For any lovers of food and wine, Hawke's Bay is a must. Known as the "fruit bowl" of New Zealand, the land is incredibly fertile meaning everything grows incredibly well. Most importantly for me, this area of New Zealand is home to various wineries, producing excellent quality wines. With its stunning scenery, the local cellar doors often come with excellent views and fantastic food to match. In addition to the wine there is also a lot of great, local produce — from fruits and olive oil to cheese. As you would expect there are lots of top-notch restaurants in the area, serving creations with fresh local ingredients — which, of course, are complimented with a lovely glass of local wine.
As well as the great outdoors and fabulous local produce, Hawke's Bay is also home to the city of Napier, famed for its Art Deco architecture. For a touch of local history, learning about its reconstruction in the 1930s following the earthquake, it's well worth a visit during your time in the area. The region is rich in Maori culture and mythology, with lots of local legends; the shape and location of Hawke's Bay means it is also known as Te Matau a Maui (the Fishhook of Maui) after the famous Maori God. For nature lovers there are some great bird spotting opportunities in the mountains for native species, and Cape Kidnappers is home to the country's largest mainland gannet colony.