Havelock North continues to prove itself as a destination where families can absolutely get the best of both worlds. Delicious cuisine and boutique shopping for the adults? Check! Space for the kids to run and play and be entertained? Double check!
As any parent knows, practical and comfortable accommodation is critical to ensuring a family break that is enjoyed by all. Thankfully, you can’t go wrong with the options in Havelock North.
Te Mata Lodge and Harvest Motor Lodge are classic accommodation providers to suit the whole family. With kitchen amenities an added bonus for those constant snack requests, both lodges are within walking distance to the Village centre, as is Pipi Hotel, a two-bedroom cottage that accommodates up to six people and has a direct line to the kitchen at Pipi Café!
If you’re after a little more space for the kids to roam, Ribbonwood Cottages are a great option with four cottages to choose from, ensuring your needs are well and truly met.
Keeping energy levels high and kids well fed is another crucial element to a successful family holiday and knowing where to dine is your best armour in preventing h-anger fuelled meltdowns.
If in doubt, look for the pink and find Pipi Café. This local institution serves incredible Italian inspired fare, filled with fresh Hawke’s Bay ingredients. And better yet, they’re happy to help cater to little eaters.
Wright & Co and Mon are trendy cafés in the Village and favourites for locals. Both cafes have extensive menus that will satisfy even the fussiest eaters, while families who love to try something new will enjoy a selection of Asian fusion plates to share from Piku. (Adults might even like one of Piku’s famous cocktails on the side.)
Evening meals are well spent with the family in Havelock North. If you’re looking for something a little special – but with cuisine that will appeal to the kids as well – head along to Malo, where honest food is done extremely well. For something a little more casual, you can’t go past the Rose and Shamrock, a classic Irish pub that does pub grub and relaxed dining to perfection.
Free honey tastings and an opportunity to see live bees in action is a winning combination, so a visit to Arataki Honey is a must. Kids will love the interactive display and the chance to find the queen bee herself. Keirunga Gardens is a great spot to run around any time of the year, but particularly on the first and third Sundays of the month. That’s when, weather permitting, it comes alive with sights, sounds, smell and excitement of the miniature Keirunga railway.
The Village Green in the heart of Havelock North includes a modern, expansive playground suitable for all ages, and includes a scooter/skateboard park. If you’re there in summer, the neighbouring Village Pools, offer a chance to cool off from the Hawke’s Bay heat.
Of course, no list is complete without extolling the many virtues of the magnificent Te Mata Peak. With family-friendly walking trails, mountain bike tracks, a glorious view from the summit, and perhaps even the promise of a cold drink and bowl of fries from the excellent Peak House restaurant on your descent, what’s not to love?