Whether scaling new heights on Te Mata Peak, discovering the wonders of Cape Kidnappers Peninsula, or simply enjoying the sun at one of the region’s spectacular swimming spots, Havelock North is a fantastic launching pad for all your summer adventures.

And while there’s plenty more to discover in the Village and its surrounds, here’s seven spectacular reasons to spend summer in Havelock North.

Swimming Spots

Whether you prefer salt water or fresh water, you can find your perfect swimming spot from Havelock North. Beach lovers should head straight for Ocean and Waimarama beaches. These two beaches are jewels in Hawke’s Bay’s crown and beloved by walkers, swimmers, surfers and families alike. Lifeguards patrol both beaches from November to March, ensuring swimmers are well looked after.

Fresh water fans should head to Maraetotara Falls. Just a short drive from Havelock North, Maraetotara Falls is a hugely popular summer spot. There is a great swimming hole at the base of the waterfall, and if you’ve got time – walk the Maraetotara Historic Walk, you won’t be disappointed!

Hawke’s Bay Trails

The Hawke’s Bay Trails are 200km of undulating limestone trails that depart from Havelock North and crisscross much of the region, connecting award-winning wineries, unique cafés, quaint country pubs and artisan outlets. Two fantastic options from Havelock North are the Waimarama Trail to Craggy Range and the Landscapes Ride to the Te Awanga Coast.

Both rides take in incredible landscapes, cellar doors and river views, while the Landscapes Ride also takes riders to the edge of the Cape Kidnappers Peninsula.

Scale the Peak

Whether you walk, bike or drive, the views at the top of Te Mata Peak are spectacular. Visitors can see Napier and Māhia Peninsula to the north and east, hill country to the south and east, and the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges beyond the fertile Heretaunga Plains. Mount Ruapehu is often visible in the distance.

The peak is enjoyed every day by hundreds of walkers and bikers who make the most of the extensive network of trails. Little legs are catered for as well, with some easier walks around the California Redwoods (also a fantastic picnic spot) and at the children’s BMX track.

 Dine out

Dining out in Havelock North is easy. Choosing where to go is hard! If you’re looking for a winery, then you have plenty of choice from pick your platters at Black Barn Kitchen to a full degustation at Craggy Range Restaurant.

Birdwoods Gallery, Café and Sweet Shop on the outskirts of Havelock North is another fantastic destination dining option. Birdwoods offers one of the Bay’s most picturesque settings in which to enjoy tea, coffee and lunch service. And once you’ve finished lunch, make sure you pop into the old-fashioned sweet shop for a treat to take home.

The Village itself boasts eateries for every style of dining all within walking distance from the central accommodation options. You can try Spanish inspired tapas at Deliciosa, a modern dining experience at Malo, or relaxed asian-fusion at Chans Chop House.

To market, to market

Summer is a fantastic time for growers’ and farmers’ markets in Hawke’s Bay, and Havelock North has one of the best on its doorstep – Black Barn Growers’ Market.

Open from 9 till Noon every Saturday of summer just follow the line of cars down Black Barn Road to the carparks and you’ll see the market under the trees.  Local growers, bakers and producers are either to bed late or up early getting the very freshest and the best produce ready for market to open at 9am.

As well as all the seasonal produce, the market is crammed with fresh baked breads, locally roasted coffee, flowers, meat, pickles, olive oil, organic veges, lavender products and more.


Cape Kidnappers gannets

The Cape Kidnappers gannet colony is the world’s largest, most accessible mainland gannet colony and your chance to get close to these incredible birds.

Visitors can get within a few feet of the primary gannet colony, which sits atop the sheer and barren cliffs of Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Mui. Take an overland tour experience with Gannet Safaris Overland where you will travel in 4×4 vehicles across pristine coastline, working farmland, through native bush and to New Zealand’s largest privately-owned nature reserve.

Viewing the gannets is possible from September to April before the gannets migrate to warmer climates.