Napier Hawkes Bay New Zealand

Hawkes Bay is synonymous with high sunshine hours, fine wine, produce, and heritage architecture. The regional capital of Napier is set on the shores of the sweeping bay that runs from Cape Kidnappers to the Mahia Peninsula.

Hit by a devastating earthquake in 1931 the towns of Napier and Hastings were both rebuilt in the contemporary styles of the day, Art Deco and Spanish Renaissance. Heritage tours are available with guides or as self guided trails that will take you to the architectural highlights.

Cape Kidnappers features the world's largest, most accessible Gannet nesting colony. You can take an overland safari, helicopter safari or guided walk through the spectacular scenery of Cape Kidnappers Station.

For the golfing enthusiast there is the Cape Kidnappers Golf Course rated by Golf Digest Magazine 2007 as the 10th Best Golf Course outside the United States. Cape Kidnappers is set on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm, which encompasses land said to be reminiscent of Montana but the coastal boundary is an 800 foot drop into the Pacific.

Hawkes Bay is the birthplace of New Zealand wine production with the Mission Vineyard being founded by the Catholic Society of Mary in 1851 and Te Mata Estate being the oldest winery still in production. The growing conditions favor the late maturing grape such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling but all varieties are well represented throughout the region and amongst award winning labels. Wine tasting and cultural tours are available from Napier.