Hugging the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Hawke’s Bay is a sun-drenched region renowned for its wineries and Art Deco architecture. It is the traditional land of the Ngāti Kahungunu and is referred to in Māori as “Te Matau-a-Māui”, with its English name taken from the Royal Navy officer, Admiral Edward Hawke.
Things to do in Hawke's Bay
Inspiring architecture, brilliant birdlife and historic wineries - Hawke’s Bay has it all.
Admire the Art Deco architecture of Napier. Following a devastating earthquake in 1931, Napier rebuilt itself to become the “Art Deco Capital of the World”. More than 120 Art Deco buildings cluster in the city, many of which display uniquely Māori motifs. Join a guided walking tour to admire the Spanish Mission-style Criterion Hotel with its Cordoba tiles and the Bowman Building designed by Louie Hay. Also of note is the Public Trust Office, which is fronted by soaring columns.
Wine taste at the cellar doors. With its fertile soils and sunny weather, Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s most famous wine-growing regions. It’s renowned for its rich merlots and full-bodied chardonnays, which can be sampled at one of many cellar doors. Rent a bicycle and slowly pedal between Te Mata Estate Winery and Craggy Range or go behind the scenes at one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, Church Road.
Spot gannets at Cape Kidnappers. At the southeastern tip of Hawke’s Bay is this dramatic headland, known in Māori as “Te Kauwae-a-Māui”. It’s home to Australasia’s largest mainland colony of gannets, with more than 20,000 choosing to nest along its clifftops. Sprawling between the headland and the town of Te Awanga is the 18-hole Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, considered one of the best in New Zealand.
Getting around Hawke's Bay
Hawke's Bay Airport is the main aviation gateway to the region and has flights to destinations across New Zealand. Long-distance buses connect from Auckland and Wellington to Napier while regional buses travel to towns and villages throughout Hawke’s Bay. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around.