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New Zealand

HAWKE'S BAY REGION

 

THE NORTH ISLAND'S PRINCIPAL WINE REGION IS KNOWN WORLDWIDE FOR
QUALITY WINES. VISITORS DISCOVER HAWKE'S BAY'S EXCELLENT BEACHES,
A REBORN ART DECO CITY, AND WORLD-CLASS GOLF, TOO.

PHOTO CREDIT: VENTURE HAWKE'S BAY.

Hawke's Bay's Wine Trail
Leads to More than Vineyards.

Wine may be the big attraction here in Hawke's Bay, but this sunny,
prosperous corner of the North Island profits from multiple personalities.

 

Attractions in the Hawke's Bay Region: Shaped by its geography, geology, and climate, Hawke's Bay is a region distinct and separate from neighboring regions to the north, west, and south. Walled in by rugged, if not supremely high, mountains, Hawke's Bay evolved in relative isolation from the Rotorua and Taupo region to the west, Gisborne and the Eastland region to the north, and the Wairarapa region and Wellington to the south.

HAWKE'S BAY WINERIES: The relatively dry, warm, coastal climate of Hawke's Bay with plentiful water for irrigation provided by its border mountains is ideal for agriculture, and especially for the production of grapes and other fruit. Hawke's Bay has become the principal wine region of the North Island, producing export quality wines in sufficient quantities to become recognized internationally as a major white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc) exporter. In recent years the region has expanded into red wine production with some international success. With more than 70 wineries Hawke's Bay's Wine Trail is both

Te Mata Winery produces some of the finest wines of the Hawke's Bay region from its winery southeast of Hastings. Photo credit - 'Venture Hawke's Bay'.
Te Mata Winery produces some of the
finest wines of the Hawke's Bay region
from its winery southeast of Hastings.

Photo credit - 'Venture Hawke's Bay'

   compact and dense, making it easy to visit
several wineries on a day tour of the region. The annual Harvest Hawke's Bay food and wine festival draws thousands to wineries-turned-festival venues throughout the region each February.

 

Napier celebrates its Art Deco architectural heritage with an extravagant Art Deco Weekend each February. Photo credit "Venture Hawke's Bay".
Napier celebrates its Art Deco
 architectural heritage with an
extravagant Art Deco Weekend
festival each February.

Photo credit "Venture Hawke's Bay"

TWIN CITIES WITH DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES: The Hawke's Bay region has two principal population centers, Napier and Hastings, located just twelve miles apart in the alluvial plain near the coast at Hawke Bay. Napier with about 58,000 residents slightly smaller than its twin is flashy and gregarious, offering a seafront with miles of sandy beaches, and a lively cultural calendar that welcomes visitors. After major earthquake leveled Napier in 1931, the city rebuilt itself in the dominant, dressy Art Deco style of the period. The popular, showy architectural style has been carefully  maintained and today acts as living set for Napier's Art Deco

 

Weekend each February. Neighboring

Hastings is inland from Napier and surrounded by agriculture. Lacking the lively seafront and the stylish Art Deco style of Napier, Hastings is the lesser visited of the twin cities. However, it is the larger of the two (about 65,000 residents) and more important as a commercial and governmental center. Hastings has the region's biggest amusement park, a fun day out for families, and hosts two important annual events: the Hawke's Bay Show the region's principal country fair each October, and the Horse of the Year Show New Zealand's most important equestrian meet each March.
 

CAPE KIDNAPPERS: Named for the failed
abduction of a Tahitian servant of Captain Cook's Endeavour voyage in 1769 by local Maori, and once principally known only for its great mainland colony of gannet seabirds, Cape Kidnappers  has in recent years become a destination for international golfers. Spectacular cliff and headland formations of the narrow peninsular extend into the South Pacific, making a unique, dramatic location for a golf

The dramatic landscape of Cape Kidnappers headland includes 600' high cliffs and sharks' teeth "haystacks".
The dramatic landscape of Cape Kidnappers
 headland  includes 600' high cliffs and
sharks' teeth "haystacks".

course. The Tom Doak-designed (2004)
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course quickly gained an international reputation and is currently New Zealand's top-ranked course, rated #6 in the world (outside of the USA) by golfdigest.com.

 

Home At First's Hawke's Bay region lodgings provide creature comforts with convenient access to Napier, Hastings, beaches, and the Hawke's Bay Wine Trail. Photo credit - 'Venture Hawke's Bay'.

Lodgings: Top quality bed and breakfast lodgings in and near Napier close to all central city attractions, beaches, and convenient for hopping on and off the Hawke's Bay Wine Trail.

Home At First's Hawke's Bay
region lodgings provide creature
comforts with convenient access to
Napier, Hastings, beaches, and the
Hawke's Bay Wine Trail.

Photo credit - 'Venture Hawke's Bay'

 

Getting around Hawke's Bay: Use of a rental car is essential here. Expect congested traffic on city streets only. State Highway 50/50A is the fast Napier-Hastings Motorway connecting the twin cities' centers. State Highway 2 also connects Hastings and Napier, but takes a slower route that follows the coast. Away from Napier and Hastings, roads throughout Hawke's Bay are usually lightly traveled.

 

Getting lost on the back roads of Hawke's Bay
guarantees the serendipity of discovering 
an off-the-beaten-track winery with
some superb bottles for sale.

Photo credit "Venture Hawke's Bay"

Getting lost on the back roads of Hawke's Bay guarantees the serendipity of discovering an off-the-beaten-track winery with some superb bottles for sale. Photo credit "Venture Hawke's Bay".

 

Once in Hawke's Bay, all roads lead to quality food and wine. Photo credit: "Venture Hawke's Bay".

Getting to/from Hawke's Bay: Home At First guests arrive in Hawke's Bay by rental car, normally coming east from the Rotorua/Taupo region in 2-4 hours. Most depart Hawke's Bay southwest for Wellington in about 5-7 scenic hours via the impressive Manawatu Gorge.

 

Once you are in Hawke's Bay, all
roads lead to quality food and wine.

Photo credit: "Venture Hawke's Bay"

 

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