Hotels in Hastings, New Zealand
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Hastings: The Heart of Hawke’s Bay
One of two major cities in beautiful Hawke’s Bay, Hastings boasts a Mediterranean-like climate, internally acclaimed wineries, and a thriving arts scene. Add in unique Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture, built after a devastating earthquake in 1931, and you have yourself a great spot for a holiday in New Zealand. Accommodation options vary considerably, so whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly hangout for backpackers or would prefer to stay in one of the city’s polished five-star hotels, you’re sure to feel right at home.
New Zealand is a fabulous place to be outdoors and Hastings more than lives up to the reputation. Outdoor adventure comes easy here. A must-do for many visitors is to head off on a jeep safari tour to Hawke’s Bay Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony, the largest Gannet nesting place in the world. Helicopter tours are also popular, especially with those visitors who want to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Tongariro National Park. If you prefer water-based activities, multi-day rafting trips to Kaweka Forest Park are easily accessible. And if you like to take life at a slower pace, or are perhaps traveling with children, Hawke’s Bay Farmyard Zoo and Hawke’s Bay Golf Centre offer a relaxed entertainment option. Cycling is another family-friendly activity, with guided tours of Pan Pac Eskdale Mountain Park among the most popular routes.
Art, Culture, and Heritage
Getting a culture fix comes easy in Hastings. You can kick things off by enjoying a leisurely stroll around the Hastings Community Arts Centre. Set in a stunning Spanish Mission building, the centre features the work of local artists and changes its exhibitions a few times a month. Additional stops on your artistic itinerary could include the Hastings City Art Gallery, and the Birdwoods Gallery and Sculpture Garden, the latter also home to a delightful old fashioned sweet shop. Another cultural highlight available to visitors is a trip to the award-winning Maori Hakikino Conservation Reserve. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of public art installations in both Hastings city centre and nearby Havelock North, as well as a wide range of heritage trails such as the Ahuriri Walk, the Morere District and Highway 50.
Markets and Shopping
There’s a distinct lack of flash shopping malls in Hastings although a decent selection of stores can be found dotted around King, Queen, and Market Streets. Shopping in this city more often takes the form of a leisurely browse around a local market. The Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market, one of the oldest markets of its kind in New Zealand, takes place in Hastings (every Sunday on Kenilworth Road), offering a variety of local produce. On Thursday evenings between September and April you can also pay a visit to the Hastings City Night Market (Heretaunga Street). This market offers a diverse selection of street food stalls, kids’ activities and local arts and crafts. It’s also worth popping over to nearby Havelock North where Arataki Honey (Arataki Road) offers family fun and local honey shopping.
Wine and Dine
Hastings, along with Napier and Havelock North, comprises New Zealand’s oldest winemaking region so a visit here wouldn’t be complete without taking in some of the area’s 100 wine producers. Some of the best cellar doors include Church Road and the Mission Estate, both of which were established in the 1800s, although modern establishments such as Elephant Hill and Te Awa shouldn’t be overlooked. Many of the wineries in the region have an on-site restaurant - some of the best places to enjoy lunch alongside a glass of your favourite tipple include the Crab Farm Winery, De La Terre Winery & Cafe, and the Clearview Estate Winery & Restaurant. And if you’d prefer to grab a quick bite to eat in town, you’ll find everything from Thai to Indian food on offer in and around Queen Street.
When it’s time for a little sightseeing, the area around Hastings doesn’t disappoint. It’s well worth taking the 20-minute train journey to Napier where attractions include historic Napier Prison, the Napier Art Deco historic precinct, and the New Zealand National Aquarium. And if you visit in February, you can enjoy the annual 1930s celebration when seemingly all the locals dress up in vintage clothes, hit the roads in classic cars, and listen to soulful jazz music. You might also like to squeeze in some fairway time at the world-renowned Cape Kidnappers Golf Course or enjoy a stroll among the beautiful landscape surrounding Maraetotara Falls. And in the evening, the bars and clubs in the bustling harbourside suburb of Ahuriri provide the perfect setting for late night entertainment.
Price rangefrom £29to £569
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