The long hot summers and mild winters of the Hastings district, provide the perfect stimulant for a wide variety of delicious fresh produce. Orchards are abundant and the climate is also perfect for grape growing. The local wine industry continues to grow and each February the region celebrates with Harvest Hawke’s Bay, the country’s biggest and brightest food and wine festival. Hastings boasts some of the region’s top wineries including Te Mata Estate and Craggy Range, where wine tasting and restaurant dining can be enjoyed.
In Havelock North you will find cafes and several art galleries and during the Summer months the Saturday morning market held at Black Barn Vineyards, for all your fresh food delights. A feature looming above the hills of Havelock North is Te Mata Peak, which rises 399 metres above sea level. The peak dominates the fertile plains and provides panoramic views across to Mahia, the ski slopes of Mt Ruapehu and out towards the Ruahine Ranges. Te Mata Peak is easily accessible and offers well graded walking tracks and casual and fine dining at the Peak Restaurant.
On Yer Bike Winery Tours offers a unique, one-day, cycling experience giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy tasting some of Hawkes Bay's finest foods and wines, while at the same time, taking in the superb scenery of the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle grape growing regions on the scenic Heretaunga Plains in Hawke's Bay. Cycle past vineyards, olive groves, orchards, horse studs, and farmland - all on flat terrain with wonderful vistas. You start the tour at Ash Ridge Wines from there you can cycle to Sileni Estate, Alpha Domus, Abbey Cellars, Triangle Cellars, Ngatarawa Estate, Salvare, Trinity Hill and Te Awa. This makes up around a 20Km circuit and you can comfortably do it in around 4-5 hours depending on how long you stay for tasting wine at each winery. Alternatively you can cycle the shorter route of Ngatarawa Road and cover 6 out of the 9 wineries at a more leisurely pace, soaking up the sun and enjoying the ambiance of the wineries and surrounding countryside. Your package includes bike rental, safety helmets (compulsory in New Zealand), detailed maps and information on the wineries and full vehicle support for when "you run out of puff" or would like wine collected.
You begin your tour on the shores of Waimarama beach in the Hawkes Bay, where 800 years ago the magnificent migration waka Takitimu came ashore for the first time. Here these travellers established the great Maori fortress of Hakikino. Leaving the coast your local Maori guide will take you to explore the site of Hakikino. Walk the pathways through the last stands of native forest and wetland areas, gaining an understanding of how people lived here and why this fortress settlement was able to dominate the area for over 300 years. Next you'll return to the present day Marae for a glimpse of how the people of Hakikino live today and where the cultural heartbeat beats strongly and proudly. One of the local elders will share with you their knowledge passed from their ancestors on bush lore, folk stories, local Maori culture and language. This tour provides you with an insiders perspective on being Maori from a unique and personal point of view.
A personal encounter with the wines and winemakers of Hawke's Bay. This 5 hour tour includes a platter lunch and private tastings or rare vintage wines. This experience takes you far beyond the normal winery cellar door visit. Personally hosted by a specialist Hawke's Bay wine guide, this is a 'grape to glass' journey through the winemaking process.
You will tour up to three wineries, including one in the distinctive Gimblett Gravels terroir. With a duration of around five hours, this is the perfect afternoon excursion.
Along the way, you will meet the personalities behind some of the regions award-winning wines, walk amongst their vines and hear their stories as you sample from barrel and bottle.