Hastings is situated on the east coast of the North Island and enjoys a very temperate climate – it’s no surprise that so many vineyards are located in this region. There are sixty five dotted around the area, and it’s easy to spend a day or two quietly exploring several of them.
Hastings itself is an extremely arty place, the cultural scene is just part of a thriving community in this vibrant town. Restaurants serve internationally renowned cuisine and of course the best New Zealand wines. The café scene is busy and bustling, as are the the local bars.
The region boasts splendid sandy beaches where you can soak up the sunshine or take part in the many water activities along the coast. There is much to see in this part of New Zealand, including a drive up to nearby Te Mata Peak. Hiking in this area is superb, with great views of the world below and out along the coastline.
There are festivals and events in Hastings nearly every month, with thousands of visitors descending on the area every year to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Superb food, outstandingly good wines and long hours of summer sunshine make Hastings a top holiday destination for Kiwis and foreigners alike.
If you happen to be in town on a Sunday morning, be sure to take a tour around the local farmer’s market. You’ll find amazing local fresh produce sold there, but the friendly country atmosphere is the best part. A visit to Rush Munro’s old fashioned ice cream garden is also a must, especially to relax on a warm afternoon after a day spent exploring!
If you want to explore the surrounding areas then take a ride out to Havelock North which is a charming small town surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. There’s an award winning cheese factory to check out, as well as a very sticky honey outlet … and of course you get to sample the goods!
Finding places to stay in and around Hastings is pretty easy and there’s something for everyone in the area. Fishermen can indulge themselves in their passions, adventurers can go off exploring the amazing countryside and adrenalin rush seekers can jet boat or white water raft down the crystal clear rivers in the region.
Best time to visit: The weather is best in summer and early autumn (November through April), with the grape-harvesting season of late summer being the ideal time to visit.
How long to spend there: A day or two in Hastings, another day exploring the vineyards and surrounding areas.