Hastings is in Hawkes Bay, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It was heavily damaged in the 1931 Napier earthquake, but there were no fires, so much of it survived and is still visible in the downtown architecture. This is mixed with Art Deco. With central business district redevelopment the city is returning to earlier splendour. It is the food-producing capital of New Zealand. It receives 2200 hours of sunshine a year, making it one of the sunniest places in New Zealand.
The town clock, erected in 1935, is an art deco icon of the city
The Hastings i-Site information centre is on the corner of Russell and Heretaunga Street East, opposite the central town mall. The centre can be called on (06) 873 0080, and can make bookings for activities, accommodation and travel around New Zealand. (06) is the area code for the regions of Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa.
The wider Hastings area includes the satellite areas of Flaxmere and Havelock North.
Hastings in the centre, and part of Havelock North
in the foreground. Photo taken from atop Te Mata peak
- From the south Central Hastings is about 4 hours from Wellington, 2.5 hours from Masterton, and 2 hours from Palmerston North via State Highway 2. Approaching the roundabout at Paki Paki from the south, take the second exit onto Railway Road, then continue another 5 minutes to central Hastings.
- From the east Hastings is about 3 hours from Gisborne and 2 hours from Wairoa via State Highway 2. Passing Napier Airport from the north, continue straight ahead onto State Highway 2B, 50, then 50A. Take the first exit at the Omahu Road roundabout, then continue straight ahead into the centre of town.
- From the north Hastings is about 5.5 hours from central Auckland, 4 hours from Hamilton, 3 hours from Rotorua, and 2 hours from Taupo. If traveling from north of Taupo, take State Highway 1 (SH 5 if traveling from Rotorua) to Taupo, then take State Highway 2 to Napier Airport. Passing Napier Airport from the north, continue straight ahead onto State Highway 2B, 50, then 50A. Take the first exit at the Omahu Road roundabout, then continue straight ahead into the centre of town.
- Napier Airport is the closest commercial airport to Hastings city, and has Customs facilities for private, international arrivals and departures, though does not have any scheduled international flights. Hastings is a 25-minute drive south from the airport.
- Air New Zealand offers daily direct flights from Napier to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with connections to many other domestic and international destinations.
- Jetstar offers daily, low-cost flights between Napier and Auckland with international connections to Australia and the Pacific Islands.
- Sounds Air offers direct flights between Napier and Blenheim, 4 times each way per week.
- Air Napier offers a freight service between Napier, Wairoa and Gisborne, with limited seats available for passengers.
- InterCity provides daily services in and out of Hastings with connections throughout the North Island. Services arrive and depart from the main Bus Shelter at 117 Russell Street, opposite Subway. From Hastings, InterCity travels direct to:
- Auckland via Taupo, Tokoroa and Hamilton - once daily each way.
- Wellington via Dannevirke, Palmerston North and the Kapiti Coast - twice daily each way, with extra services as far as Palmerston North during peak times.
- Tauranga via Taupo and Rotorua - once daily each way.
The Westermans Building is a good example of much of Hastings main streets, the train track and fountain can be seen in the foreground
Because Hastings was destroyed in the 1931 Napier earthquake along with Napier it was rebuilt in the stunning Art Deco style popular at the time. The town contains several excellent examples of this
- The clock tower that contains the bells from the post office that collapsed during the quake. It chimes every hour on the hour
- The main shopping street, Heretaunga Street, contains the bulk of the Art Deco architecture
- A few art deco houses scattered around town.
Located in the centre of the city are Hastings' iconic Sheep. These sheep have, over time, migrated around the city, currently they are checking out the clock, as seen to the right.
Hastings has also had millions spent of redeveloping the CBD (central business district) so looks beautiful. Several major features are:
- The new centre city fountain
- The hand at the south end of Karamu Road outside the library
- Olive trees planted along Heretaunga
- Art works
Many more significant art works were designed at the local Cicada Works cooperative workshop at Whakatu
- The grills around the fountain
- The performing stage beside Westpac bank
- The curved streetlights
Other things to see in Hastings include:
- The unique train track that runs through the middle of the CBD
- The apple trees in blossom
- Hastings picks up the Hawkes Bay channel. Its channel 51. It can be a bit hard to receive clearly but with enough jiggering a set of bunny ear aerials will pick it up.
- The Chinese gardens down Nelson Street are very nice. They can be found in Cornwall park with its large fountain. The gardens celebrate Hastings' partnership with its sister city, Guilin City in China
Splash Planet, New Zealand's first water theme park
- Splash Planet, Grove Road, ph (06) 873 8033. Splash Planet is a water theme park that will offer 'A whole day's fun'. It is set in a park-like setting and has many non-aquatic activities for those who don't like swimming.
- Splash Planet's 'logo' is a planet-like ball with a 'water' comet whizzing around it on the BROWN signs scattered throughout Hastings on the lamp-posts. Follow where those signs point. Splash Planet is well worth the effort for your kids. If you get lost, you should pull over and any friendly local will point the way for you! Hastings folk LOVE tourists; they add fun and diversity to our lovely city.
- It can be found by travelling on Karamu Road until you reach a set of traffic lights with a car dealer on the corner. Turn to go down the side with the car dealer on it, or follow the small brown signs posted on lamp posts. Following Grove Road (toward Karamu High School and you can't miss it on the right.
There are about 64 Vineyards and Wineries in the area around Hastings. Many have won international awards for their wine. Because the viticulture industry is so new to Hawkes Bay, most of the buildings and facilities are ultra modern. Many tours are available. Some of the better known ones are listed here.
Craggy Range Vineyard, 253 Waimarama Road, Havelock North, ph (06)873 0143. Ultra fancy winery. Very nice setting in the TukiTuki valley between the Tukituki Tiver and Te Mata Peak.
Ngatarawa Wines, 305 Ngatarawa Road, RD5 Bridge Pa, ph +64 6 879 7603. You may know this wine with its characteristic horse-head label.
Prenzel on the Bay, 180 Havelock North Road, Havelock North, ph +64 6 870 8524. Although not strictly a winery, it still offers a delicious range of Schnapps, liqueurs and aux de vies as well as food to indulge in.
Sileni Estates Winery, 2016 Maraekakaho Road, RD1, ph +64 6 879 8768. Has an restaurant, shop, and cellar tours
Vidal Estate Winery, 913 St Aubyn Street East, +64 6 876 8105. This winery is historic, one of the first to be established in Hawkes Bay. As the town expanded, it grew around the winery, leaving it in the middle of Hastings. It has a restaurant and sales.
Odyssey New Zealand, 219 Kenilworth Rd, ph 0508 ODYSSEY
Long Island Tours, 20 Reynolds Road, Havelock North, ph +64 6 877 0977. Offers different types of tours for every taste, or type.
Beaches and Rivers
Hawkes Bay's natural abundance is recognized by the regional council's logo: each ‘finger’ represents one of the 5 main rivers. It also has several golden sand beaches. These are listed from north to south
- Clive River is popular for its water sports including jet boating, Kayaking and Waka (Maori canoe) rides. No motorized craft are allowed further up the river than the bridge.
- The Tukituki River is generally considered a safe place to take the kids swimming. The favourite spot is ‘Undercliff’ near Havelock North. It is within a 25min cycle from Hastings city centre
- Haumoana beach has a lovely little seaside settlement. It is generally regarded as an unsafe place to swim, thanks to dangerous undertows from the many rivers that pour into the bay.
- Te Awanga is another lovely beach settlement - but again, no swimming.
- Clifton Is the base from which to explore the Cape Kidnappers mainland gannet colony. It is largest mainland gannet colony in the world and has over 50,000 birds. It is important to check the tides before walking out there as the tide comes up to the cliffs, leaving you to be washed out to sea. There is a café that serves Rush Munroe’s ice cream and other café food. You can book tractor rides out to the gannet colony in the main part of town and there is always room at the Clifton motor camp for another camper van. It is in places not safe to swim at.
- Ocean Beach is Hawkes Bay's premier beach. During the summer months (November – February) it has hundreds of beach goers. Golden sand stretches for 10km in either direction from Reneika Point down to Waimarama beach. The sand is compact and even the heaviest 4x4 will have no trouble driving on it. It is a remarkably safe beach for swimming, but the current will carry you down the beach a little. During the busiest months, there are lifeguards who patrol a short stretch of beach near the settlement. There are no shops so you will need to bring your own food.
- Waimarama Beach is another sandy beach, not quite as spectacular as Ocean Beach but the citizens of the settlement still call it home. It is a very popular New Year's party beach, so if you go there on New Year's Eve, expect hundreds of drunken teenagers. It is safe to swim at. The island you can see is called ‘Bare Island’ because there is virtually no vegetation on it. It has a New Zealand fur seal colony on the side not visible from the beach.
- Te Mata peak offers out-door activities. Cycling is an option with many cycle paths and a the 30 minute walk to the massive redwoods is well worth it
- The A&P show at the Hawkes Bay show grounds on October 18
- Pernel Fruit World offers tractor rides around their orchard and educates tourists about how fruit is grown around Hastings. Pernel Fruit World: 1412 Pakowhai Rd Hastings. Ph (06) 878 3383
- There are hot pools in the Kaweka Ranges somewhere in the vicinty of Sherenden, partway between Hastings and Taihepe. Ask at the Information centre (Corner of Heretaunga and Russel streets) for directions
- Hastings has wonderful shopping, and what cannot be found in the city can usually be found after a short trip into the environs. For example, up market clothing and boutique stores can be found in Havelock North, while industrial good are found down the infamous Omahu road (which is a continuation of Heretaunga Street)
- Hastings has the longest strip of retail stores in New Zealand. This strip reaches from Warren street in the east through to Jarvis road in the west. It offers anything for sale from Greenstone items through to tractors and fastfood and car parts. This strip is situated on Heretaunga Street, although it changes names several times along its length. You can buy almost anything you are looking for here.
Hastings, having a warm climate, produces a variety of food not found anywhere else in New Zealand. Much of this locally grown produce is turned into an even greater variety of quality products. This is recognised by Heinz-Watties established in 1934 who uses large amounts of locally grown produce
- The Farmers Market Meets every Sunday morning in the A&P show grounds. The two dozen or so stalls sell and showcase the wealth and variety of food produced around Hastings. There is usually a stall or three selling coffee and breakfast burgers and other ready-to-eat food. Open from 8.30 until lunch time. It is recommended you get there early before all the good stuff is sold
- Bay Espresso The original location is just past the Hawkes Bay Show Grounds on Karamu Road. They serve great coffee and an array of local produce for breakfast and lunch. They also have cafes on Omahu Road, in Market Street (in the heart of the city) and in Havelock North. The Karamu Road location is open 7 days, 7.00am-4.00pm Monday to Friday, 8.00am-4.00pm Saturday and Sunday. Phone 06 8785682
- Sutto Lounge Cafe, 103 King Street North. Offering a full breakfast/brunch menu as well as a range of cabinet items, open 7 days a week. Phone 06 8784163
- Taste Cornucopia is an organic café located next to Cornucopia food market at 219 Heretaunga Street East. Chef James Beck specialises in locally produced, fresh and organic cuisine. Taste Cornucopia was awarded 4 stars in the Cuisine magazine and was the winner of the Hawkes Bay Signature dish award in 2010 and 2011. Mon – Wed 7.30am – 4.00pm, Thurs – Fri 7.30am – late
- Pernel Fruit World, having burned down a few years ago, was rebuilt better than ever. They endeavour to sell only the freshest fruit and despise having to use coolstores. Often the fruit sold in the shop was picked in the orchard behind the shop that same day. They have a small fruit themed café 1412 Pakowhai Rd
- BJ's Bakery has the best pies you will ever taste. It frequently wins four or five 'Best pie in New Zealand' awards at a hit. In fact it has a wall covered with about 30 of these awards. Its suggested you get there before lunch though because the nearby workers eat all the pies. 305 Karamu Rd. Ph (06) 878 8397. It is a bit hard to find as the main part of Karamu Rd ends at the library, but it does continue on the other side.
- Lantern Light Dairy on the corner of Willowpark and Grove roads sells more KoolsChicken and Chips. The chips must be tasted to be believed. The dairy sells 1.5 tons of chips a week, more than the towns KFC. Informally considered the tastiest chips in the Bay by the locals. 509 Grove Rd, on the way to Splash Planet
- Hastings is the 'Fruit Bowl of New Zealand'. This is because it is surrounded by an abundance of market gardens on the Fertile Heretaunga Plains. There are several roadside stalls that operate on an honesty box system selling a wide variety of fruits and vegetables ranging from lemons to pumpkins to avocados. Pakowai Gardens on Pakowai road is a classic example of the vast horticultural wealth of Hastings.
- Rush Munro's Ice Cream Gardens sells natural fruit ice creams. 704 Heretaunga St West.
- Mac's Fish Supply, 1101B Heretaunga Street East. A long standing local favourite serving the best Fish and Chips in Hawkes Bay but also has huge selection of wet fish to take home and cook yourself. You can call ahead and pick the food up when you are ready. ph 06 878 8841
- Golden Spring Restaurant, 617 Heretaunga Street, ph 06 878 7980. A wide range of Chinese buffet food. It has takeaways, and a small restaurant.
- Thai Silk Restaurant 601 Karamu Road North. 06 8783718. A long standing local favourite, serving authentic Thai dishes, it has a great atmosphere and takeaways are available.
- Café Anatolia 111 Heretaunga Street East. 06 8703307. Well-priced Turkish cuisine in a relaxed, family-friendly environment. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner.
The city is surrounded by wineries and vineyards so local wine is cheap and popular, among the higher classes of wines in the world the quality is so great, wines served at major parties and dinners associated with New Zealand are usually served with Hastings wine. The towns water supply is pumped directly from the aquifer underneath the Heretaunga plains which the town is situated on. The only reason it doesn't receive an AA rating is because the council won't chlorinate the water as it is already crystal clear. This water is (obviously) used to produce the many different alcohols in the area.
- Breakers Cafe & Bar 131 Heretaunga St East (Opposite the ANZ bank). ph 06 878 6701. Serves reasonably cheap alcohol. Quite nice. Good for basically anyone to go to. Has pool tables.
- The Cru Bar King Street. ph +64 06 878 5290. A great pub with friendly atmosphere and bar staff. A good place for the backpacking crowd to mix in the summer.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under $55
|| Over $200
There are no upscale large chains operating in Hastings (i.e. The Hilton), but there is one international hotel, the Comfor Inn.
- Hastings Top 10 Holiday Park, 610 Windsor Avenue. ph +64 6 878 6692, (fax +64 06 878 6267, email: [email protected]). . Set in a beautiful tree packed park like setting. It is a short walk to the Windsor creek, Splash Planet water theme park, a dairy and Windsor park.
- The Rotten Apple Backpackers, 114 Heretaunga St East, ph 06 878 4363. In the main shopping centre, two shops down from the cinemas. It is just a single doorway opening onto the footpath, so it can he a little hard to find. It is near many bars banks and shops.
- A1 BackPackers, 122 Stortford Street, ph 873 4285. On the busy Stortford street, usually known as Stortford Road by the locals. It is near many international takeaway chains and liquor stores.
- Eco Lodge Pakowhai, 1000 Pakowhai Road. ph 06 8766 997 or mob 027 2988 910. email [email protected]
A new backpackers set in two acres of grounds at edge of town. 2.5km from Pak-n-Save. Bus #12 stops at gate.
Dorms, share and twin rooms and cabins. Include wi-fi, full kitchens, TV rooms, laundry facilities, BBQ, hammocks, off street parking. Bike hire available. Mostly backpackers long stay for seasonal work in HB.
- Valdez Motor Lodge. 1107 Karamu Road North. ph 06 876 5453 for reservations ph 0800 valdez (0800 825 339). (fax, 06 876 9497). Spanish, Elegance, Cooking Facilities, Spa/Air Bath, Queensize Beds, Air Conditioned, Pool, Parking, Quiet.
- Fairmont Motor Lodge. 1120 Karamu Rd North. ph 06 8783850 (fax 06 878 3814, fairmontmotorlodge.co.nz). A modern motel across the road from Valdez and next to a dairy.
- Cumberland Court Motel. Corner of Omahu and Maraekakaho roads. ph 06 878 6190 (or ph 0508 70 80 90. Email: [email protected])  A very stylish Motel in a bustling part of Hastings
- TownLodge, 911 East Heretauga Street, ☎ (06)8708112, 0800177117 ([email protected]). Sunny outdoor area with swings, BBQ and outdoor tables. Guest laundry available.
- Hawthorne House 1420 Railway Road South. ph +64 6 878 0035 / +64 21 142 4210 ). Tariff $250+, no minimum stay. Tariff includes home-made afternoon tea on arrival, evening drinks & canapes and luxury accommodation and breakfast. This is stunning heritage house set in 15 acres over-looking the Hawkes Bay hills
Hastings can be a base to explore the rest of Hawkes Bay. The city of Napier is close by and a trip to see the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers is an experience. For trendy shopping try Havelock North.Also try biking, hiking or driving to the top of Te Mata peak with stunning views all around the bay and to the central plateau, then hike, bike or hang-glide down the hill.
- Spain, Level 1, Farming House, 221 Market Street, ☎ +64 (6) 870-3313 ([email protected], fax: +64 (6) 471-0672).
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!