12 Hours Havelock North
A quaint township in Hastings, Havelock North punches well above its weight when it comes to eating, drinking, and shopping. Looking for things to do in Havelock North? We have you covered with this 12-hour guide.
You will find Havelock North, a suburb of Hastings in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s a lovely country town bursting with charm and encompassing creative flare, cafés, and restaurants. While away the day exploring the views from varying heights, strolling through the village of thriving arts and boutiques, and sampling the region’s best-known wineries and restaurants. Some of the smallest of eateries churn out the most innovative cuisine in the country. Squeezing it all in will be a tall task but a memorable one at that.
Wake up at Tukituki Glamping
493 Kahuranaki Road, Hastings
Overlooking the Tukituki River Valley, Tukituki Glamping is only 20 minutes from Havelock North. Thanks to its outside open fire you can camp all year round at Tukituki (nice to have when the skies and sunsets are so spectacular). Wake up inside the warm and cosy tent to the sounds of bellbirds and tui feeding off the native plants, and get ready for your fun-filled day in Hawke's Bay's Havelock North.
8am: Coffee at Hawthorne Coffee Roasters
23 Napier Road, Hastings
A local favourite and for good reason, Hawthorne is an integral part of the close-knit Havelock North community. More than your average regional coffee roaster, they have been serving and roasting coffee since the 1990s, as well as supplying the rest of the country with their impeccable beans. Their espresso bar, attached to the front of their roastery, is a stylishly curated space where you can experience the brand first hand.
9am: Breakfast at Maina
1 Havelock Road, Havelock North
Maina is a great place to stop for breakfast. Smack-bang in the centre of Havelock North with pumping vibes, great coffee, and delish meals, this family-run café and bistro focus on simplicity. Check out that dark chocolate and cherry brioche.
10am: Book shopping at Wardini Bookshop
16 Te Mata Road, Havelock North
Wardini Bookshop is an independent bookstore with a touch of magic to inspire your reading choices. Passionate about reading with a wealth of experience to call upon, the Wardinis are always ready and willing to recommend quality books for children, teenagers, and adults alike. They also have a twin store in Napier (add it to your list).
10.30am: Homewares at Annabelle's
5E Havelock Road, Havelock North
Offering treasures from around the globe, buying trips to Bali and India have always been a big part of the journey for Annabelle Plowman who has a keen eye for detail. Her Havelock North store is a bohemian's dream, with natural and organic furniture, textiles, and lighting throughout. Stay awhile and be inspired by this beautiful store.
11am: Coffee at Workroom
15 Joll Road, Hastings
Quality coffee seals the deal at Workroom. Stop by a tasty cuppa with beans roasted by First Hand, a boutique coffee roaster based in Hawke's Bay. The modern café offers warmth during cooler months and a courtyard for sun-seekers. Look up to the blue skies and hear the chitter-chatter of local customers popping by.
12pm: Vintage shopping at So Vintage
202 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings Central, Hastings
Hop in the car and drive the 15 minutes to Te Awanga where you will find So Vintage, a family run business that handpicks their collection of French and European country furniture, industrial lighting, and vintage homewares. If you share a mutual affection for all things antique, vintage, and industrial, and the history behind their beauty, step this way. Think trinkets and treasures as you enter this Aladdin’s cave of unique European style. When their motto is ‘L’Original or nothing’, you know you’ve found a goodie.
1:30pm: Wine and Lunch at Black Barn Bistro
Black Barn Road, Havelock North
There's something awe-inspiring about sitting at a table in a hilltop restaurant overlooking vineyards and farmlands. Black Barn is a winery restaurant using ingredients sourced directly from small farmers and artisans. You can choose oysters, hangi goat croquettes, and line-caught white fish, among other dishes, and you won't be able to turn down a side of spiced french fries with aioli. And if you have room for dessert, try the Black Barn tiramisu.
Sit back and enjoy the views and sheer brilliance of their ingredients.
If you happen to be visiting on a Saturday morning over summer, swing by the Growers’ Market, nestled in the heart of the vineyard, where local growers, bakers, and producers sell the best produce of their region
3pm: See the sights from Te Mata Peak
Te Mata Peak Road, Havelock North
On a clear day, you can see the whole of Hawke's Bay laid out before you with 360-degree views of the region’s fertile farms, orchards, and vineyards. Work off your lunch or build your appetite for the next stop with a run, walk, or mountain bike through 99 hectares of beautiful parkland on a series of well-graded tracks. Thrill-seekers can take it to the next level with hang gliding and paragliding to soar over and view the lands from a different angle.
Image supplied by Te Mata Park.
4:30pm: Wine tasting at Craggy Range
253 Waimarama Rd, Parkvale, Tuki Tuki
On the drive back to town for dinner, stop at Craggy Range for a wine tasting. A combo of clean air, green fields, and care for the land, with mighty fine wines that have a well-earned place among New Zealand’s finest restaurants. With a focus on quality, the wines are unashamedly exuberant, and quite simply, delicious. The good news is, you really can try them all!
Now it's time to drive back to town for dinner.
Image supplied by Craggy Range.
6pm: Dinner at Piku (option one)
15 Joll Road, Hastings
Cave into that sticky rice craving! Piku is an Izakaya (aka gastropub) style Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of the city. Beautifully executed and Instagrammable, the menu goes beyond the classics. Try the volcano rolls - lamb buns with hoisin sauce - and skewers cooked on a traditional Robata Charcoal Grill. They even have a dedicated vegan menu and kids menu too.
When the night is still young step into the courtyard for a Japanese inspired cocktail with a buzz of the London Japanese scene. Whoop.
6pm: Dinner at Pipi (option two)
16 Joll Road, Hastings
You’ll be thinking pink in this unique and unassuming pizzeria. Giving off homey, cosy vibes, the hues of pink are certainly a selfie-worthy backdrop you won’t find anywhere else! The Pipi Café culture is to help yourself to drinks. Yup, there’s a self-service fridge where you can pick any drink you want, then tell the staff at the end what you got, a novel experience. For the pizza, you can’t go past the classics: Margherita and Funghi.
8pm: Cocktails at Malo
4 Te Aute Road, Havelock North
With a unique beverage offering, you will want to work your way through the menu at Malo. The perfect haunt for your best cocktail drinking buddy, the talented bar team offers a delicious list of cocktails – classic and Malo originals. Did somebody say Raspberry Cheesecake cocktail? A crowd favourite any day of the week. We’re in.
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