What to do in the Hawke’s Bay according to a wellness expert

A famously beautiful corner of New Zealand, the clean fresh air, incredible just-picked local produce and the beautiful scenery make Hawke’s Bay a great place to visit, says Danielle Harper, founder of Havelock North’s Alma Studio and Moove Studio. An expert in wellbeing and the region, Harper recommends Hawke’s Bay as a good destination for those needing to rest and reset.

You can curate your own wellness weekend in Hawke’s Bay leaving nothing to be desired. Have a complete body reset at Urban Wellness in Napier, where you can enjoy an infrared sauna, cold immersion, red light therapy and many other healing modalities. Owner Wendy is an expert. Book into a restorative yoga class at Alma, the premier yoga and pilates studio in Hawke’s Bay. You don’t need to be a member to attend, there’s a class for absolutely every ability, and the chill zone is just divine with magazines and books to read and complimentary organic tea.

You’ll find great food at Lot 2 and Pixie in Havelock North, Colab Cafe in Hastings and Hapi in Napier. We are spoiled for choice for delicious plant-based options and many of the ingredients are sourced just a kilometre or two from each eatery. Nourish your body with beautiful fruit, vegetables, baking, nuts and berries at the Hawke’s Bay Farmer’s Market (held in Hastings each Sunday morning).

And then nourish your soul with a freshwater swim in nature at Maraetotara Falls. It’s just a couple of minutes’ walk down a short track from the roadside but feels a world away. My personal favourite is going for a walk up Te Mata Peak or a stroll down wild Ocean Beach, but there are a number of different outdoorsy options. Hawke’s Bay will not disappoint!

There are some really incredible Airbnbs available that match any budget. Scan the platform to find everything from farm stays to glamping to gorgeous hilltop estates.

Drop into the slower pace of life and laid-back attitude which is a constant in this rural part of New Zealand and see what it does for your mindset.


First published by NZ Herald.