One of the warmest regions in New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay is home to the country’s oldest operating winery, and is famous for producing some of the finest shiraz, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon. There are plenty of self-guided tour options in the area (why not hire a mountain bike and cycle between wineries?) and with over 30 to be discovered you’ll be spoilt for choice by the tours, tastings and al fresco dining. Along with wine, Hawke’s Bay produces lots of New Zealand’s most delicious gourmet produce, from chocolate and honey, to cheese and fruit.
As tempting as it is to spend your entire stay here indulging on wine and cheese, there’s much more to see and do in this picturesque corner of New Zealand. Napier is known as the art deco capital of the world; after a devastating earthquake in 1931 destroyed most of the town, it was totally rebuilt in the architectural style of the time. This resulted in the highest concentration of art deco structures anywhere in the world, and gives the town a charming and extremely photogenic look! Wander the streets and soak in the vintage atmosphere – each February the town celebrates its culture with the Art Deco Weekend.
The landscapes here are some of the most impressive in New Zealand. Cycle, hike or drive to Te Mata Peak for spectacular views over rugged mountain ranges and the Ruapehu volcano. Head to Te Urewera for breath-taking lake scenery, and don’t miss Cape Kidnappers – the rocky headland is home to one of the world’s most impressive golf courses and the largest accessible colony of gannets! There’s plenty of Maori heritage to explore here too – ask your Destination Expert about arranging a tour. There’s no shortage of activities in the great outdoors, either; kayaking, hot air ballooning, fishing, cycling and white water rafting are just some of the pursuits on offer here.