Things to Do in Hastings & Surrounds
Full to the brim of sights to be seen and experiences to be had, Hastings sits on the fertile Heretaunga Plains right at the heart of Hawke's Bay. Besides drinking the finest wines and sampling delicious artisan produce, you can explore everything the city has to offer on foot or by bike. Enjoy our unique Spanish Mission and Art Deco architecture, drink in the wonderfully vibrant arts and culture, or stop for a coffee and a bite to eat in one of our award-winning cafés and restaurants around Hastings City Square and the landmark Art Deco Clock Tower.
You can find out more about the region and local events by visiting Hastings i-SITE online, but if you get the opportunity to visit the i-SITE in person at the Spanish Mission-style Westermans Building on the corner of Russell and Heretaunga streets, you won't be disappointed. Steeped in history and diverse culture, Hastings is the perfect place to stop and smell the roses for a while.
Rent a Bike
Whether you prefer cycling on the road or hitting the trails, free your wheels and rent a bike to explore urban Hastings or further afield. With predominantly flat terrain and easy cycling, you can tag on to a tour or fly solo, and spend as long as you like discovering beautiful Hastings and the wider Hawke’s Bay Region.
When you visit Hawke's Bay you know you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to markets. Meet winemakers and sample their best vintages, or discover what it takes to craft the best cheese. Meet the region's finest producers and artisans, buy fresh, take in the atmosphere, enjoy the live entertainment, eat breakfast al fresco, let all the aromas of hearty food and freshly roasted coffee embrace you, and explore some of the most beautifully rich and diverse markets the region has to offer.
- Thursday night, Hastings City Night Market
- Saturday morning, Hastings City Growers' Market
- Saturday morning, Napier Urban Food Market
- Sunday morning, Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market
- Saturday morning (summer months only), Black Barn Growers' Market
- Saturday morning, Taradale Rotary Market
Splash Planet Theme Park
Fancy a huge, themed water park a short drive or stroll away from your motel? Splash Planet caters for kids of all ages and is a must-do while you're in town. (Please note Splash Planet closes during the winter months.)
Whether you want thrills or chills, Splash Planet has it all wrapped up. From chilling out in heated pools to keeping your cool on the Sky Castle Screamer, there are pools, rides and slides for everyone.
Explore the Hawke's Bay Region
From the rugged Ruahine, Kaweka and Huiarau ranges to the beautiful sweeping beaches of Waimarama, Haumoana and Hawke's Bay, explore the historical Bay Cities of Hastings and Napier, or enjoy the boutique and artisan appeal of Havelock North at the base of Te Mata Peak. Take a wine tour, or get pedalling and hit the Hawke's Bay Trails to see all the sights under your own steam. With its beautiful Mediterranean climate, the Hawke's Bay has so much to offer. Never has the saying 'the best things in life are free' been more true than here, with so much abundant wildlife and so many wild, outside places to explore.
Throughout the Hawke's Bay, the oldest wine region in New Zealand, there are many wine tours ranging from 'wine only' to more holistic food and wine trails. You can be guided or, of course, choose to freewheel around the vineyards at your own pace. Either way, whether you're starting the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail or wanting to sample the local Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah and explore a small number of the 100 vineyards and 80 wineries available to you, The Magpie Hawke's Bay Motel can help you choose and arrange your preferred style of tour when you arrive.
Art Deco Tours
Just 20km from Hastings, the Art Deco Trust in Napier has been showing visitors the sights and sounds of Napier for over 30 years. Take a guided walk, or a vintage car, bus or bike tour, and learn all about Napier's history and heritage from wonderful storytellers and guides, who will tell you how an earthquake devastated Napier city and brought about the rebuild which introduced such a unique concentration of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical architecture. There are maps available if you prefer to self-drive or self-walk the tour at your own pace.
Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo
Walk and talk to the animals at Hawke's Bay Farmyard Zoo. Great for animal lovers and located only 15 minutes from The Magpie Hawke's Bay Motel, this local farmyard zoo is renowned for its wide range of animals and birds, unique atmosphere and educational opportunities. Bring a picnic, feed the animals or try a pony ride. Horse trekking and riding lessons are also available. The farmyard zoo is open seven days, weather permitting.
Like a guardian and protector, Bare Island stands out to sea from the sweeping, golden-sand beach of Waimarama, where bustling, vibrant weekends often give way to sleepy weekdays. On a great day, the swell here brings lines of breakers, making this a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. With quaint, wooden cottages and rambling gardens falling over roadside fences, this much beloved coastal village is the perfect place for walking, running, swimming and surfing. If you want to fish for your supper, flounder, crayfish, pipi and paua are all popular catches here. If you would like to discover more about the history of Waimarama, tours are available from Waimarama Maori Tours.
Maraetotara Heritage Walk
Reach the Maraetotara Falls by a 10-minute, easy and shaded walk. Continue downstream for another 20 minutes through limestone scenery, and you pass by an old turbine house and surge tower. Take time out for a dip in the swimming hole on the way.
Te Angiangi Marine Reserve
Te Angiangi Marine Reserve is located on the Central Hawke's Bay coastline, approximately 30km east of Waipukurau and Waipawa. The reserve is a great place to walk at low tide, where you can see an abundance of bird life feeding. Within the reserve, Stingray Bay is cut off from the open sea at low tides, creating a very sheltered lagoon for those learning how to snorkel. From the water you will likely see seals, gannets, terns, pods of common and bottlenose dolphins, as well as dusky dolphins and orca.
Te Mata Peak
The Giant Among Us, Te Mata Peak, stands 399m above the Heretaunga Plains with an uninterrupted view over the Hawke's Bay Region. On a clear day, as you watch the gliders fly from Te Mata Peak to soar on summer thermals, watch out, too, for Mt Ruapehu in the distance. Whether you use four wheels or two, or climb it yourself, taking in the breathtaking view is a must-do when you visit the region. Te Mata Park has beautiful walking tracks and MTB trails. If you are feeling more adventurous, geocaching and orienteering are both very popular in the park, too.