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Things to do in Hawke’s Bay

The Hawke’s Bay region along the east coast of the North Island is famous for amazing wineries and beautiful beaches. Well known for its wine and food, outstanding architecture, and being surrounded by stunning views the Hawke’s Bay region is a paradise with lots to do.

 

Wine Capital of New Zealand

beautiful vineyard with lush green fields and snow capped mountain in the background

Photo Credit: http://www.wineportfolio.co.nz/

Having over 200 vineyards, 70 plus wineries, and over 30 cellar doors, you’ll have plenty of choices in Hawke’s Bay, the toughest part is deciding where to begin! This region is a must-go destination for wine lovers, they offer an array of premium wines and styles. Hawke’s Bay produces 90% of New Zealand’s Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernets. They are also known for their superb Chardonnay.

So, whether you’re wanting to enjoy a beautiful long lunch with family or spend the day trialing wines with friends, one of the best things to do is just to immerse yourself in the Hawke’s Bay way of life. You can find out much more about the region’s wine trails here.

 

Art Deco Capital of New Zealand

art deco building in sunset

Photo Credit: https://www.thehotelconversation.com.au/

The perfect base to explore the wider Hawke’s Bay region, Napier is a popular tourist city known for its unique 1930s Art Deco architecture. Street upon street of stunningly and beautifully restored Art Deco buildings has made Napier famous the world over.

Nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings with the exquisite style of the 20th Century. These buildings are complimented by beautiful palms, Norfolk Island pines, and the backdrop of dramatic hills. Certainly, one of the top attractions in Hawke’s Bay.

 

What Can You Do in Napier for Free

statue in a beautiful garden with trees

Photo Credit: httpswww.hawkesbaynz.com

Napier has one of the most photographed tourist attractions in New Zealand, a 1.5-meter artwork called ‘Pania of the Reef’ right on the Marine Parade. Legend states that Pania, a beautiful maiden who lived in the sea would swim about with other sea creatures by day and when the sun sets, she would go to a stream that ran into the bay where the city of Napier now sits. This statue is a visual reminder of the city’s rich history.

The beautifully restored Marine Parade is Napier’s most visited location and serves as a popular scenic destination, hosting a wealth of family-friendly activities. You are sure to keep the kids entertained for hours here.

Driving around the outskirts of the city centre, you will find many wineries, fabulous restaurants, and a growing list of cafes, bars, galleries, and boutique shops. A short 18-kilometer cruise will get you to Hastings – the largest urban area in Hawke’s Bay. These two neighbouring cities are often referred to as “The Bay Cities” or “The Twin Cities”.

 

Rush Munro’s Ice Creamery

amazing colourful selection of ice cream deserts

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/rushmunros/

New Zealand’s oldest ice creamery is in Hastings. Founded in 1926, these handcrafted award-winning premium artisan ice creams are produced and sourced locally with 100% natural ingredients. Having over 20 flavours to select from, you can ponder your choice of ice cream and immerse yourself in their famously gorgeous rose gardens.

A trip to Hawke’s Bay would be incomplete without treating your family to a taste of these beautiful traditional luxury ice creams. Be warned, during the summer season, there will be massive queues out the door and down the street!

 

Exciting Activities at Te Mata Peak

birds eye view of mountain valley during sunrise

Photo Credit: https://www.tematapark.co.nz/

Te Mata Peak is the highest peak in the Hawke’s Bay region located to the south of Hastings. It rises nearly 400 metres above sea level, offering views over the Heretaunga Plains and stretches as far out as Mount Ruapehu.

Fun and free experiences on offer, Te Mata Peak is perfect for hikers and mountain bikers. It’s an excellent heart-pumping workout with the ascend, but the panoramic views make the climb worthwhile. These nature trails around the Te Mata Trust Park will take you through limestone valleys, forests, the grove of giant redwoods, and picture-perfect cliff views.

There are several trails you could explore. A fairly new track known as the ‘Snakes and Ladders’, is a one-kilometre trail formed in 2013 entirely by hand with a shovel and a pick by the Park’s caretaker Shaun Gilbert.

Regardless of which trail you choose; the views are stunning and allow you to soak up the history and culture unique to this part of New Zealand. Te Mata Peak is a mere 30 min drive from Pegasus Rental Cars Napier.

 

Silky Oak Chocolates

delectable selection of chocolates

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/silkyoakchocs/

An absolute chocoholic galore and a perfect place to visit if you love anything chocolate! You will see how these exquisitely handmade chocolates are produced as you enjoy the rich aroma of cacao, but they are by no means just a chocolatier.

The Pantry shop is a café specialising in both sweet and savory selections of cabinet food that we’ve all grown accustomed to – they serve a wide range of coffees and of course their chocolate beverages. On top of that, you will find a large choice of gelato, fudges, syrups, relishes, chutneys, vinaigrette, and infused oils.

At their Chocolate Museum, you’ll learn chocolate’s rich 3,000-year history and see a 2,500-year-old Chocolate Pot. You should also visit their Souvenir Shop where you will find a wide variety of premade gift packages and hampers. You could even choose from a diverse range of individual chocolates to create your own gift parcels to take back. What’s more, your kids are sure to enjoy their free complimentary chocolate upon entry.

Round off your chocolate experience with a rich memento.

Book a rental car today for easy transport!

These are a few of the top things to do while you experience Hawke’s Bay – a region loaded with award-winning food and wine, exceptional architecture, and breathtaking sceneries. Book now at Pegasus Rental Cars Napier if you’re flying in, we offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off services. Or take a drive in to Hawke’s Bay from one of our many locations in the North Island.

Hiring a car couldn’t be easier – we can’t wait to see you!