Hawke's Bay  is a district on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
An artist impression of Hawke's Bay
- Elsthorpe - rural New Zealand
- Morere - hot springs and bush walks
- Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (translates as The hilltop, where Tamatea with big knees, conqueror of mountains, eater of land, traveller over land and sea, played his flute to his beloved)
The Hawke's Bay district gets its name from Hawke Bay, the large bay in the eastern coastline.
Hawke's Bay was one of the provinces when New Zealand was colonised by British settlers in the mid nineteenth century. The flat fertile land has been developed for farming. Initially sheep, later beef and dairying as well as forestry, orcharding and cropping. The warm dry sunny climate makes it ideal for winegrowing and the vineyard industry has developed strongly in recent years.
InterCity operates daily bus services from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and many other towns and cities in the North Island.
- State Highway 2 passes through the centre of Napier and Hastings and the provincial towns.
- State Highway 5 - the Napier-Taupo road - joins State Highway 2 just north of Napier.
- If travelling from the south, State Highway 50 provides a scenic route that is more direct to Napier However will bypass Waipukurau, Waipawa and Hastings. This road is of a slightly lower standard than State Highway 2 and has some narrow winding sections that need to be taken slowly as well as a couple of single lane bridges with sharp approach coners at the bottom of steep grades, so take care.
- If travelling from Taihape, the historic Taihape road over the Kaweka Ranges could be entertaining. It has an incrediably steep bit called the 'Gentle Annie' and the store keeper at the bottom kept a team of draught horses especially to carry wagons over this piece of road. It comes out at Fernhill, halfway between Hastings and Napier.
- Hawke's Bay Airport serves the region with domestic flights.
- Cruise liners often visit the port of Napier and allow day excursions around Hawke's Bay. If you are visiting it would be wise to hire a car if you are interested in exploring.
There are no scheduled passenger rail services to Hawke's Bay, however excursions and tours operate semi-often. Rail is a great way to view vistas not easily accessible by road. The most frequent companies operating rail tours to Hawke's Bay are:
- Steam Incorporated operates restored heritage carriages, steam and diesel locomotives, giving the authenticity of a typical train journey of the mid-20th century.
- Mainline Steam operates restored steam locomotives and comfortable, newly-refurbished carriages with panoramic windows.
- Pukekohe Travel often organizes group rail tours making use of KiwiRail's small, fast Silver Fern railcar.
- Cape Kidnappers - gannet colony and panoramic views of the bay
- Te Mata peak - drive to the top for panoramic views
- National Aquarium of New Zealand has a reef tank, a travelator which spirals its way beneath the enormous Oceanarium, creating the impression of a true underwater experience, and a typical New Zealand rocky shore environment. There are sharks, stingray and hundreds of fish species, many of them representative of the catches from along the East Coast. There are eels, trout, sea horse, turtles, octopus, tropical marine fish, kiwi, tuatara, water dragons, native frogs and crocodile also on display.
View of Napier and Taradale from Sugar Loaf (behind Mission Winery)
- Hawke's Bay Wine Tours. Hawke's Bay is the country's oldest winemaking region, and tours depart Napier at 1PM, returning at 5PM. The tours visit 4-5 local wineries for tastes of Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and other wines as well as local cheeses.
- Coastal Wine Cycles, 41 East Rd, Te Awanga, ☎ 06 280 5352, . We rent classic beach-cruiser bicycles to explore the coastal wineries and other attractions of Te Awanga. There is a dedicated cycleway along the coast linking the wineries. $40. edit