Triple Peak Challenge is New Zealand’s most beautiful adventure race. It takes competitors walking, running or cycling 47 kilometres across Mt Erin, Mt Kahuranaki and Te Mata Peak. Competitors can run in teams if a solo effort is too challenging. The event is usually held in March.
Peak Trail Blazer takes participants across trails of varying difficulty, with the fittest tackling the 12.8 kilometre run to the top of Te Mata Peak. There’s an elite club for those whose times crack the magic sub-60 minute mark. But we like everyone to have fun in Hawke’s Bay so there’s a shorter, 3.5 kilometre trail. This fundraising race is usually held in November. Cyclocross is a crazy challenge for cyclists over courses with obstacles that force riders to dismount and run while carrying their bikes. The Havelock North Domain is a great spot for cyclocross racing. It’s meant to be a muddy, winter sport but Hawke’s Bay usually delivers sunshine and blue sky above with just a little slush under foot. Te Mata Peak is 400 metres above sea level. Its nature trails are great for hikers and mountain bikers. Drive to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges and out to Cape Kidnappers. On a clear day you’ll see across to the centre of the North Island and the volcano Ruapehu, in the Tongariro National Park. Greatest view in the world! ENJOYMENT Birdwoods, just three kilometres from Havelock North, has a gallery, sculpture garden, café and old fashioned sweet shop. The gallery is set in the original church hall from St Peter’s in Waipawa, built in 1894. The sweet shop is in a one-room colonial cottage built from reclaimed materials. Keirunga Homestead is set in 17 hectares of formal gardens and parkland. The original homestead buildings provide a creative hub for arts and crafts, with the area being the perfect setting for concerts and outdoor festivals.
FOOD Black Barn Farmers’ Market summer market is held under large Plane trees alongside vines and the underground cellar. Local treats, from asparagus and strawberries to pickles, flowers, coffee and fresh breads and pastries are too tempting to resist. Arataki Honey Centre is one of New Zealand’s largest beekeeping enterprises. Learn about the world of the honey bee, taste different honey varieties and buy amazing honey products. Arataki says that every kilogram of honey requires nectar from three million flowers. Busy bees! Te Mata Mushrooms, established in 1967, is New Zealand’s second biggest mushroom grower. Mushrooms are picked fresh seven days a week. The company produces about 25 tonnes of mushrooms each week and employs around 120 staff. International businessman and entrepreneur, and former Havelock North lad, Michael Whittaker, is now at the helm and is planning future developments. Te Mata Figs, on the outskirts of Havelock North, produces more than 20 varieties and creates a range of products distributed nationally and available at the figgery. St Andrews Limes produces home-grown, hand-made preserves and dressings and distributes nationally. Havelock North is blessed with an amazing array of restaurants, bistros and cafes. Expect to find Mexican, Indian and Turkish through to high-end fine dining and everything in between. There is also a range of food stores with locally produced, New Zealand and international products. ART Havelock North is a hot spot for artistic talent with numerous designers, potters, jewellers, photographers and artists of traditional and contemporary works living in or near the village. Many have studios that welcome visitors or their work can be found in local galleries. Public art is plentiful. He Taiepa O Nga Parirau/A Wall of Wings by Linda Trubridge is a sculptural wall incorporating Maori forms; Te Haaro o Te Kaahu by Para Machitt is a symbolic link to the village’s past, represented by the kahu, featuring in Ngati Kahungunu lore as a symbol of stewardship; and Diminishing Returns, by Bing Dawe.