to explore Hawke's Bay this summer:

Things to do

Hawke's Bay road trips


Explore the Bay

'Off the beaten track' camp grounds

5 summer picnic spots

Top Tips

12 top Instagram spots for summer

Top 6 Hawke's Bay Playgrounds

Real fruit ice cream stops

Pack a car like a pro