Surrounded by thriving orchards, market gardens and flourishing vineyards, Hastings sits at the heart of sunny Hawke's Bay
, a region famous for its award-winning wines and Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture. Back in 1931, the Hawke’s Bay Earthquake almost destroyed Hastings and its sister city of Napier
, and the town's historic buildings are a legacy of the rebuilding. The Hastings Heritage Trail is a great way to discover the town’s art deco gems – you can pick up a copy of the brochure at the information centre.
The big drawcard for the kids in Hastings is Splash Planet, New Zealand's first fully themed water park. Try the double dipper dual tube ride and the sky castle screamer, drift on the never-ending river, and fight in
the pirate fortress pool complete with cannons.
Wine and food lovers will find themselves at home in Hastings. There are award-winning wines and superb winery restaurants to try, or head to the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds on Sunday mornings and sample the local gourmet treats at the Hastings Farmers Market. Hastings is the fruitbowl of New Zealand, growing apples, nectarines, peaches, apricots and kiwifruit. Stock up with fresh fruit at the roadside market garden stalls.
For a look over Hawkes Bay
, drive up nearby Te Mata Peak (399m). If you're feeling brave, try hang-gliding or tandem paragliding from the top.
During summer, nature lovers can pay a visit to Cape Kidnappers'
renowned gannet colony – the largest mainland breeding colony in the world. You can walk along the sandy beach at low tide (about 2 hours) or book a gannet safari with one of the local operators. The gannets have a 2 metre wing span and weigh in at 2kg on average - and there are thousands of them.
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Hastings is situated on the Heretaunga Plains on State Highway 2
Hastings has a Mediterranean climate, with a summer average temperature of 24°C, and a winter average temperature of 13°C. Rainfall averages 780mm/year.