- Hawke's Bay
Napier, built in a distinctive art deco style, adjoins Hastings, the region’s agricultural service hub.
Hawke’s Bay is a large area with around 350km/217mi of coastline hugging the Pacific Ocean on the south-eastern side of the North Island.
More than 81,000 people live in the Hastings District, and more than 62,000 in the ‘twin’ city of Napier about 18km / 11mi away.
It’s about 5½ hours’ drive from Auckland to Napier, or 4½ hours from Wellington.
For years, Hawke’s Bay (particularly the Hastings District) was known as ‘New Zealand’s fruit bowl’ for its stone and pip fruit production. More recently, land use has diversified, especially into viticulture.
A strong earthquake in 1931 destroyed many buildings in Hastings and particularly Napier. Rebuilt in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission architectural styles in vogue at that time, their unique character still draws enthusiasts from around the world.
The iconic buildings, reliably sunny climate, great food and wine all combine to give Hawke’s Bay an attractive, almost Mediterranean lifestyle.
Sport and culture are well catered for with facilities including a recently remodeled Opera House, museums, art galleries and sports arenas.
There is a large base hospital and an Institute of Technology providing internationally recognised viticultural qualifications.
The region is also home to some of the country’s leading secondary schools.
Scenic attractions include the world’s largest onshore gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, many excellent golf courses and the region's classic road cycle races.
Notable events that attract many outsiders include the region's annual Art Deco Weekend, and the Mission Estate Concert at Mission Estate and Winery.
Economy and industry
Hawke's Bay is renowned for its primary sector industries.
Cherries and apples, the original staples of the local economy are important: so are those classic New Zealand pastoral activities of sheep and beef farming. Grapes grow well throughout the region, and most famous are the wines developed in the Gimblett Gravels area. The Cabernets and Merlots produced there consistently outperform French competitors in blind taste tests.
The region also produces table vegetables, including organic produce. Food and beverage processing, forestry and manufacturing are significant industries.
Tourism is increasingly important in the region. Built around the region’s climate, iconic buildings, and wineries, Hawke's Bay hosts many concerts, conferences, sporting events and farmers' markets.
The Hawke's Bay is dry and temperate with long hot summers and cool winters. In summer daytime maximums are around 19-24°C falling to 10-15°C in winter.
Rainfall is highly variable - summer can have droughts or heavy rains. In winter Hawke’s Bay is subject to cold southerly winds.
Top five migrant populations (2018 Census)
Many migrants have already made Hawke's Bay home. The table below shows where these migrants are moving from and demonstrates the diverse population you can expect to find in Hawke's Bay.
It can be comforting to know there are others, similar to you, who have experienced the move.
Country of origin
No. of migrants
UK and Ireland
|Pacific Islands||3,660 (2.2%)|
|Europe (excl. UK and Ireland)||2,186 (1.3%)|
Now that you know about some of what Hawke's Bay has to offer, check our other pages on the region to learn more about everyday life in the region, and services and support you can access.
Upcoming events in your region
Events for new migrants are regularly held throughout the country. Gain local insight into finding a job and getting setup and settled in New Zealand.