Hawkes Bay and Activities

The Hawkes Bay coastline stretches in an unbroken curve from Cape Kidnappers to Mahia Peninsula on the east coast of the North Island. The ranges to the west give way to rolling hills and alluvial plains.

These plains provide much of the land used by the region's orchards and vineyards. A network of rivers which are much valued for fishing, swimming, canoeing and jet boating, crosses the plains. The coastal city of Napier boasts a magnificent harbour and port. From the lookout at the summit of Napier Hill 360 degree bird’s-eye views of the city, harbour and countryside can be enjoyed.

Hastings is about 15 minutes drive from Napier. It is the region's agricultural capital, running west to east to Te Mata Peak.

Te Mata Peak is an important landmark, rising to 399 metres above sea level. It is one of the first places in New Zealand to see the sun. From the summit it is possible to see large tracts of the province, and on clear days Mt Ruapehu is visible.

Havelock North, on the Te Mata Peak foothills, is a charming and rapidly growing village.

Hawkes Bay has an array of activities and attractions to offer visitors to the area, and is probably best known for its abundance (over 30) of award winning vineyards and its art deco architecture - Napier having the highest concentration of art deco buildings anywhere in the world.

Napier's unique architectural heritage was born out of tragedy. On February 3, 1931, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, followed by rapidly spreading fires, destroyed much of the city. It also raised more than 2000 hectares of land from below sea level.

Four architects in Napier – E. A. Williams, Finch and Westerholme, J. A. Louis Hay and Natusch and Sons - banded together to rebuild the town. Their efforts produced a unique creation: an art deco city. Today, Napier boasts one of the world's most significant collections of art deco buildings, and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.