Get outdoors this Autumn!
Explore Hawke's Bay Gardens
With the weather cooling and Autumn weaving its colourful magic, it’s an ideal time to explore Hawke’s Bay’s exquisite gardens. Bask in the blooms with a few of our favourites…
Osmanthus Garden, Hastings
At the heart of this traditional Chinese garden is a large pond and pavilions at its edges. With a curved Friendship Bridge and Crooked Bridge, the garden displays a skillful combination of Chinese and New Zealand elements and plants. Enjoy a stroll through the gardens before checking out the native plant area or the large duck pond.
Napier Botanical Gardens
The pristine botanical gardens boast an 18-acre floral oasis on Hospital Hill. Take a stroll through the several walking tracks and discover the small aviary, duck pond, and range of fauna. This spot offers idyllic scenery and a peaceful place to relax.
Frimley Park Rose Garden, Hastings
This glorious rose garden in the Frimley Park grounds encompasses over 5000 roses of all kinds and colours. A paved pathway leads through the large rose garden to the rose-surrounded central pavilion. With a sprinkling of seats, sit down and take in the coloured flowers and their lovely sweet-smelling scents.
Sunken Gardens, Napier
Situated on Marine Parade, close to the Pacific Ocean, the sunken gardens sit below street level. Offering a place to sit and relax, you can escape the hustle and bustle without even leaving the city. Listen to the ocean waves crashing while taking in the beautiful blooms. Ah… the serenity.
Into the Wild
Hit the tracks and immerse yourself in the colours of Hawke’s Bay! If you’re after a short walk to stretch your legs or you just want to explore our backyard, here are a few must-do’s this Autumn:
This spectacular walk includes a jaw-dropping 58m waterfall and mixed lowland native forest: kanuka, kawakawa and kowhai, just to name a few. Roughly 1.5hrs drive from Napier, this walk will take you 1.5 hours in total. Pull up at the DOC car park off Heays Access Road and set off on your adventure!
Keirunga Gardens is an easily assessible formal garden and park in Havelock North that is perfect for a day out with the kids. There’s heaps of explore with a fantastic playground, picnic area, woodland area’s perfect for a stroll, and even a mini-train to take a ride!
Te Mata Peak
The much-loved Te Mata Peak ‘The Giant among Us’ stands tall at 399 meters above the Heretaunga Plains. The Park offers breath-taking views and unique typography at every turn, and is a walker’s dream. Park up at the Main Gates car park or Tauroa Road car park and make your choice:
Piwakawaka Loop – 1.3km / Est 40 mins
Big Redwoods Track – 2.7km / Est 1 hour
Karaka Wander – 4.0km / Est 1 hr 15 mins
Rongokako Trail – 5.5km / Est 2 hrs 15 mins
Giant Circuit – 5.4km / Est 2 hrs 15 mins
Sugar Loaf Reserve
A short climb through the four-hectare on Sugar Loaf, or Pukekura, will reward you with eastern views out over Napier, Taradale, and the Heretaunga Plains. Look to the west and take in the striking Ruahine and Kaweka Ranges!
Ahuriri Estuary Walking Track
Start at Humber Street car park and follow a 2.8km flat track around Pandora Pond. There’s plenty of sites to see on this walk as the estuary supports an interdependent community of wading birds, fish, mud dwellers and aquatic plant life!
Explore this incredible wildlife sanctuary on easy tracks and boardwalks. Learn more about the fascinating and valuable ecosystem on your way, with the many informative billboards throughout the wetland. Pekapeka is home to over 82 plant species and over 20 protected bird species – see how many you can see (and hear) on your short walk.
Pekapeka wetlands is a 12km drive south of Hastings on SH2, 26km from Napier and 36.5km from Waipukarau.
Otatara Pa Historic Reserve
Discover Hawke’s Bay’s rich Maori history at Otatara Pa Historic Reserve. Don your walking shoes and head up the hill on Springfield Road to find the vast 40 hectare pa complex. The view is outstanding at every turn, Eastern views expose Napier through to Cape Kidnappers, and if you’re lucky on a clear day, you will see Ruapehu in the centre of the North Island.