6 tastes of the outdoors

An unforgettable Kiwi summer includes a few must-have ingredients. 

Long hot days are a given, as is delicious food and wine shared with mates; while other critical ingredients include a day at the beach, a spot of active relaxing and at least one music, arts or food and wine festival that gifts you a lifetime of memories.

Thankfully Hawke’s Bay’s offers all this and more for kiwis seeking the true taste of an unforgettable summer.

Summer tastes like swimming

Hastings' iconic Splash Planet water theme park is open just in time for summer, or for something a little more sedate, Napier's Ocean Spa is just the ticket. Outdoor play pools are dotted throughout the region, including in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, Havelock North, and in both Waipawa and Waipukurau.

With a coastline in excess of 350km, Hawke's Bay is blessed with beaches and surfing spots throughout the region. Prefer your swimming in a river? You're in luck, with much of Hawke's Bay's spectacular scenery centred around our rivers, lake and waterfalls.

Splash Planet in Hastings city

Summer tastes like adventure

If you like your adventure with a dash of adrenaline, look no further than Mohaka Rafting to ramp up the excitement levels. They offer expeditions for Grades 2 through 5, with trips departing daily from their base on SH5 / Napier-Taupo Road - about 40mins north of Napier.

Enjoy some of Hawke's Bay most pristine landscapes on horseback, by joining the Clive-based Boutique Horse Treks, or with the team at Mohaka River Farm on SH5.

For an experience unlike any other, you could experience the thrills of cable wakeboard on the man-made Backpaddock Lakes in stunning Central Hawke's Bay.

Rafting on the stunning Mohaka River

Summer tastes like nature

10 out of 10 doctors will tell you walking is great for your health. So what better reason to put your walking shoes on, grab a mate, and head out to enjoy one of our many and varied short walks, with options in pretty well every corner of the region. 

The summer months coincide perfectly with the optimal experience at the world's largest, most accessible mainland colony of Australasian gannets at Cape Kidnappers. Join a daily tour with Gannet Safaris Overland, and enjoy passing through spectacular landscapes with panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. For even more wildlife viewing with the sun on your back, Hawke's Bay's wetlands are a showcase of the region's biodiversity. 

Walking the Ahuriri Estuary in Napier

Summer tastes like golf

While it's true that Hawke's Bay is home to the incomparable Cape Kidnappers Golf Course - and it should absolutely be on every golfer's must-play list - Hawke's Bay is home to a diverse range of golf courses throughout the region. From pristine championship courses to laidback rural courses, you'll have plenty of options to satisfy your golfing hunger.

For the younger fans of golf, or even for some fun competition among adults, there's two brilliant mini-golf courses to test your adventurous putting skills - Par2 on Napier's Marine Parade, and at Hastings' Karamu Golf Club & Golflands.

The iconic Cape Kidnappers Golf Course

Summer tastes like festivals

In a region known as New Zealand's Food and Wine Country, you could rightly expect there to be a whole host of summer culinary festivals to choose from. And Hawke's Bay definitely delivers, with foodie festivals throughout summer (and beyond) to mark down as must-visit occasions.

If the energising rhythm of cultural festivals are more to your taste, the Hawke's Bay Summer Events Guide will have you circling dates in your calendar with surprising regularity.

The Te Awanga countryside plays host to Outfield Festival

Summer tastes like leisure cycling

Easy-riding trails abound in Hawke's Bay, with the Hawke's Bay Trails - one of official Great Rides of New Zealand - connecting all manner of delicious stops and stunning scenery throughout Napier city and Hastings District. In Central Hawke's Bay, the Tukituki Trail takes centre stage, while in northern Hawke's Bay, it's the Wairoa River Walk & Cycleway that deserves your attention. Please note, the Hawke's Bay Trails and Tukituki Trail have some ongoing impacts from Cyclone Gabrielle earlier this year. Please refer to the official websites linked above for the latest track status.

Little legs are also well catered for in Hawke's Bay, with our numerous cycle skills tracks and family-friendly sections of our trails offering superb cycling experiences.

Whatever your age or ability, hiring a bike is a breeze with our friendly bike hire businesses.

Cycling the easy-riding Hawke's Bay Trails