Hawkes Bay Holidays
North Island, New Zealand
Located on the south-eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay is best known as one of New Zealand's finest wine regions. There are over 40 cellar doors in the area, many offering not only wine tasting but fine dining and luxury B&B accommodation. The vineyards are set in breathtaking locations, either near the glorious coastline, or with the snow-dusted Ruahine Ranges as a backdrop. A drive through the area will reveal many hidden delights, including the lush green hills and crystal clear stream of the narrow Tuki Tuki valley. The regional city of Napier has many Art Deco buildings and you can see the best of them on the popular Heritage Walk through town. Swim with sharks at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, or learn about wine at the interactive New Zealand Wine Centre.
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Nearby East Coast (or Eastland) is recognised as the 'Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand', but it is also famous for its trout fishing streams, surfing beaches, and the veil-like Rere Falls, where you can walk right behind the waterfall, and enjoy a slippery thrill on a natural rock slide. Swim with Blue and Mako sharks in a specially designed snorkelling cage, or horse-ride along unspoilt beaches. Waka Toa Tours organise Maori cultural experiences in the area, with tours incorporating local whakapapa (history/stories), dancing, ceremonies and delicious Maori kai (food). The Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, held in the seaside town of Gisborne in February, is a spectacular Maori experience where 42 teams compete in traditional cultural music and dance.
Napier is 5 hours south-east of Auckland and 4 hours north of Wellington. A visit to this area can be combined with tours of the nearby regions of Lake Taupo and Rotorua. Napier has a domestic airport with connections from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Hotel transfers and car hire are available. Accommodation in this region is plentiful, with 3 -5 star hotels and apartments in Napier and charming B&Bs, caravan parks and small lodges in the regional and seaside areas. Hawkes Bay and Eastland have temperate climates, with cool winters and mild summers. Classic cars, vintage costume parties and 1930's glamour are on show at Napier's famous Art Deco Weekend, held on the third weekend in February every year.
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