Top things to do

Top Choice Cafe in Wairoa & Around

Eastend Cafe

A surprisingly excellent little cafe on the riverside road in Wairoa. Expect the likes of tarragon chicken pie, pots of local honey for sale, local beers and wines from the bar in the corner, and occasional Friday n…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Napier

Mister D

This long, floorboarded room with its green-tiled bar is the pride of the Napier foodie scene. Hip and slick but not unaffordable, with quick-fire service delivering the likes of pulled pork with white polenta or ro…
Top Choice Cinema in Gisborne

Dome Cinema

The excellent Dome is inside the charming old Poverty Bay Club building (1874): beanbags and art-house flicks now occupy the glass-domed ballroom. There's a cool bar next door (occasional live music and pasta nights…
Top Choice 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, creative retro interiors, garden bar, Persian rugs, live music and a tune-scape rang…
Top Choice Museum in Napier

MTG Hawke’s Bay

The beating cultural heart of Napier is the smart-looking MTG. It's a gleaming-white museum-theatre-gallery space by the water, and it brings live performances, film screenings, and regularly changing gallery and mu…
Top Choice Bar in Napier

Emporium

Napier's most civilised bar, Emporium, with its marble-topped bar, fab art-deco details and old-fashioned relics strewn about, is super atmospheric. Brisk staff, creative cocktails, good coffee, NZ wines, bistro far…
Top Choice Bar in Gisborne

Smash Palace

Get juiced at the junkyard: an iconic drinking den in Gisborne's industrial wastelands (make as much noise as you like!), full to the gunwales with ephemera and its very own DC3 crash-landed in the beer garden. Occa…
Top Choice Museum in Gisborne

Tairawhiti Museum

The Tairawhiti Museum, with its fab gallery extension, focuses on East Coast Māori and colonial history. It is Gisborne’s arts hub, with rotating exhibits and excellent historic photographic displays. There's also a…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Napier

Three Doors Up

The fab old Union Hotel has ceded part of its territory to Three Doors Up, a hip new restaurant serving classic fare such as risotto, eye fillet steak, slow-cooked pork belly and seafood chowder, all done to perfect…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Gisborne

USSCO Bar & Bistro

Housed in the restored Union Steam Ship Company building (USSCO – get it?), this place is all class. Silky kitchen skills shine in a highly seasonal menu featuring the likes of soy-glazed pork belly with caramelised…