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Blessed with gloriously sunny weather and a mild, Mediterranean-style climate, this region specialises in producing some of the country’s most delicious food & wine. If you enjoy getting to know a country’s people by enjoying the best of their cuisine, look no further than the foodie delights on offer in the Hawke’s Bay.
Direct from producer to plate
If possible, try to make your time in the Hawke’s Bay include a Sunday. Sundays mean one thing in this part of the world – bustling, delicious Farmer’s Markets, where you can taste everything from a slice of artisan-style cheese or a handful of juicy, fresh cherries. Steaming cup of coffee in hand, enjoy sampling freshly-baked breads, cured meats, olives, fresh veggies and gourmet chocolates to a live music soundtrack. One of the most delicious Farmer’s Markets in the country, make sure you make time to stop and chat to the producers themselves. Friendly and laid-back, they’ll delight in chatting to you about their passion for high quality food and for living in the Hawke’s Bay.
Distinct, world-class vineyards
Dotted in Hawke’s Bay’s river valleys and on the plains that lie between mountain ranges are some of New Zealand’s top vineyards. The region’s warm climate and long growing season makes for deliciously full, Bourdeaux-style reds and aromatic whites. Wineries are a mix of large, multi-region labels as well as tiny, family-owned boutique wine producers – all with a shared passion for beautiful wine and a love for this unique region. It’s easy to tie wine-tasting experiences into your visit. Make the most of the sunshine by taking a cycle tour and pedalling your way through country lanes, weaving between the vines with frequent stops for a sip of chardonnay or a taste of merlot. Or, make your way to one of the many vineyard restaurants and enjoy a long outdoor lunch of fabulously fresh, tasty cuisine matched perfectly with wine produced from the local grapes.
An Art Deco adventure
Work up an appetite exploring the art deco architecture of Hawke’s Bay’s Napier. Napier was hit by a large earthquake in 1931 that destroyed much of the city, and was then rebuilt in Art Deco style. Napier’s city centre will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time; buildings here reflect the styles of Stripped Classical, Art Deco and Spanish Mission. See if you can spot the Maori motifs incorporated into the buildings to give them more New Zealand character - koru’s and zigzags dot much of the cityscape.
Does a few days in the Hawke’s Bay sound like a worthwhile addition to your New Zealand vacation? Let First Light Travel do the leg work. Because we’re kiwis ourselves, we can recommend our picks of boutique Hawke’s Bay accommodation as well as our favourite vineyard cycling tours. We’ll tailor your New Zealand vacation to suit exactly what you want – leaving more time for you to enjoy relaxing in the Hawke’s Bay sunshine, glass of chilled Chardonnay in hand. Contact us here, or find out more about what we can offer on our website.