Central Hawke’s Bay has a great community vibe and friendly locals.
My favourite place in CHB is without a doubt Chapelwick Homestead in Porongahau. Run as a bed and breakfast with five suites available to sleep up to twelve guests, it is located in a truly idyllic spot. Set on eighteen acres of sweeping lawns and gardens, it is surrounded by coastal farmland with beautiful views of Porangahau beach. I’m not sure if I love it more for the charm of the building or the charm of host Raewyn. She always greets you with a hug like you’re a long lost friend and will stop at nothing to ensure you have a best possible stay. Call Raewyn on 06 855 5119 to find out more. www.chapelwick.co.nz
One event I always love is the CHB Festival at Pukeora Estate, Waipukurau, an annual celebration of art, music and food held in early September. Set on the hilltop of Pukeora Estate, it is an all day feast of spectacular views of Central Hawke’s Bay. Over 100 exhibitors will be on hand to tempt you with their wares and there is also an onsite art gallery, art and BBQ workshops and a whole range of entertainment to make a full fun day of it. For more information go to www.thefestival.org.nz
Also open during September are the famous Taniwha daffodils, where for the month the Mabin family kindly open their fields for people to come and pick their own daffodils. Hundreds of different daffodil varieties are planted in a park like setting of twenty acres with mature trees and ponds. With a backdrop of the snow covered Ruahine Ranges, it is a pretty magnificent sight to behold. You’re invited to bring a picnic or take advantage of the coffee, tea, ice-cream and other treats available. There is also different exhibitions to view including “Sculpture in the Daffodils” where over 40 pieces will be on show and for sale, and Flowers on the Water-an exhibition of floating floral sculptures. Admission is free and all proceeds from daffodil sales go to Plunket. At $3.50 for a bunch of 30, you are getting a great bargain as well as supporting a wonderful cause. Taniwha daffodils is on SH2 just past the Waipukurau golf course and is open daylight hours throughout the month of September. www.taniwhadaffodils.co.nz