Napier is the main city (alongside its twin, Hastings) in the Hawke’s Bay region and a fantastically unique one, famous for being rebuilt with unique Art Deco architecture after an earthquake in 1931 destroyed the town – examples include the Municipal Theatre. Head to the charming seaside village of Ahuriri, home to quirky shops, art galleries, and a boutique cinema.
Hawke’s Bay is one of the warmest and sunniest parts of New Zealand with a Mediterranean-style climate, and the second largest wine region in the country. It has hilly coastal land around the north and central bay and is known around the world for the quality of its wines, particularly its rich Chardonnays. Be sure to explore the rolling vineyards and book a wine tasting tour.
The region also has some underrated beaches, too. Mahia Beach in the north is long and sandy with warm water, and a favourite with swimmers. You can go fishing, diving and surfing on a number of beaches along the Mahia Peninsula, and the beaches of Waipatiki and Tangoio a little further south are popular in the summer while still being fairly secluded.
Hawke’s Bay region is also home to the second longest place name in the world, a hill south of Waipukurau in the Central Hawke's Bay District. It’s called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu, which roughly translates to 'place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as land-eater, played his flute to his loved one'… it’s usually shortened to Taumata.