Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay is a region found on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, as is named after the large golden bay that stretches between the Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. The region is known for its sunny climate, fertile soils, and award-winning wines! It is home to the beautiful Art Deco city of Napier, which was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1931.

Infographic showing the best places to visit in the Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

An Overview of the Hawke’s Bay Region of New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay Location:Hawke’s Bay is located along the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand
Bordering Regions:Hawke’s Bay borders with the Gisborne, Bay of Plenty, and Manawatu-Whanganui regions
Region Size (km2):14,200
Population:178,600 (2020)
Main Cities and Towns:Napier, Hastings, Havelock North, Wairoa, Waipukurau, Waipawa
Most Popular Tourist Destinations:Napier Marine Parade
Mission Estate Winery
Cape Kidnappers
Marere Hot Pools
Lake Waikaremoana

Highlights of the Hawke’s Bay Region of New Zealand

Places to Visit in Hawke’s Bay


Napier, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Napier is the main city in Hawke’s Bay – and one of the most beautiful cities in New Zealand! Located on the beautiful east coast, Napier boasts a stunning collection of colourful Art Deco architecture, that was built after an earthquake in the 1930s which destroyed much of the town. This unique and charming style is celebrated at the annual Art Deco Festival, which is one of Napiers’ most popular events!

Napier is the gateway to the beautiful scenery of Hawke’s Bay! Stretching along the coastline is the stunning Marine Parade, which offers stunning views over Mahia Peninsula to the north and Cape Kidnappers to the south. It is also home to the fantastic Hawke’s Bay wine region, where you can sample some of the local award-winning wines, and visit New Zealand’s oldest winery!


Hastings, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Located only a short drive from Napier, Hastings is a hub of excellent food and wine in Hawke’s Bay! It is home to the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market, where you can find fresh local produce and artisan products every Sunday. Hastings is also surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens, such as Cornwall Park, Frimley Park, and Te Mata Park.

Havelock North

Havelock North, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Havelock North is a charming town in Hawke’s Bay, surrounded by lush rural landscapes and fantastic wineries. Take a stroll through the village’s quaint streets, indulge in locally grown produce, or explore the great outdoors with hiking, cycling, and swimming at nearby beaches!


Wairoa, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Wairoa is a friendly town near the Te Urewera National Park, where you can buy supplies, visit a local museum and enjoy the river walk. It is also the gateway to the stunning Lake Waikaremoana, a wilderness lake surrounded by native forest and accessible by a three-day walk or a shorter walk from the settlement.

Mahia Peninsula

Mahia Peninsula, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

The Mahia Peninsula is a gorgeous area at the northern end of the Hawke’s Bay region, between Poverty Bay and Hawke’s Bay. According to Māori legend, Mahia Peninsula is Te matau a Maui – the fish-hook of Maui. The peninsula has a number of beautiful beaches, and is a natural playground for people who like to surf, fish, dive, kayak and swim!

Central Hawke’s Bay

Central Hawke's Bay District, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

If you want to get a little way off the beaten track and experience Hawke’s Bay, then head south into the stunning Central Hawke’s Bay District. This district encompasses the rural towns of Waipukurau, Waipawa, and Otane, and includes the Longest Place Name in the World! The scenery in Central Hawke’s Bay is breathtaking, with rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests to explore.

Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Lake Waikaremoana is a stunning wilderness lake in the Te Urewera National Park, surrounded by lush native forest. One of the most popular things to do around the lake is explore the lake while hiking the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk! This gorgeous track is a little more ‘off the beaten track’ than some of the other New Zealand Great Walks, and is a spectacular experience!

Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

Cape Kidnappers / Te Kauwae-a-Māui is an extraordinary sandstone headland that juts out into the wild Pacific Ocean at the southern end of Hawke’s Bay. The cape is home to the largest and most accessible gannet colony in the world! During low tide, you can walk along the beach from Clifton to reach a viewpoint, which rewards you with magnificent views over the gannet colony and the stunning Hawke’s Bay!

Te Mata Peak

Te Mata Peak, Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

If you are looking for panoramic views over Hawke’s Bay, look no further than Te Mata Peak! This stunning mountain rises 399 meters over the Heretaunga Plains, and gives you an incredible lookout! There are a number of well-formed walking tracks throughout the park to explore, including through the stunning Big Redwoods grove, where you can stop and admire these magnificent trees. The peak has a Māori legend that tells the story of a giant named Te Mata who died while trying to bite through the hills to prove his love for a local maiden.

Hawke’s Bay Weather

Hawke’s Bay has a mild Mediterranean climate, with warm and dry summers and cool and wet winters. The region has some of the highest sunshine hours and the lowest rainfall in New Zealand!

Average Weather in the Hawke's Bay Region of New Zealand

What is the Best Time to Visit Hawke’s Bay?

The best time to visit Hawke’s Bay is durin the warm and sunny summer months (December – February), when you can enjoy relaxing on the beach, visiting the wineries, or experiencing the annual Napier Art Deco festival!

Airports in the Hawke’s Bay Region

Napier Airport

Napier Airport, also known as Hawke’s Bay Airport, is the main airport in Hawke’s Bay! It offers domestic flights to the major cities of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, as well as smaller services to Gisborne, Wairoa, and Tauranga. This makes it a great gateway to exploring the stunning Hawke’s Bay region!

Hastings Aerodrome

Hastings Aerodrome is a small airport located in Hastings, which is owned and operated by the Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Aero Club. It is mainly used for training and recreational flights, as well as gliding and skydiving!