Hawke’s Bay is celebrated as one of the world’s best wine regions, and rightly so. But there is so much more to the area than just wine. Nestled on the east coast of the North Island, Hawke’s Bay has a pleasurable, Mediterranean-style climate making it one of the country’s warmest and driest regions.
Wine connoisseurs have to make a stop here, known for its red wines, particularly cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah as well as some fantastic chardonnays. You can enjoy them all while riding a bike, yes that’s right you can do a bicycle wine tour. Don’t worry; this is a nice casual cycle on some flat roads as you travel from cellar doors to sample some fine wines.
Another highlight of Hawke’s Bay is the architecture. Napier, the main city of the region is home to one of the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world. The reason why Art Deco has made a name for itself in this region is because of a devastating earthquake, which devastated the area in 1931. The city along with Hastings, another city in the region, was rebuilt in Art Deco style after the earthquake. A week long Art-Deco Festival takes place in the region every February which tens of thousands pack out the area celebrating and appreciating the beauty.
Another highlight of the region is Cape Kidnappers, which has the status of being only one of two mainland gannet colonies in the world. A gannet is one of the world’s most rare seabirds, identified with long, pointed wings and golden yellow heads. What makes these birds stand out though is their amazing fishing technique, a whole flock can dive straight into the sea from a great height at 145 kilometers an hour, a truly incredible spectacle.
If you want to take your enjoyment of the outdoors a step further than why not take a trip along Lake Waikaremoana, one of New Zealand’s most sought after wilderness escapes. The track around the perimeter of the Lake is one of New Zealand’s great walks, it takes three days to complete (you need to camp) and you can take your exploration a step further by hiring a kayak or canoe, and you can also do a spot of fishing during your trip too.
You might be feeling a bit tired from all the various hiking trails in New Zealand but there is one more thing you have to do if you find yourself in the Hawke’s Bay region, the Te Mata Peak. A truly awe-inspiring view awaits you at the top of this peak, walk the Giants Circuit, a not too taxing 5.4km with an elevation 357m as it winds its way around the peak.