Hawke's Bay & Gisborne

Epic sunrises, award-winning vineyards & fascinating local culture


The Eastern corner of the North Island is a much underrated region of New Zealand. Sure, Hawke's Bay draws plenty of visitors with its world-class wineries and summer concerts, and Rhythm & Vines attracts teenagers to Gisborne every year. But there's so much more to these places. Atop Mount Hikurangi you can be the first in the world to watch the sun rise. Along East Cape you'll discover beautiful coastline, tiny fishing villages and Māori communities and the iconic East Cape lighthouse. 

Along the coast en route to Napier you can stop off at Tolaga Bay Wharf and join locals in jumping off into the sparkling blue water. Go for a walk along the family-friendly and historically facinating Cook's Cove Walkway too if you get the chance. In and around Gisborne there are opportunities to get out and about on the water, up close with stringrays and other marine life and sample some of the region's simple but delectable food. 

Head to Napier and explore its streets lined with Art Deco style buildings, and venture off on a day or long weekend trip to visit the many vineyards in the Hawke's Bay region - we recommend a cycling tour. There is no shortage of splendid views out this way - the Mahia Peninsula and Cape Kidnapper's are well worth a stop. The adventurous might like to admire a panoramic outlook of the Hawke's Bay region by hiking up Te Mata Peak before exploring the grove of impressive California redwoods at its foot. 

There's so much to see and do in the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne. A long weekend will serve you well but we guarantee you'll want to come back for more! Chat to one of our expert travel consultants about how to make the most of a holiday here.

Things you should know about the Hawke's Bay & Gisborne

Cape Kidnappers is home to the world's largest mainland colony of gannets. 

The lighthouse at East Cape, the most easterly lighthouse in New Zealand, was first lit in 1900.

Captain Cook first set foot on New Zealand soil in 1769 near Waikanae Beach.

Tips and advice from our travel advisors

No visit to the Gisborne district is complete without sampling some of our magnificent vineyards or taking in the Railbike Adventure. Maybe feed the Stingrays with Dive Tatapouri including a Reef Ecology Tour, visit Tolaga Bay, walk the wharf (longest in the Southern Hemisphere), do the Cooks Cove Walkway, or visit Eastwood Hill, New Zealand's National Arboretum.
Graham Elliott
World Travellers Elliott Travel
Drive up Te Mata Peak in Havelock North for a fantastic rural view. Definitely check out a local winery or two (there are over 70 in the Hawke's Bay region!), drive along Marine Parade and through town to check out the Art Deco buildings, and perhaps visit Hot Chick for some yummy rotisserie chicken by the beach.
Michelle Rook
World Travellers Galaxy Travel

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