Hawkes Bay, North Island
Welcome to Hawkes Bay
On the East Coast of the North Island, Hawkes Bay takes its name from the large semi-circular bay (Hawke Bay) extending from Cape Kidnappers to the Mahia peninsula. Hawkes Bay has a population of around 150,000, with the majority of people living in the two main cities in the region, Napier and Hastings, both of which were virtually wiped by the devastating earthquake of 1931.
Longest place name - In the Guinness Book of Records for being what is believed to be the longest place name in the world (with 85 letters), the Maori name for Hawkes Bay is:
This reputedly translates to: "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as 'landeater,' played his flute to his loved one." With beautiful landscapes, forests, mountains and one hundred kilometres of golden beaches, the region is renowned for its warm, dry climate and great outdoor living. The region is one of the country’s largest pip fruit growing areas and is also home to one of only two mainland gannet colonies in the world.
Napier (‘Ahuriri’ in Maori) was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City. The Art Deco style was at the height of its popularity in the 1930s, and its influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities. Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!
The main centre of commerce and industry in the region, Hastings is the largest urban area in Hawkes Bay. Hastings is known as the ‘fruit bowl’ of New Zealand because of its fruit and wine industry. Hastings also has lots of family attractions, including Amazing Maze, Pernel Fruitworld and Hawkes Bay Museum, not forgetting the leisure park, Splash Planet; New Zealand’s first full themed water park.