Mahia Peninsula is situated between Napier and Gisborne. It is about a 2 hour drive from Napier (1 hour from Gisborne) along SH 2; in Nuhaka is a turn off to the peninsula. The scenic roads follows Hawkes Bay.
Through an isthmus we did reach the settlement of Mahia Beach with a very wide sandy beach. Although we were in the middle of the summer we didn’t see anybody; almost unbelievable.
On the north/east side is another road along the coast. And the scenery is completely different with rocky beaches and bizarre rock formations. Elsewhere we found a lot of rock pools and almost at the end of the road at Auroa Point again huge rocky platforms and small pools with sea urchins and sea horses.
In the inland of the peninsula is a track through coastal forest in the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve. From Mahia follow the gravel road for 7 km's to a car park.
A very beautiful piece of New Zealand and so unknown. In the meantime is Mahia one of our favourite spots.
For more info and pics see my Gisborne page.
My cousin, who lives in Napier (Hawkes Bay) took us on a hike approx 35 min north of Napier. When we got to the start we had another 30 to 40 min hike (depending on your speed) The hike itself was awesome, but at the end we came to a fantastic waterfall. Had a lunch and rest and hiked back.
The Hawkes Bay region is a little bit off the beaten path for most international visitors to New Zealand, though it is easily accessible by car, coach, or plane (and even train from Wellington). The main city is Napier, with it's World Heritage collection of Art Deco architecture and interesting history. Hawkes Bay is a major wine region in New Zealand and has some of the highest sunshine hours in the country. I visited briefly in 2006 after many years since my first trip there. I can thoroughly recommend Napier as a place to stay and explore and would love to spend more time finding out first hand about the region. Have a look at my Napier and Hawkes Bay pages here on VT for more pictures.
Perhaps you know the advertising slogan: “Pure New Zealand” ??
We think the deviser(s) have been on the so called ‘Gentle Annie Road’ between Napier and Waiouru (near Tongariro National Park). We did drive this (mostly) gravel road through the inland of New Zealand and we were very impressed of the scenery.
It was so pure, so real, so original.
The road is about 100 km’s long and we didn’t see almost no human beings and no cars at all. Just a couple of farm houses and somewhere along the road thousands of sheep. All the way there are amazing green hills, fantastic river valleys and forests.
Just: PURE NEW ZEALAND !!!
Never expected, but this was one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
See for more info and pics my Napier page.
About 30 km’s from Napier and close to Havelock North lies Te Mata Peak. It is situated in the so called Te Mata Peak Trust Park. Accessible by car through a narrow winding and rather steep road to the top of this hill at a height of 399 metres.
The views from the look out are fabulous and we could see almost the whole of Hawke’s Bay, reaching from the Mahia Peninsula till Cape Kidnappers and rolling grasslands at the inland side. It is said the volcano Mt. Ruapehu is also visible. We did like most our visit in the late afternoon, because the soft light of the setting sun gives the landscape such a very special effect.
See for more info and pics my Napier page.
TeMata Peak is a beautiful part of the country not always visited by overseas tourists. It is out of Hastings, but in the photo you can see over to the gorgeous coast and the city of Napier. This general area known as Hawkes Bay is very warm and sunny. It's just that it's not exactly on the way to anywhere. Well worth going off the beaten path to visit though.
Napier City is famous for it's array of Art Deco buildings. There are many of them and it seems the city is completely of that era, this came about because it had to rebuilt after a devastating earthquake that almost levelled the complete town.
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