Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay

There are two words that sit with Hawke’s Bay and they are Wine Country.

Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest regions and this has made it one of the country’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and latterly syrah – but also with some quite stunning whites. But there is much more than wine to this glorious place. It is New Zealand’s Art Deco centre, rebuilt in the 1930’s after a huge earthquake. It hosts the country’s most elaborate celebrations of Matariki – the Maori New Year. It’s a place where you can shop at the farmers market for locally grown delicacies, indulge in artisan gourmet food, and join the lunchers at Napier’s Great Long Lunch. And it’s a place where you can walk the forest trails of the Ruahine and Kaweka Forest Parks or the glorious beaches that stretch along the coast.

Whilst the Hawke's Bay is definitely a paradise for wine lovers, for golfers, there is an equally compelling reason to head to the region - Cape Kidnappers. Possibly one of the world's most photographed golf courses, Cape Kidnappers is another staple of New Zealand's top ten golf courses and also features in the world's top 100 courses, ranked 55 in 2024. The course’s most famous hole is also its most feared, the 650-yard, par-5 15th, which falls away on both sides of the fairway and sports a horizon green perched precariously on a bluff overlooking the ocean. This is a "must play" on any golfer's visit to New Zealand.

Whilst Cape Kidnappers deservingly takes all the plaudits, if you are looking for something closer to Napier, Hastings Golf Club, also known as Bridge Pa, is a wonderful course that will provide a challenge to golfers of all levels.

Activity recommendations

  • Take a tour of the world class wineries.
  • Enjoy lunch or dinner at Craggy Range or Elephant Hill winery.
  • Walk amongst the Art Deco buildings in Napier.
  • Visit the largest mainland gannet colony in the world at Cape Kidnappers.
  • Visit the national aquarium on Napier’s seafront.