Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand

Visiting the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand is a great place to visit.  We recently escaped for a week to the Hawkes Bay for some time out.  We had the best time.  Hawkes Bay wineries are world class, it has some of the best New Zealand Food and has great weather.  Napier in the Hawkes Bay is also New Zealand’s Art Deco Capital.

What to know

Getting there       Air New Zealand flies in and out of Napier daily; 5 hour drive from Auckland, 4 hour drive from Wellington

Population          150,000 in the Region

Where we stayed

There are plenty of choices for good Hawkes Bay accommodation.  We returned to one of our favourite places to stay. If you are looking for a wonderful, private yet convenient place to stay in the Hawkes Bay – check out Olive Grove cottage.  This was a wonderful place to stay, had its own kitchen and bbq area, is set amongst Olive Groves and Apple Trees – and we had access to the pool.

What to do in the Hawkes Bay

The Hawkes Bay is the ‘fruit bowl’ of New Zealand.  We arrived at the end of Summer – which as it turns out was the best time for fresh plentiful produce.  Here are our recommendations if you ever venture to the Hawkes Bay.

  • Pick your own strawberries at The Strawberry Patch.  In less than half an hour we picked 5 kilos of strawberries.  They cost $3 a kilo.  The majority ended up in glorious strawberry jam, and a decadent strawberry tart.
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Strawberry Picking at the Strawberry Patch, Havelock North
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Strawberry Patch
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Strawberry tart
  • Talk to the locals.  Our local source put us on to an elderly gentleman selling large containers of fresh raspberries at a fraction of the price in Supermarkets.  They were delicious. We became daily visitors.  We found great places to buy fresh fruit and veg, and great places for lunch.  Figs, apples, raspberries.  Goodness.



  • Hawkes Bay Restaurants are some of the best in New Zealand.  Try local restaurants for lunch – best of the bunch Ten Twenty Four.  Great food, great service, great prices.  Check it out.  Also worth checking out is Black Barn.  Plus you get to try (and buy) beautiful Hawkes Bay wine.

1024Exquisite foodBlack BarnBlack Barn Entry


  • do the cycle trails.  They are well signposted and really easy to use.  Totally a great thing. That way you will also earn your amazing lunch (see above).

cycling IMG_5669cyclingcracker day

Te AwaSileni


Our Tips

  • get a car – the only way to see and visit a breadth of places is to do so by car.  You could do it by bicycle but there are large distances involved – and you will often be on the open road with very quick moving cars and trucks
  • get out and about and try the produce the region is renowned for. Fresh from the producer is amazing – and often very reasonably priced.
  • try the many cycle trails – you can walk or cycle. It is great to get out and about in nature and know that if you stick to the path you will make it back to civilisation.

Our Next Visit

There are so many restaurants we want to try or go back to in the Hawkes Bay, Napier in particular.  Here are a few at the top of our list – any other recommendations?

We had such a great time and returned home happy, relaxed and feeling very virtuous after so much fresh fruit and veg.  The car was also laden with apples, peaches, wine and loads more fruit.  Go and check out the Bay, you won’t regret it.

If you liked this post, you may like our other posts about our homeland New Zealand




We are Cath & Andy, avid travellers who are either travelling or planning the next trip. Come along and join us for the ride as we house sit and explore new destinations. On Red Door Ponderings you will find destination guides, travel essentials we love, and information about long-term travel in your 40s and 50s with your significant other.

One Comment

  • Alina

    What an unusual aspect of things to do when travelling! I don’t think I have ever been on a fruit farm when travelling, but recently saw a video guys picking dragonfruit and thought it would be interesting to research this aspect before my next travel, and now you have persuaded me to definitely do it with this post!

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