Hawke's BayNorth Island
Located southeast of the North Island, Hawke’s Bay is primarily known as one of the main wine regions in NZ, second largest after Marlborough. With its sunny weather and fertile soil, it offers the perfect conditions for cultivation of vines, but also fruit trees. Wine and food lovers will find their happiness in one of the prestigious vineyards of the region. One could cite in particular Craggy Range with its unique setting or Church Road, one of the favorite wines of the Kiwis. Among the grape varieties, there is Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for red, Chardonnay for white. Several operators offer in particular the opportunity to explore the region and its vineyards by bicycle.
Main city of the region, Napier is internationally renowned for its Art-Deco architecture. After having been completely destroyed in 1931 by a violent earthquake, it was in this architectural fashion of the time that the city was completely rebuilt. It’s great to wander around the city streets, which you also have the possibility to visit in a vintage car with a local guide. Each year in February, thousands of visitors flock from around the world to participate in the famous Art Deco festival.
20 minutes south of Napier, the Cape Kidnappers is an exceptional natural site. Several operators offer the possibility to reach this point, housing the largest colony of Australasian gannet (close cousin of the gannet) in New Zealand. One of these companies even offers to go there by tractor along the beach to admire its imposing cliff. You can see there many faults testifying to the violent seismic activity of the region.
At the top of this cliff, occupying the end of Cape is The Farm, exceptional accommodation and active sheep farm, housing a sanctuary for more than a hundred kiwis (the emblematic bird of the country, Endangered). It also has one of the most renowned golf courses in the country.
A little further west, the flanks of Te Mata Peak provide an excellent playground for walkers. This hill 400 meters high, crossed by many paths, offers a breathtaking panorama of the region. At its base, one can admire a beautiful redwood forest, planted by European settlers a hundred years ago.
Hawke’s Bay may not be the most spectacular region in NZ in terms of scenery, however it is certainly one that will allow you to experience the incredible quality of life made in NZ. With its renowned vineyards, excellent cafes and restaurants and its typical Kiwi lifestyle, Hawke’s Bay will charm you whatever your profile.
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