Captivating Havelock North has a fascinating history with examples of its early settlers being part of its charm. Feel the blend of old England, rural New Zealand and modern lifestyle in this destination founded by hardy pioneers in 1860.
It is named after British Major General, Sir Hendry Havelock, who was a hero of the Indian Mutiny in 1857. But it is the area’s original settler families, their grand homesteads and gifts to the community that continue to generate village delight.
Te Mata Park, wrapped around the majestic Te Mata Peak, was gifted to the community by the Chambers family in 1927.
Te Mata Peak is a significant landscape forming a Hastings backdrop. It is said that great Maori Chief, Te Mata Rongokako waged war with his rivals on the Heretaunga Plains. One day he fell in love with a neighbouring chief’s daughter and decided to woo her, instead of making war. She set him many tasks to prove himself, with the final one requiring him to eat his way through the great hill. Unfortunately, he choked on a rock and dropped to the ground where he still lies today. His body forms the outline of Te Mata Peak.
Keirunga Homestead built in 1906, was gifted to the people by the Nelson family and is now a base for arts and crafts. The surrounding 17 hectares of parkland and formal gardens, originally inspired by London’s Kew Gardens are on the edge of the village.
Sir James Wattie, great industrialist and founder of the famous Wattie’s canning business, lived nearby and his former home is now the Mangapapa Petit Hotel.
Some of New Zealand’s oldest and most highly respected schools are here: Woodford House was established in 1894 and opened on its current site in 1911, Iona College dates back to 1914 and Hereworth School, founded in 1927, caters for primary and intermediate-aged boys.
Where else within a 10 kilometre radius would you find internationally acclaimed wineries such as Craggy Range, Te Mata Estate and Black Barn, with its Black Barn Growers’ Market on summery Saturday mornings and open air concerts and movies at its carefully structured amphitheatre.
Havelock North is attracting a new generation of trend-setters, many returning from international careers, creating vibrant new businesses and adding a contemporary sophistication alongside a growing number of international business operators already at home here.
This unique village offers a great variety of boutique shopping, is well stocked with cafes, restaurants, specialty food stores, fabulous accommodation and provides the perfect base for exploring the Tukituki River Valley and Ocean and Waimarama beaches.