Long Weekend Getaway: Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Countryside, wine, food and friends – what more do you need for a decent break?
I recently ventured down to a new part of New Zealand that I’d never properly visited. The Hawkes Bay is roughly halfway down the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island and a decent little road trip from Auckland.
My idea, my car, my driving… it was a lot of driving. In hindsight I could have shared the driving, especially on the way back when we got caught in long weekend traffic getting back up to Auckland.
However, driving aside it was a great little getaway. I even got to venture around Tirau finally (been wanting to wander that town for years) on our way down, having breakfast/coffee in the quaint town known for its corrugated iron sculptures!
With recommendations from at least 4 people in my team at work I booked a cottage in Tukituki and was kindly greeted by alpacas (which are super cute in a gangly way).
We went on a bit of a tiki tour (aka. kiwi term for going exploring without a destination in mind) and ended up near Cape Kidnappers. The beach was quite rough but beautiful. Due to the time of day and wintery weather we opted to just drive and not go walking too much.
Dinner on our first night was at Black Barn Vineyards where we indulged in beautiful food and wine… all we needed was a cosy fireplace to keep warm near.
Next morning we ventured out to the farmers market in Hastings and enjoyed picking out a few treats for our dinner menu. I love a good old farmers market where you know the produce is fresh and you’re helping the local businesses keep going.
What better way to finish off a long weekend than wining and dining at local wineries? Literally 5-10mins away (yes we would have loved to hire bicycles but the weather put us off). I realised I’ve got a real taste for red wine these days over white, but there were plenty of beautiful flavours in our tastings. We finished off at the beautiful Elephant Hill Winery with a few platters, which were incredibly tasty!
I can highly recommend a visit to the Hawkes Bay, just maybe not on a long weekend if you’re driving back to Auckland. There are plenty of lovely accomodation spots dotted around wineries in Haumoana and it’s a stones throw from bigger towns of Napier and Hastings.