Hastings Whats To Do
Hastings, New Zealand, is an inland city located in Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of the North Island. It is one of the two major urban civilizations in the area, only 18 kilometers from its “twin” coastal city of Napier.
From vineyards to natural gems, your family will be spoiled for choice when it comes to enjoying a holiday here in Hastings.
Located in the fertile Heretaunga Plains, Hastings has amazing agriculture, including being one of New Zealand’s major red wine producers. Being named the ‘Fruit Bowl of New Zealand’, Hastings has grown to be quite the tourist stop with its scenic landscapes and rich history. Get ready to see the best 13 things to do in Hastings!
To assist in planning the ultimate itinerary, we’ve put together our top picks for what to do on your next visit to Hastings…
- Hastings Vineyards
- Telegraph Hill Olives
- Hawkes Bay Farmers Market
- Maraetortara Falls
- Keirunga Park Railway
- Gannet Bikes
- Hastings Golf Club
- Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve
- Hastings City Art Gallery
- Focal Point Cinema
- Pekapeka Wetlands
- Te Mata Peak
- Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo
- Ocean Beach
- Osmanthus Garden
- Pakowhai Country Dog Park
Visit Hastings Vineyards!
Hastings is known as the ‘fruit bowl of New Zealand’, with the vast number of vineyards being a key reason to how it was given that name. You can easily spend a day (or two, or three…) checking out all the vineyards and indulging in some wine tasting, while the little ones snack on some delicious local fruit. While it’s hard to choose wrong, don’t miss out on Craggy Range, William Murdoch Wines and Pask Winery – three (of many!) absolute gems in this wine region.
Clearview Estate Winery
The vineyards of Clearview Estate Winery have played a significant role in the viticulture and winemaking of the Hawkes Bay area for more than 100 years.
Its convenient location in Te Awangga on the Cape Coast Hawkes Bay cycle trail allows for exhausted cyclists to stop by and relax amongst the vines in the courtyard or, on colder days, inside beside the wood fire.
Clearview Estate has something for everyone with seasonal tasting platters, brunch, lunch, and weddings. You can even lodge in the on-site historic Clearview Homestead!
Stonecroft Hawkes Bay Winery
A small, organic winery located right in Hawkes Bay is a good option for those who make health-conscious choices. Stonecroft is a family-owned business that has been making organic wines since 2010. You will have the unique experience of meeting one of the owners right at the cellar doors when you come in for one of their many wine tastings or wine platters.
Come in and see how the organic Gimblett Gravels wine is made with such passion and intense flavor!
Ash Ridge Wines
Located in the Bridge Pa Triangle on the Hereteaunga Plains, Ash Ridge Wines’ vineyard is in one of the largest wine-growing regions. All of their wines are hand-crafted, single estate wines that reflect the vineyard’s unique location. As a tourist, you can visit the Cellar Door/Tasting Room and Cafe as you tour the vineyard, sampling premium Hawke’s Bay Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
Telegraph Hill Olives
Telegraph Hill Olives are the largest producing olive grove in New Zealand. They have grown from humble beginnings to being an award-winning producer.
Today, they produce 25 tons of extra virgin olive oil and table olives annually, along with gourmet food products. Visit their tasting room to sample pesto, relish, tapenade, and dried olives to try it yourself!
Hawkes Bay Farmers Market
A great stop on a weekend, Hawkes Bay Farmers Market is every Sunday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. It is considered one of New Zealand’s best farmer’s markets.
Enjoy live entertainment, free tasting, and local goods. Come by the Hastings Showgrounds to check out the local vendors!
Located just 13 miles southeast of Hastings, Maraetotara Falls is a beautiful native forest destination. Take the short walking trail to see a cascading waterfall, and continue along the path to see an old Havelock North Power Station.
A lightning surge in 1941 took out the power station, leaving it as a piece of history.
Keirunga Park Railway
Train enthusiasts and children unite!
This railway features miniature carriages being pulled by a miniature steam locomotive, traveling the hillsides of the Keirunga Gardens of Havelock North. Sit back and relax and enjoy the nostalgic sounds of a locomotive while viewing the scenic hillsides.
Do you like to go fast, or take this a little more easy? Take a Fat Bike tour at your own pace at Gannet Bikes!
Great for geology enthusiasts, exploring Cape Kidnappers shows of the striking cliffs near the coastline. Once you’re done with your exploration of the beach, you’ll come across our beautiful Gannet Colonies, experiencing flocks of large seabirds as you’ve never seen before.
Hastings Golf Club
Sports more your thing? Come on out to Hastings Golf Club in Bridge Pa to play a round of golf. It is ranked amongst the top New Zealand golf courses, being challenging yet enjoyable in its remote and tranquil location.
After a long day out on the range, come in for victuals at the top-class Fairways Cafe where they prepare fresh gourmet food.
Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve
See the real New Zealand in a restoration project by the Department of Conservation with your own eyes at the Boundary Stream Scenic Reserve.
This project provides an environment to increase the number of native birds such as whitehead, grey warbler, tui, belbird, rifleman, fantail, tomtit, silver-eye, morepork, and kereru. Have a picnic or take a swim at Shine Falls, or take side trips to White Pine Bush, Lake Tutira, or Lake Opouahi Kiwi Reserve on your day trip.
Hastings City Art Gallery
If you are more into the history and culture of a city vs. the scenic outdoors, visiting the Hastings City Art Gallery is a good choice for you.
This free art gallery has exhibits from both local and international artists. Even if this is your second trip to Hastings, come by again because this gallery has an ever-changing style, showing off new art all the time!
Focal Point Cinema
Is your favorite picture show coming out while you’re on vacation? Stop by the Focal Point Cinema to watch mainstream movies in a quaint cinema setting.
Grab some food from the cinema cafe and take a break from all of your exploring in the comfortable cinema seats.
Explore the Pekapeka Wetlands
Hastings is home to the Pekapeka Wetlands, a restorative project put on by the Council after the region lost the majority of their wetlands post-earthquake. It’s easily accessible, nicely laid out and offers unique tranquillity that is hard to find anywhere else in Hastings. The kids will love the wildlife and you’ll love the peace and quiet you get to enjoy while roaming around.
Hike Te Mata Peak
Are you traveling on a budget? Hiking to the top of Te Mata Peak is a good option for you! Located just 7 miles southeast of Hastings, Te Mata Peak is a free stop on your trip that has breathtaking views of the Tuki Tuki River Valley and the Kaweka Ranges. If taking one of the five walking tracks to the top is not your thing, there is a driving path option as well. This is a cheap stop you will not want to miss on your visit to Hastings!
It’s hard to miss the dramatic Te Mata Peak in the Hawke’s Bay. A short drive from Hastings will bring you to a stunning hike to the top of this Peak. You’ll roam through farmland, pass lots of cows and sheep, walk through some small rivers and be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the entire region. It is easy to spend an entire day up at Te Mata Peak and an easy way to wear the kids out before bedtime!
Visit a Farm – Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo
When in Hastings, why not visit a farm? Both Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo and Funky Farm have created family friendly attractions where children and adults alike can learn and interact with farm animals for the day. You can feed and pet the animals, learn to ride a horse and enjoy a scenic picnic, all while appreciating the great efforts it takes to run a farm in Hawke’s Bay.
Take a day trip to Ocean Beach
A thirty-minute drive from Hastings will bring you to the most scenic beach in the Hawke’s Bay region – Ocean Beach. The sand is vast, the waves are big and the landscape is unreal! While it’s not always a swim-safe beach, there is plenty to do in this region. From riding horses to watching unbelievable sunrises, you can easily spend the day as a family at this top-notch beach.
Have a picnic at the Osmanthus Garden
The Osmanthus Garden in Cornwall Park offers the ideal place to enjoy a family picnic in Hastings. It’s a traditional Chinese garden that is full of pine trees and bamboo – offering a relaxing environment to lounge around in. Enjoy feeding your leftover bread to the ducks in the nearby pond and if you’re there in March, you can watch the traditional Chinese lanterns being lit at dusk.
Have an outing with the dogs – Pakowhai Country Dog Park
Dogs are an important part of any family unit, so why not take the family dog with you on your next trip to Hasting? There is a stunning dog park call known as Pakowhai Country Dog Park, where your dog will instantly find new best friends. It’s a county-styled park where the whole family can explore along the Raupare Stream and admire the carved out seats in old pine trees.
From day trips to the vineyards, beach or park, Hastings is a great place for a family holiday. Check out our Hastings holiday homes and start planning your trip!