Reasons Why Hawkes Bay is the Fruit Bowl of New Zealand
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand: it’s a land of great food, incredible wine, fabulous shopping, and one of beautiful holiday destinations with scenic outdoor activities year round! Come to this fun and fashionable, delicious and decadent east coast region, dubbed the “fruit bowl of New Zealand,” and discover Hawkes Bay hospitality!
Hawkes Bay – the Fruit Bowl!
They don’t call Hawkes Bay the fruit bowl of New Zealand for nothing. Long daylight hours of warm sunshine, and fertile plains have not only made Hawkes Bay an extremely attractive place to visit, but also one of New Zealand’s most productive growing regions. The roads winding between the main centres of Napier, Hastings and Havelock North bring you along fields of blossoming orchards and charming vineyards.
Hawkes Bay fruit is well known for its delicious taste, robust colour, and wide array of fruit varieties beginning in late November with cherries and early nectarines, followed by peaches, apricots, plums and finally apples through to May.
The Hawkes Bay climate is absolutely the best for producing high quality fruits, and the clean artesian water supply provides the trees with water throughout the dry summer period. An artesian aquifer such as the one in this case, is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This creates a situation where the water levels in the wells will rise to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached. When a well is drilled into such an aquifer is called an artesian well, and Hawkes Bay’s are credited for the sustainable fruit seasons throughout the summer.
Over half of New Zealand’s apples are produced here in Hawkes Bay, and forty percent of the nation’s summerfruit, or stone fruit come from this region. Seasonal work opportunities on orchards and vineyards are nearly year round, and many of Hawkes Bay’s residents are employed in fruit production.
Pick Your Own New Zealand Fruit in Hawkes Bay!
With Hawkes Bay being known as fruit bowl of New Zealand, there is never shortage of great quality fruit. Some of it can be hand picked yourself when you visit the “pick your own” grower farms – you can’t get much fresher than that!
Ruby Glen Orchard – PYO Raspberries (summer and autumn), Blackberries (summer and autumn). Also Tayberries and Boysenberries.
92 Powdrell Road Meeanee Napier
The McPhail family owns and operates a boutique orchard called Ruby Glen on the south side of Napier city in Hawkes Bay, which was established in 1997. The orchard seasonally grows a wide variety of produce which includes berryfruit, cherries, summerfruit and sub tropical fruits as well. You can pick your own berries at Ruby Glen (subject to supply):
- Black and Red Currants
- Blackberries & Autumn Raspberries
The Strawberry Patch – pick your own strawberries,
Havelock Rd, Havelock North
The Strawberry Patch is another “pick your own” fruit farm located in Hawkes Bay, on the outskirts of Havelock
North. Almost two decades ago, owners Shelagh and Neil Manning had the opened the doors of a little red shed selling strawberries, ice creams and summer produce to the community. Ever since that day, the business has grown into an must-do Hawkes Bay destination, and an iconic Hawkes Bay experience for locals and tourists alike.
Strawberries are The Strawberry Patch’s obvious and biggest draw, and they’re grown onsite and hand picked daily. The Strawberry Patch grows three different varieties of strawberries: the Camarosa, the Camille Royal, and the Albion which is a new later variety. The Strawberry Patch’s strawberry season runs from October through to May. The farm grows as much produce for the shop as they can each year.
Hawkes Bay Culture
Hawkes Bay has a celebrated lifestyle which offers visitors to the region a warm and sunny climate, breezy al fresco dining experiences, safe and refreshing beaches for swimming, great fishing opportunities, quaint cafes, romantic vineyards and wine tastings, expansive scenic vistas, and fun shopping. It’s a very welcoming region and it won’t take long for you to fall in love with its charm.
Vivacious Hastings and Havelock North both have an eclectic array of shops and various cafés, and there are other vibrant communities and gorgeous sunny beaches to discover if you explore Hawkes Bay a little further south in the hinterland, along with walking trails and hunting opportunities in the surrounding ranges.
The many art galleries and exhibitions you will come across in Hawkes Bay showcase the region’s proud arts scene and rich culture. The city of Napier is home to world renowned examples of art deco style architecture, gourmet food and fresh local produce. February is the Art Deco Weekend month, and Harvest Hawke’s Bay, just two of many fun filled events in the region.
Napier’s Tremains Art Deco Festival: A Trip Back in Time
Art Deco Trust
7 Tennyson Street PO Box 133, Napier
Phone +64 6 835 0022
The tens of thousands of festival goers taking in the 1930s atmosphere created in the heart of the city of Napier gives off the vibe that you have somehow been transported back in time to the era of glitz and glamour! Every year, New Zealand’s Art Deco capital of Napier, celebrates its Art Deco festival in February with roughly 125 events, including various entertainers, outdoor concerts, fabulous vintage car parades, stylish fashions shows, dining experiences featuring the best food in Hawkes Bay, great Gatsby picnics and many more activities. More than 40,000 people are known to flock from all over the globe to join the rest of Napier as it travels back in time. Great food, great music, dancing, art, fashion it’s all here at the Art Deco Festival.
Hawkes Bay – Famous for Wine
The fruit bowl of New Zealand includes a wide variety of locally produced wines. Many varietals of grape are grown in Hawkes Bay vineyards, and a lot of these growers open their doors to the public for tours of their vineyards and cellars, including wine tastings. Some even have accommodations and restaurant establishments and feature a range of other activities in the Hawkes Bay region. If you like good Australian wine, you won’t want to miss out on an opportunity to check out some of Hawkes Bay’s finest vineyards!
Mission Estate Winery
Address: 198 Church Road Taradale Napier
Tel: +64 (0)6 845 9350
The Farmhouse at the Mission Estate Winery is an elegant three bedroom house, resting amongst the vines. Each of the three double bedrooms featured in this amazing Hawkes Bay vineyard house features an ensuite, a TV, a heatpump and WiFi. Remarkably refurbished in contemporary French country style, the living space’s open plan offers a modern kitchen, a comfortable dining area and a spacious living room area. Chilly Hawkes Bay winter nights are warmed by the home’s gas fireplace, which gives the place a warm and cosy atmosphere. Open air dining areas lead you out into the property’s newly landscaped gardens, and along the property over to the spa pool which is for your exclusive use. The Mission Estate Winery’s Farmhouse is also fully wheelchair accessible and has been designed with care to make sure it offers ramp access, wide doorways and a separate wheelchair-accessible bathroom.
A quick ten minute drive from Napier and the airport, The Farmhouse is also merely a five minute walk to the fine dining Mission Restaurant which is open for lunch or dinner. The Farmhouse is gloriously set against a backdrop of the attractive and ever-changing grape vines, and it’s the absolute perfect accommodation option for weekend escapes, weddings, or any other occasion. A complimentary bottle of Mission Fête sparkling wine is yours upon arrival. A continental breakfast is optional, and can be pre arranged at a cost of $10 per person when you are arranging your booking. The breakfast option is cereal, milk, yogurt, peaches, fresh bread and a variety of different spreads. Wake up and enjoy a filling and delicious start to the day within the comfort of the Farmhouse, and then take a quick walk to the Mission Restaurant later for your lunch and dinner meals – or alternately take advantage of the many dining options Hawkes Bay has to offer.
The Mission Estate cellar door is famous throughout Hawkes Bay and the rest of New Zealand, and is one of the most visited in the entire country. The cellar itself has undergone a multitude of challenges such as a relocation, fires, earthquakes, expansion and (more recently) the completion of the astounding underground cellar. Join a group at The Mission Estate on a historic tour, and indulge in a tasting of an extensive range of award-winning wines.
Hawkes Bay Farmers Market – A Taste of Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay takes pride in its fruit, vegetables and other produce that comes so naturally to this ideal growing region. People yearning for a place where you can peruse and purchase food and goods the old-fashioned way should definitely come check out Hawkes Bay Farmers Market. Meet with the growers and chat about the season, talk with the producer or maker, and about their products and practices.
Wander the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market grounds at your own pace, and stroll around the market taking in the vibrant sights and smells, listening to local music and entertainment, and finding out about a diverse range of New Zealand products grown and produced locally in Hawkes Bay – ranging from hand-made cheeses, artisan breads, old fashioned ice-cream, decadent chocolates and locally produced meat products to seasonal fresh fruits from the fruit bowl of New Zealand, fresh vegetables and quality seafood. Grab a cup of hot, freshly roasted coffee and your choice from a selection of breakfast fare as you enjoy the market’s live music and soak in the social good vibes and DIY atmosphere. There is no better way to get fresh produce than to shop for a wide range of locally grown and produced foods at the market, which helps funnel money back into the lands that grow the wonderful food.
For your convenience there are Eftpos terminals – for those not in the know, it stands for electronic funds transfer at point of sale, an electronic payment system for debit or credit cards. There is usually ample parking available, and restroom facilities are provided.
See the Sights of Hawkes Bay from Two Wheels
Coastal Wine Cycling Tours
41 East Road Te Awanga Hawke’s Bay
Tel: + 64(6) 875 0302
Peddle along the gorgeous and extraordinarily scenic wine country of Hawkes Bay! $40 will get you a rental bike, including a helmet, water, and a map. You can pick up the bikes from 10:30 am on, and return them before dusk. The cycling routes are flat – with a “no hills guarantee”, and no matter whether you want to go for 30 minutes or 6 hours, there are trails for that! Choose from the “Coast & River Loop” going along the coast, the village, lagoon, river, the vineyards, orchards, farmland, and of course the wineries for a total of two hours cycling, or others such as the “Fleetwood Mac Route (Go Your Own Way)” – you’ll get a map and be off on your own Hawkes Bay adventure!
Visit the New Zealand destinations category to learn more about other places to visit in New Zealand!