If it's a nice day as you're driving through Waipukurau, check out the local airport. This is where gliders and hot air balloons come out to play.
Waipukurau, which translates to something like ‘river of edible fungus’, is a rural service town with a passion for aviation. When conditions are right, the airfield is buzzing with activity. Gliding and hot air ballooning are popular here. Other favourite local activities include golf and trout fishing. A charming settler's museum gives visitors an insight into the early days of the central Hawke's Bay.
If you’ve always wanted to sample country life, a Waipukurau farmstay promises an authentic experience, but there are also a range of motels on offer. Ask at the information centre about private gardens you can visit. The town centre also has a number of cafés and restaurants.