Hawke’s Bay will spoil you for choice when it comes to activities, from action-packed cycle trails to art galleries to shopping. At Fairley Motor Lodge we’re well acquainted with what’s best about the region, and have brought together our must-do activities in Hawke’s Bay below.
1. Learn about Honey, Olives or Wine
For a real education into bees and honey, you can’t miss the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre while you’re in Hawke’s Bay, where you can visit for free or take an hour-long tour. It's a great spot for kids and adults. You can look at worker bees close-up behind glass panels, and feel the heat that they generate. You can taste a delicious range of native and pastoral honeys and see how they differ in colour, flavour and aroma between the different flower sources, and buy them at factory prices. There is also a range of skincare products available.
Telegraph Hill also offers an education experience, this time about olives. Drive up to the olive plantation where all the olives are grown, pressed and bottled. In the small store on site there is a large selection of samples to taste – different flavours of pickled olives, olive oils, dressings and condiments. You can even adopt an olive tree for a year and receive the produce from it in the mail!
And obviously Hawke's Bay is perfect for learning about wine and tasting your fair share. We love the vineyards/wineries of Church Road, Moana Park Estate, Clearview, Elephant Hill, and Craggy Range, trust us, the list is long!
2. Cycle or walk the Hawkes Bay trails
The Hawkes Bay Cycle trails are 200km of gorgeous, mainly off-road trails that take you through anything from wineries to art galleries, wildlife and coastline to cute cafes. They’re mostly flat and easy to navigate: especially perfect if you have an e-bike. Check out the Hawke's Bay Cycle Trail Guide to find a trail right for you. Happy trails for all ages - hire a bike or bring your own. We've got secure storage at Fairley Motor Lodge.
3. Farmers markets
The Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market is a must on a Sunday in Hastings. You’ll find some of the region’s best growers and artisans there – it’s amazing to be able to have a chat with them, get to know them, and buy bountiful Hawke's Bay produce direct. The vibe of the market is great too, with live music, the aromas of food being freshly cooked, and everything from chocolate to apples, coffee to hand-made cheeses on offer. There’s a smaller market in Napier on a Saturday morning, and also in summer at Black Barn Winery in nearby Havelock North.
4. Art Deco
As you explore Napier, you’ll be aware of the art deco nature of many of the buildings – to truly appreciate the history, one of the best things to do is a guided walking tour of Napier’s Art Deco highlights. These 1.5 hour walks have a local professional guide telling you about the fascinating history of the 1931 earthquake, and the aftermath – and the fast rebuild. The tours leave a few times a day from the Art Deco Centre.
Golf enthusiasts have some of their best weekends in Hawkes Bay. Cape Kidnappers is the obvious premium choice and the views are just spectacular, high above the ocean on soaring cliffs. For those that are not partial to the game, there is also a restaurant and day spa for day guests. Another favourite of ours is Bridge Pa (Hastings Golf Club), a lovely 210-acre course just a few k's down the road.
6. Shopping in Napier or Havelock North
The shopping in Napier CBD or over in the Havelock North village is amazing, with a wealth of designer clothing boutiques and high-end fashion brands. There are also art galleries, bookstores, gift shops, beauty therapy and more. In Havelock North there’s also a famous wine store called Advintage, where you can find a selection of great wines both local and international. When you’re finished with your retail therapy, you’ll find a local beverage at any number of great waterfront bars in Ahuriri, for the perfect end to a great day out.
7. Art Galleries
Hawke’s Bay is a bit of a creative hub. Have a look to see what catches your eye in the Hawke’s Bay Art Guide. Check out MTG Hawke’s Bay (Museum, Theatre, Gallery) to see what exhibitions they are running. Internationally recognised designer David Trubridge has a showroom and studio in Hastings. Stunning stone designers Ema Scott and Stephen Wheeler have a studio, Stonepeace, in Haumoana which you can view by appointment.
8. The perfect playground for families
From summer fun at Splash Planet to the cute little penguins and sea critters at the National Aquarium, or the Marine Parade skate parks and playgrounds to an amazing tractor ride to Cape Kidnappers with Gannet Beach Adventures, not only will the kids have plenty of fun, you'll have them so pooped at night, you'll be able to grab a bit of a adult time.
Hawke’s Bay is a mecca for walks and checking out our trails is one of the top things to do in Hawke’s Bay, whether you’re into sandy beaches, native forest, epic lookouts or vibrant urban landscapes. Check out some of our favourite walks below, which you’re ideally placed to explore when you stay with us at Fairley Motor Lodge.
Hawke’s Bay Trails
The Hawke’s Bay trails consist of almost 200 kilometres of fantastically scenic walking and biking trails – and most of them are fairly flat and accessible. For a decent ride or walk, we love the section from EIT Taradale to the Puketapu Pub. The lime sand path starts on the stopbank of the Tutaekuri River and takes you up through Puketapu village where you can stop at The Puketapu, an award-winning country tavern and great place for a cold beverage, a coffee or some excellent pub grub. There’s also a store there where you can buy snacks. A good section departing from Fairley Motor Lodge is to ride from Clive up to Hygge Café at Clifton along the Kidnappers Coast Trail – you’ll see loads of wetlands and vineyards.
Te Mata Peak
At 399 metres above sea level, Te Mata Peak has fantastic 360-degree views of Hawke’s Bay. From the summit you can see Napier and the Mahia Peninsula, and the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges, rising up behind the thousands of acres of fertile farmland laid out before you. While you can drive to the summit if you wish, there is 99 hectares of parkland surrounding this peak, with a number of walking or biking trails of varying lengths, from just a few minutes to 2 hours. The park includes a majestic grove of 223 Californian redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). Planted in 1927, they now stand more than 40 metres high and are a wonder to walk through.
Bell Rock and Shine Falls
If you’re up for a bit of adventure and medium-intensity walking, Bell Rock is an epic formation in the shape of an enormous bell. There is a large ledge in front of it affording spectacular views of Hawke’s Bay: Mahia Peninsula, Te Kooti’s Lookout, and the Kaweka mountain range. To reach the trail, head north on SH2 to Tutira for half an hour, and then up Matahorua Road and Pohokura Road until you reach the carpark. The walk is 3 hours return.
Alternatively, check out the nearby Shine Falls which is 1.5 hours return from the DOC carpark on Heays Access Road. This gorgeous waterfall is 58 metres high, and the track passes through farmland, lowland forest and sandstone bluffs.
Art deco walks from the i-Site
These tours are a fantastic way to get a real understanding of the history of Napier – namely the massive earthquake – and its fast rebuild that led to the unique art deco look. The guided tours leave from the Napier i-Site several times per day, and you’ll learn the stories of the tragedies and accomplishments in the aftermath. Tickets cost $28-$30.
A drive to Waipatiki Beach is an experience, this remote, breath-taking little beach is encircled by two towering cliffs and surrounded by kilometres of farmland. It offers swimming, surfing, fishing, diving and has a fresh-water stream popular with younger children who are content to paddle. Small boats can be launched from beach, and the many coastal and bush walks are well worth exploring. Check out White Pine Bush on SH2 on the way there and make sure you stop for some fresh fruit and an ice-cream at Bay View on the way home.
This is a magical stop about 30 minutes’ drive from napier, with a huge swimming hole below it that is just what you need on a hot summer’s day. There’s a historic walk there that you can also do, to learn more about the power station that used to be at the site.
Coastline near Fairley Motor Lodge
Take a stroll along the concrete pathway to Bay View for a coffee at Snapper Café or a relaxed lunch at the eclectic Crab Farm Winery. It is well worth a walk or ride. The coast is stony, but offers spectacular views back to the port and up the coast.
We hope you enjoy your time out and about enjoying the natural beauty of Hawke’s Bay. As locals we’re passionate about our region and love introducing it to our guests – please ask us if you’d like any more information, we’re always happy to help!