Hastings (New Zealand)

Hastings' town clock, erected in 1935, is an art deco icon of the city.

Hastings is a city in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the largest populous area in Hawke's Bay. Napier follows closely after. It was heavily damaged in the 1931 Napier earthquake, but because there were no fires much of it survived and is still visible in the city's downtown architecture. This contributed to the damage it did suffer makes Hastings the 'jewel' in the crown of the 'Napier' earthquake. This is mixed with Art Deco. Hastings has in the past been known has being an unattractive place to visit, but with the council's push for central business district redevelopment the city is returning to its previous splendour. It is the food-producing capital of New Zealand and has many different types of food. Its cuisine is unrivalled anywhere else. It also receives 2200 hours of sunshine a year, making it one of the sunniest places in New Zealand.

Understand

Hastings is a pleasant sun-drenched town in Hawke's Bay. It is in constant rivalry with Napier as Napier receives all the tourist attention. The information centre will provide bookings and advice on anything in Hastings. It can be found on the corner of Russell and Heretaunga Street East, opposite the fountain with the train track running through it. It is in the Westermans building and can be called on (06)873 0080. (06) is the calling code for toll calls from outside Hastings.

Hastings District Council governs a large part of Hawke's Bay south of the Wairoa district and north of the Central Hawke's Bay district. Close to the main urban area of Hastings is Havelock North, a trendy fast-growing village on the foothills of Te Mata peak, and Flaxmere, a satellite suburb. Clive, Bridge Pa and Whakatu are smaller satellite settlements.

Get in

Hastings on a typical hot day. Flaxmere is in the distance to the right, Hastings in the centre, and part of Havelock North in the foreground. This photo was taken from atop Te Mata peak

By car

By plane

By bus

Get around

Hastings is very flat, dry and not very windy, so muscle power is an excellent way to get around.

See

The Westermans Building is a good example of much of Hastings main streets, the train track and fountain can be seen in the foreground

Because Hastings was destroyed in the 1931 Napier earthquake along with Napier it was rebuilt in the stunning Art Deco style popular at the time. The town contains several excellent examples of this

Located in the centre of the city are Hastings' iconic Sheep. These sheep have, over time, migrated around the city, currently they are checking out the clock, as seen to the right.

Hastings has also had millions spent of redeveloping the CBD (central business district) so looks beautiful. Several major features are:

Many more significant art works were designed at the local Cicada Works cooperative workshop at Whakatu

Other things to see in Hastings include:

Do

Splash Planet is New Zealand's only water theme park

Wineries/vineyards

There are about 64 vineyards and wineries in the area around Hastings. Many of them have won international awards for their wine. Because the viticulture industry is so new to Hawke's Bay, most of the buildings and facilities are ultra-modern. The population of Havelock North frequents these locations so they are always busy and always competing, especially on quality, with the other wineries which may be no further away than across the road. Because of the unusually high density of wineries, there are many tours available. Some of the better known ones are listed here.

Craggy Range Vineyard, 253 Waimarama Rd, Havelock North, ph (06)873 0143. Ultra fancy winery. Very nice setting in the Tukituki valley between the Tukituki River and Te Mata Peak.

Ngatarawa Wines, 305 Ngatarawa Rd, Bridge Pa, ph +64 6 879 7603. You may already know this wine with its characteristic horse-head label.

Prenzel on the Bay, 180 Havelock North Rd, Havelock North, ph +64 6 870 8524. Although not strictly a winery, it still offers a delicious range of Schnapps, liqueurs and aux de vies as well as food to indulge yourself in.

Sileni Estates Winery, 2016 Maraekakaho Rd, Hastings, ph +64 6 879 8768. Has an restaurant, shop, cellar tours and can host conferences and functions

Vidal Estate Winery, 913 St Aubyn St East, +64 6 876 8105. This winery is historic, one of the first to be established in Hawke's Bay. As the town expanded, it grew around the winery, leaving it in the middle of Hastings. It has a restaurant, sales, and can host functions.

Tours

Odyssey New Zealand, 219 Kenilworth Rd, ph 0508 ODYSSEY

Long Island Tours, 20 Reynolds Rd, Havelock North, ph +64 6 877 0977. Offers different types of tours for every taste, or type.

Beaches and rivers

Hawke's Bay's natural abundance is recognized by the regional council's logo: each ‘finger’ represents one of the 5 main rivers. It also has several golden sand beaches. These beaches and rivers are listed from north to south

Other

Buy

Eat

Hastings, having a warm climate, produces a variety of food not found anywhere else in New Zealand. Much of this locally grown produce is turned into an even greater variety of quality products. This is recognised by Heinz-Watties established in 1934 who uses large amounts of locally grown produce

Breakfast

Lunch

Snacks

Dinner

Drink

The city is surrounded by wineries and vineyards so local wine is cheap and popular, among the higher classes of wines in the world the quality is so great, wines served at major parties and dinners associated with New Zealand are usually served with Hastings wine, including a dinner at the Queen's 80th Birthday. The towns water supply is pumped directly from the aquifer underneath the Heretaunga plains which the town is situated on. The only reason it doesn't receive an AA rating is because the council refuses to chlorinate the water as it is already crystal clear enough. This water is (obviously) used to produce the many different alcohols in the area.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $55
Mid-range $55-200
Splurge Over $200

Hastings has lots of accommodation and motels. There are no upscale large chains operating in Hastings (i.e. The Hilton), but Hastings now has one international hotel, the Comfort Inn. Hastings does not use this as an excuse to be unwelcoming though and the range of independent small hotel operators are more welcoming and pleasant than one would expect from a large chain anyway. They offer a wide variety of accommodation experiences that can enhance your trip to Hastings. This is the best way to enjoy the Hastings atmosphere, as it immerses you in the rich culture of the people.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

Hastings can be a base to explore the rest of Hawke's Bay. The city of Napier is close by and a trip to see the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers is an experience. For trendy shopping try Havelock North. Also try biking, hiking or driving to the top of Te Mata peak with stunning views all around the bay and to the central plateau, then hike, bike or hang-glide down the hill. Head south to Waipukurau.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, December 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.