Top things to do

Top Choice Park in Hastings & Around

Te Mata Peak

Rising dramatically from the Heretaunga Plains 16km south of Havelock North, Te Mata Peak (399m) is part of the 1-sq-km Te Mata Trust Park. The summit road passes sheep tracks, rickety fences and vertigo-inducing st…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Hastings & Around

Elephant Hill

There's plenty of great vineyard dining around Hawke's Bay, but Elephant Hill in the beachy surroundings of Te Awanga is something special. Huge picture windows provide unencumbered views of Cape Kidnappers and vine…
Top Choice Cafe in Hastings & Around

Opera Kitchen

Located in a high-ceilinged heritage building – formerly the HB Electric Power Board – our favourite Hastings cafe serves up sophisticated breakfast and lunch dishes with international accents. Spend a few hours bro…
Top Choice Cafe in Hastings & Around

Maina

Blur the line between breakfast and lunch at the best new cafe in Hawke's Bay. This former post office is infused with stylish retro Kiwiana decor, and highlights include Te Mata mushrooms on organic sourdough or cr…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Hastings & Around

GodsOwn Brewery

This super microbrewery 22km east of Hastings is run from a safari tent, a caravan and a few outdoor tables. On a compact brewing set-up, traditional European beer styles like biere de gardes and saisons are crafted…
Modern NZ in Hastings & Around

Malo

Hotel restaurants can be hit-and-miss, but Malo at the Porters Boutique Hotel in Havelock North hits the right notes. Harnessing truckloads of regional and seasonal Hawke's Bay produce, the open kitchen turns out di…
Winery in Hastings & Around

Black Barn Vineyards

This hip, inventive winery has a bistro, a gallery, a popular summer Saturday morning farmers market (one of the first in NZ) and an amphitheatre for regular concerts and movie screenings. Tasting the flagship chard…
Bar in Hastings & Around

Common Room

There's pretty much nothing wrong with this hip little bar in central Hastings: cheery staff, bar snacks, craft beer, local wines, a creative retro interior, a garden bar, Persian rugs, live music and a tune-scape r…
Barbecue in Hastings & Around

Bareknuckle BBQ

This authentic American barbecue place around 4km southwest of Hastings is hugely popular with locals. Pitmaster Jimmy Macken knows his stuff – Bareknuckle's barbecue was hand-built near the Texas-Mexico border – an…
Cafe in Hastings & Around

Wright & Co

This all-day cafe enlivened by blue butchers' tiles segues to a hip bistro from Thursday to Saturday night. Try the Thai-influenced breakfast curry bowl to start the day, or the wild mushroom risotto for lunch. Hous…