Hawkes Bay has consummate style – chic restaurants, world class wines, fine foods and passionate craftspeople.
The Bay is an unbroken crescent of land between the Mahia Peninsula and Cape Kidnappers – the worlds largest accessible gannet colony.
This is Wine Country with a warm dry climate that is perfect for grapes and ideal for visitors. People are drawn to the twin cities of Napier and Hastings and their acclaimed Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture, and to the regions forty thriving vineyards.
A network of rivers provides irrigation for viticulture and cropping and also provides good water for rafting and kayaking. The Mohaka/Waipunga River run is the most exciting rafting journey, and is one of the top ten trips in the North Island. Commercial operators based in Hawkes Bay, Rotorua and Ohakune run regular expeditions from 2 – 5 days. The put in for the Waipunga River is off the Napier-Taupo Road and leads through Grade 3 rapids into the Mohaka. The Lower Gorge is challenging at Grade 5 with names like Sharkstooth and Milkshake and a 1½ hour section of continuous rapids. Wow! This is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime with the luxury of natural hot springs thrown in.
The Ruakituri River rises in the Urewera wilderness area and offers a superbly scenic gorge trip starting at Puhoro Station. Short, sharp Grade 2 and 3 rapids keep the run exciting and challenging. The river joins the Hangaroa to form the Wairoa River at Te Reinga where there are unrunable falls.
The Wairoa is a popular paddle from Te Reinga Falls down to Marumaru Hotel, dropping over numerous short ledge rapids with dense native bush lining the riverbank.
The Ngaruroro River gorge is an exciting Grade 3 and 4 challenge putting in at Kuripapango on the Napier-Taihape Road and running down to the Taruarau River junction. There is an option to carry on down the braided river section in above average flows, to exit at Fernhill Bridge inland from Napier. The Ngaruroro Gorge is considered as one of the top ten North Island whitewater runs.
Once you have enjoyed the scenic splendour of these rollicking rivers, there are more endless pleasures and gourmet delights in the bountiful Hawkes Bay Wine Country.