A short drive south of Napier and Hastings is Central Hawke’s Bay. With some of the best beaches, fishing and diving spots, water sport, cycling, an incredible number of historic homesteads and so much more – there are plenty of reasons to consider living here.
Central Hawke’s Bay runs from Pukehou and Otane in the north to Takapau in the south. If you head west you’ll find yourself at the foot of the Ruahine Ranges, home to some excellent walking and tramping tracks. To the east you’ll find six unique beaches, each offering a different experience from swimming, diving, fishing, or just relaxing.
Central Hawke’s Bay is made up of a number of towns and smaller settlements founded by the early pastoralists in the second half of the 1800’s.
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 it is a perfect base to start day trips and get out and explore the area.
Waipawa is just a five 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.
Whether you are on or off shore the spectacular Te Angiangi Marine Reserve, a whopping 138ha reef running from Blackhead Beach to Aramoana, means the kids can explore rock pools and sea life while you swim, dive, fish and snorkel along the coastline.
On the coast road and a little further south, discover the coastal settlement of Porangahau. Te Paerahi Beach, Porangahau’s main beach front, is home to a huge stretch of white sand, great for exploring on foot or horseback and is famed for its superb diving and fishing. The home of the World’s longest place names is just six kilometres east of the township.
Heading into Central Hawke’s Bay from State Highway 50 you’ll get a view of some of Hawke’s Bay’s most spectacular farmland. This is where a number of historic farm homesteads are situated and if you take a visit to the small town of Ongaonga you’ll discover a well preserved collection of original historic buildings.