Hawke's Bay, New Zealand’s oldest winemaking region may well produce some of the world’s most relished wines, but its attributes extend well beyond viticulture. Its main cities, Napier and Hastings, are also renowned for their Art Deco facades and fiercely proud Maori heritage.
In 1931, Napier and Hastings were reduced to rubble by a massive earthquake. With Herculean effort, the city of Napier was entirely rebuilt within two years in Art Deco style incorporating Maori motifs. These days this eye-catching architecture is celebrated as a symbol of the communities’ ability to overcome disaster.
Hawke's Bay, on the North Island’s southeast coast, spans 350km of Pacific Ocean coastline. It encompasses several diverse areas, including northern Hawke's Bay, Hastings, Havelock North, Napier and Central Hawke's Bay.
A Mediterranean-like climate gives rise to the region’s reputation for being the "food bowl" of New Zealand. Here, you will find no shortage of farmers' markets, specialty food shops and fantastic restaurants whose menus draw on the region’s prolific local produce.
Outdoor adventurers will thrill to Hawke's Bay’s whitewater rafting, off-roading and trekking, while kids will love splashing on the beaches and getting lost in the Amazing Maze in Maize. Meanwhile, the lush Mohaka Valley will soothe the senses of those in search of a peaceful idyll.
Gourmets, wine lovers, extreme adventurers, sun worshippers, families and professionals alike will find enormous gratification in the hidden paradise of Hawke's Bay.
What is special or unique about your city?
Hawke's Bay produces some of New Zealand's finest wines and, once a year, Harvest Hawke's Bay celebrates the fact by offering a three-day wine and food festival. This event attracts many thousands.
Napier is home to the annual Mission Concert held early each year. The event, held at the Mission Estate Winery in Taradale, has attracted big names over the years including Kenny Rogers, Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, The B-52s, Belinda Carlisle, Ray Charles, and Eric Clapton. Each concert is attended by around 25,000 people.
What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?
Hawke's Bay Wine Country has beautiful scenery, award-winning wines, gourmet experiences, family fun, a thriving arts community, unique wildlife, stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage.
A wonderful Mediterranean climate and an enviable setting on New Zealand's East Coast have created a region rich in delicious produce and beautiful things.
Are these impressions likely to change?
The area is unlikely to change its focus and will continue to attract people to enjoy, breathe, relax, taste, escape and refresh.