Central Hawke’s Bay District is part of the Hawke’s Bay Region and covers an area of 333,450 hectares with a population of 12,948
There are two main towns in Central Hawke’s Bay – Waipukurau and Waipawa – who both had very different starts to colonial life and it was in 1860 that two station owners, H.R. Russell and F.S Abbot founded the farming centres of Waipawa and Waipukurau as tow private towns. A number of smaller townships are scattered around the region which is predominantly farming land and the region runs from the base of the 200 million year old Ruahine Ranges all the way to the Pacific Ocean on the east coast.
Waipukurau is the biggest town and the agricultural hub of Central Hawke’s Bay. With a vibrant main street there’s a great selection of local shops and cafes and is a perfect base to start day trips and get out and explore the area. A visit to the local Information Centre located at the old Railway Station on Bogle Brothers Esplanade is the best way to start exploring and tap into some handy local knowledge.
Waipawa is just a 5 minute drive northeast of Waipukurau and is home to some of Hawke’s Bays best rainbow and brown trout fishing spots. Dotted along the main street are a number of boutique shops and cafes, and you’ll also find the Central Hawke’s Bay Settlers Museum which offers a nostalgic glimpse of life back in the day with lots of hands on experiences for young and old. It is also the hub of The Limestone Loop – a driving route through Otane, Waipawa and Tikokino where you can chose the pace and cater for your tastes with offerings of wine, shopping, culture, cafes and history.
State Highway 2 runs through the centre of Central Hawke’s Bay leading south to Palmerston North in the south – 108 kilometres away and to the north, Hastings and Napier, 50 kilometres away. It is 70 kilometres to Napier Port and 75 kilometres to Napier Airport. The railway also runs through Central Hawke’s Bay with one station at Waipukurau and this is the main line running from Wellington, via Palmerston North, to Napier.
Although accounting for only five percent of the Hawke’s Bay region population, Central Hawkes Bay produces twenty percent of the Napier Ports exports.