What We Did Down in the Hawke's Bay

So, another trip we did with Grant's parents when they were out here visiting us, was a four day stay down in the Hawke's Bay. Grant and I hadn't been to this part of the country before, but we'd heard that it was so lovely and definitely worth a visit - so we booked our flights and off we went.

Hawke's Bay is situated on the east coast of the North Island and is known for its beaches and great wineries. We based ourselves in the quaint art deco town of Napier and then drove out to visit Hastings and Havelock North while we were there - both places not very far away by car.

First up I'd like to show you our fabulous accommodation in Napier. The amazing hotel where we stayed is called The Masonic Hotel - an art deco style hotel perfectly situated near to the beach and the town centre. I fell in love. Please note, that despite my upcoming enthusing, this is not, in fact, a sponsored post.

The welcoming entrance hall/lobby is a brilliant introduction to what lies beyond.

Off the lobby is the Emporium Lounge where you can enjoy a meal or try one of their tasty cocktails.

I'm not sure it's clearly visible, but they have so many vintage items on display all around the hotel - everyday items from the art deco era.

The Emporium Eatery and Bar can be found on the ground floor too - we had dinner there one night as well as a very lovely breakfast one morning. I love that it is conveniently situated downstairs and that the decor is also in line with the rest of the hotel.

And then we come to the bedrooms. OMG. Too much. In love. 

Those bedrooms were awesome! Not my usual style, but I can certainly appreciate some art deco when I'm travelling! I loved it.

And one of the famous visitors to this hotel back in the day was none other than...

We got a little peek into that suite one morning when the cleaner kindly let us wander around in there. Very cool. It had its own little patio area too.

So Napier is all about the art deco vibe. And so many of its buildings are fashioned in that style, from that era. It's always fun to get to experience something a little bit different when you're on an adventure, isn't it?

We walked a good length of the waterfront on our arrival and saw this lovely statue down in a park near the beach:

Pania sits right next to this lovely fountain overlooking the ocean that apparently took her life, poor thing.

We also visited the museum - MTG Hawke's Bay - which sits just across from the hotel. They have a whole section dedicated to the huge Hawkes Bay earthquake of 1931 (also known as the Napier earthquake) which occurred on the morning of the 3rd of February and killed 256 people.

The personal stories and videos that they have on exhibit in the museum are both fascinating and heartbreaking. We spent a good length of time soaking all of that in as we walked around that section of the museum. If you find yourself in Napier, do go and take a look. The coverage from that devastating day is so well documented. The destruction and loss are almost palpable.

And as I mentioned before, we also took a drive out to Hasting and Havelock North while we were there. And boy did I fall in love again. (Lots of falling in love on this trip, apparently.) Havelock North, especially, was so incredibly beautiful. We took a slow drive around the winding roads in that wine region, stopping off at Craggy Range on our way to our lunch booking. 

That place is so striking. Take a look.

We then headed off for lunch at the Black Barn Bistro which also has a very pretty setting, an awesome little store and the most delicious food.

We spent a while lying on some bean bags in the vineyards after we'd finished our meal - and that was the perfect ending to a sublime day.

And then on another day, we headed out to do some wine tastings at two other well-known wine farms in the surrounding area. First stop was to Mission:

And after a great wine tasting we walked down the road to our next stop, and where we had booked lunch on that day - Church Road:

The food at Church Road was also sooooo good. And we ate lots of it. But special mention must be made of the wine because Church Road makes some of our favourite wine in New Zealand. 

We had such a lovely afternoon here.

And other than that, I did some more walking along the beachfront in Napier, coming across these lovely sights along the way:

And then it was time to head back to Auckland. Did I tell you that the regional flight down to Napier is on one of those propellor-type planes?! Pretty scary, but luckily only a one hour flight from Auckland to Napier over some pretty spectacular countryside.

After doing this little trip, we've decided that we'd really like to start seeing more of our country again. There is so much that we have yet to explore and experience in this beautiful place we now call home. 

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