Get Earthy in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

Located on the North Island of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay is a treasure trove of beaches, wineries, rugged landscape and incredible outdoor adventures. Bring the family for a well-rounded vacation with a diverse lineup of nature, nurture and epic beauty.

Te Urewera National Park is a hub for natural beauty and outdoor activity. Begin with some hiking and sightseeing along Lake Waikaremoana. Stop in Lou’s Lookout for a panoramic view of the lake, trails and sweeping beauty. Check out the full list of suggested hikes and trails based on difficulty and duration. This protected and historic site of the Tuhoe Maori people is perfect for camping or a daytrip.

View on Lake Waikaremoana in New Zealand, Northern Island

© Evert Frieling | Dreamstime.com

Just north of the Maraetotara Falls, across the Tukituki River, Te Mata Peak is a must-see for visitors. The private road leads travelers to one of the best views in the city with sweeping vistas including Napier, the Heretunga Plains, all of Hawle’s Bar and Mount Ruapehu and Mahia Peninsula on a clear day. While you’ve worked up an appetite and probably a thirst, check out Te Mata Winery with a tour and tasting. Even if you have non-drinkers in tow, the incredible estate and lush vineyard is worth a visit at any age.

Don’t let the name fool you: Cape Kidnappers is a family-friendly destination. Hit the links playing golf on an internationally renowned course or get out on the water kayaking and paddle boarding. Famous for its Saddle and Black Reef gannet colonies, Cape Kidnappers is a popular bird-watching region and loaded wildlife and history. Time your visit for a tour when the beloved birds return in September on a gannet safari excursion.

Bring the kids to play mini golf, beach volleyball and splash around in the water park at Splash Planet or stick to indoor activities at the National Aquarium of New Zealand and learn about local marine life.

Napier Prison

© Ramunas Bruzas | Dreamstime.com

Something a little more off-the-wall, visit Napier Prison and tour the country’s oldest penitentiary. Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m., guests take mug shots and stroll through the historic building, learning about its significance in the city and dark history.

With the varied activities running the gamete of interests, it can be overwhelming taking to Hawke’s Bay on your own. Check out individualized tours on the tourism site or opt for a closer look at a specific region with Long Island Tours. Learn about the Maori people, Hawke’s Bay’s heritage and enjoy the sites with an expert guide leading the way.