Hawke’s Bay is known as one of the sunniest places in New Zealand and winter is no exception. Even when the mercury dips, Havelock North, Hastings and Napier offer some of the best winter experiences and we’ve put together some of our top tips so you can enjoy the best of the bay this season.
1. Head indoors and enjoy a winter wine tasting. Many of our amazing wineries stay open right through winter so head inside and warm up with a winter wine tasting. Our friends at Trinity Hill are open seven days and offer a wide selection of wines for tasting in an impressive barrel hall. Craggy Range has a recently refurbished cellar door equipped with private wine tasting booths and larder section not to mention delicious wines and magnificent views. For a change of pace, head coastal for a winter-by-the-beach experience to Elephant Hill or Clearview Estate. For a full list of wineries visit the Hawke’s Bay Tourism website.
2. Cosy up by the fire at Blackbarn Bistro. Settle in for a warming lunch or dinner at Blackbarn Bistro, open Wednesdays through to Sundays. You can also take advantage of their Winter Happy Hour, available Thursdays to Saturdays 4pm – 6pm. For more see www.blackbarnbistro.com/.
3. Warm up with a walk up Te Mata Peak. Standing 399 metres above the Heretaunga Plains, Te Mata Peak is both a visual feature and an integral part of Hawke’s Bay history, Maori and European. With five walking tracks of varying fitness levels open all year round, the peak is the perfect place to soak up the views of Hawke’s Bay. For more visit http://tematapark.co.nz/.
4. Visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Located on Marine Parade in Napier, the National Aquarium of New Zealand is open daily from 9am – 5pm and is perfect for the whole family. Nowhere else in New Zealand can you experience such a large and diverse range of aquatic animals and wildlife, both native species and from around the world and you can even participate in a shark swim or hand feed the penguins. For more visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand website.
5. Take a tour of Napier city with an Art Deco walk. You’ll hear the story of the earthquake that devastated Napier in 1931 and be introduced to the Art Deco style and hear stories of the characters involved in rebuilding this city. With a range of tour options available all year round, you will find an Art Deco Trust tour to suit you on your next visit to Napier and Hawke’s Bay. For more see www.artdeconapier.com/.
6. Enjoy a long hot soak in the heated pools at Ocean Spa. Located on Marine Parade in Napier, you can relax, re-energise and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the open air, heated and chlorinated pools or outdoor spas, all the while watching the sun or moon rise over the idyllic Cape Kidnappers. With family changing rooms, lockers and qualified lifeguards on patrol at all times, Ocean Spa’s pool complex is a safe, secure and, most importantly, fun environment. Visit their website for more: www.oceanspanapier.co.nz/
7. Rug up and stay warm with an invigorating bike ride. Whether you go coastal or inland, you’ll be sure to keep your body temperature high as you meander along the limestone tracks. Our friends at Takaro Trails offer a range of tours so you can slow down and savour the sights of Hawke’s Bay. For more see http://www.takarotrails.co.nz/.
8. Wine and dine at Malo Restaurant. Enjoy award-winning cuisine right next door to the hotel at Malo Restaurant. Enjoy local seasonal produce with a modern twist complemented by an outstanding wine list featuring local and international wines. With a friendly and relaxed vibe you’ll want to settle in, linger longer and enjoy the best of Havelock North. To view the menus visit www.malo.co.nz.