A sunny place to eat, drink and play
This sunny region in the centre of the North Island’s east coast is most famous as New Zealand’s oldest wine making region with a Mediterranean-like climate well suited to producing some fine Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines. This is wine touring country all right, and with around 100 vineyards and over 70 wineries in the region, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
It’s not just about wine though, Hawke’s Bay has its fair share of outdoor adventures from kilometres of dedicated off-road cycle ways to multi-day hikes, including one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, Lake Waikaremoana. There are also numerous shorter walks or, for those looking for something a little for adrenaline-filled, there’s grade 2 and even grade 4/5 white water river rafting.
Top things to do in Hawke’s Bay
Looking for ideas to help you plan the ultimate New Zealand outdoor adventure? Here are some of the top things for active travellers to see and do in the Hawke’s Bay region.
Climb Te Mata Peak
Rising 399m above sea level, this iconic peak offers 360° views of Hawke’s Bay and, on clear days, a view all the way to Mount Ruapehu, the North Island’s highest mountain over 120 km / 75 miles to the northwest. There are a number of tracks to suit different fitness levels and you can choose to walk or cycle.
White water rafting on the Mohaka River
From their base just off State Highway 5 (SH5) approximately 50 km / 31 miles north of Napier, the team at Mohaka Rafting will take you into New Zealand’s backcountry to experience some watery fun. Choose a gentle half-day grade 2 scenic float or take on a grade 4/5 adventure through 200m high canyons.
Cycle the Hawke’s Bay Trails
Winding their way across the Heretaunga Plains between Napier and Hastings, nearly 200 kilometres of wide, smooth and mostly flat cycle trails are the perfect way to explore the area’s rivers, orchards, vineyards and mountains. Trail maps and details on bike hire and everything else you need to know is available on the Hawke’s Bay Trails website.
Visit Lake Waikaremoana
Designated as one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, this 46 km / 29 mile multi-day hike follows the western shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana. Breathtaking views from high bluffs, giant native trees and remote beaches make this an epic adventure. Of the country’s 10 Great Walks, this is one of the least congested so if avoiding crowds is an important factor for you, this hike should definitely be high on your adventure to-do list. You can find out more information on this track on the Department of Conservation Website.