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Hawke's Bay

Photo of Hawke's Bay

About Hawke's Bay

The Hawke’s Bay region stretches around Hawke’s Bay from Cape Kidnappers to the Mahia Peninsula via Hastings, Napier and Wairoa. This was one of the original British colonies, chosen for its flat, fertile land and warm, sunny climate. Some of the best places to stay in Hawke’s Bay are the old farmsteads and lodges, many of which have been converted into small, but luxurious hotels or B&Bs.

As well as proving successful for sheep farming and crop growth, which were the original colony’s main trades, this land has also been ideal for dairy and cattle farming and wine growing. So it’s a great place for foodies who like their scenery dramatic!

Aside from the beauty of the bay and the peaks and peninsulas surrounding it, the Hawke’s Bay region is also known for its Art Deco era architecture, with both Napier and Hastings boasting some of New Zealand’s finest 30s and 40s era structures. Unfortunately much of this was built after a deadly earthquake flattened many buildings in the area, but the result is charming for modern visitors.

Napier is very much the sunny seaside town, while Hastings is more of a commercial hub, set in amongst orchards between dramatic Te Mata Peak and the sea.

If you’re in search of a perfect beach then the Mahia Peninsula will be a pleasure to your eye, with its bright blue sea, dramatic cliffs and pristine sand.

But the Hawke’s Bay region is more about the land than the centres. There’s Te Urewera National Park with its massive expanse of virgin forest and vast central lake, Lake Waikaremoana - the Sea of Rippling Waters; the Ruahine Ranges, which slice between Hawke’s Bay and the Central Plateau, offering a dense, wild forest perfect for exploring on foot; and the Whirinake Forest with its dramatic canyons and waterfalls.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Hawke's Bay make ideal bases to explore this fascinating and beautiful region, whether you're here for the wineries, the beach or the National Park.

For families

  • The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is a six thousand acre sheep farm with a charming, 23 room hotel. The accommodation is rustic but elegant, with incredible views of both the bay and the farm. There’s some amazing birdlife in this area, and the farm is criss-crossed with walking, riding and mountain biking trails.

For luxury

  • Greenhill Lodge is a beautiful five room lodge set in 73 acres of lush farmland. The rooms are charming, with open fireplaces, freestanding baths, private terraces and antique furniture. There’s also a pool, gym and three storey viewing turret.

Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay on Hawke’s Bay, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Or widen the net and take a look at all our North Island recommendations.

Best Hotels in Hawke's Bay

  • The Farm at Cape Kidnappers 23 rooms from $495

    Hawke's Bay

    Charming luxury accommodation in the heart of 6000 acre sheep farm. Rooms are rustic and elegant, with top modern amenities and fantastic sea and farm views. Great walking, riding and mountain biking tracks on property, as well as bird life. Family friendly rural retreat.

    Golf  -  Private, award winning golf course
    Birdwatching  -  Cape Kidnappers is the home of the largest mainland gannet colony in the world
    Great walks  -  Variety of trails including forest, ocean and cliff walks
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
    Check prices
  • Greenhill Lodge 5 rooms from $504

    Hastings, Hawke's Bay

    High-end Lodge on 73 acres of lush farmland. Charming antique-filled rooms with open fireplaces, large double beds, private terraces and free-standing baths. With an outdoor swimming pool, gym and three storey viewing turret. Perfect for a romantic getaway.

    Views  -  Viewing turret 3 storey's high looks across gardens and Te Mata Peak
    Back to Nature  -  Set on 73 acres
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Check prices