The New Zealand region of Hawke’s Bay is to be found on the east coast of the country’s North Island, and is noted for being a beautiful area with rolling hills and a pleasant climate. While there are several towns dotted throughout the area, it is really quite sparsely populated for the most part, and enjoys some of the best natural areas in the country which help to draw people to the region. As well as being a popular tourist spot for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors of New Zealand, it is also noted on an international stage for producing excellent wines, and the opportunity to sample the produce is one that is well worth enjoying.
Morere Hot Springs
Like many areas of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay does have some areas with seismic activity, and this activity has helped to create the wonderful Morere Hot Springs, which can be found a short distance inland from the main road between Gisborne and Napier. These springs are located within a reserve which can be found within an area of dense forest, and are spread over a significant area. There are several excellent walking paths located around the springs which offer visitors a great opportunity to explore the area.
As well as the natural beauty, the hot springs have also been developed into a small resort, with the hot water channeled into a series of pools, with accommodation and a park also available on the site.
Cape Kidnappers is a grassy headland at the south east end of Hawke’s Bay, with a narrow rock peninsula stretching out into the ocean, and is close to the village of Te Awanga. While many visitors do enjoy the scenery along the peninsula, and the ability to walk along the path and get quite close to the end, but it is the gannet colony that helps to make this one of the most important natural areas in Hawke’s Bay. The gannet colony is believed to have over three thousand breeding pairs of Australasian Gannets that live in the area, and is considered to be one of the most important bird-life sites in New Zealand because of this.
Te Mata Peak
Situated a short distance away from the town of Napier, Te Mata Peak is a long ridge of rock rising from the plains below, with the highest point in the ridge being a popular hiking destination. While the height of the peak itself is just under four hundred meters above sea level, it does rise from a very low start point, and is still an interesting hike that rewards those who get to the top of mountain with excellent views over Napier and on a clear day walkers can see the highest point on the North Island, Mount Ruapehu. It is possible to get very close to the peak by car, but the majority of visitors will enjoy getting out their walking boots or mountain bike and either walking or cycling to the top.
Te Urewera National Park
Te Urewera National Park is the largest of the national parks to be found on the North Island, and is particularly well known for being an area of dense forest which is home to a vast number of different bird and animal species. The park is also home to two large lakes, namely Lake Waikaremoana and Lake Waikareiti, which is a popular tourist destination because of the small islet in the lake which has a separate lake on the island. The lake within a lake is a very rare feature within New Zealand.
As well as being a beautiful and scenic area, the rugged mountain slopes of the park are the traditional home of the Tuhoe people, which was one of the last Maori tribes to be conquered by the British colonial forces.