Hawke's Bay Attractions
This crescent bay lies on the east side of the North Island, near Hastings. It was given its name (after Admiral Lord Hawke) by Captain Cook in 1769. It is bounded on the northeast by the Mahia Peninsula and on the southwest by Cape Kidnappers.Hawke's Bay has a Mediterranean climate, with little rain and long hours of sunshine, conditions ideal for fruit growing and horticulture, including vines and various vegetables. In spite of this the population has been steadily declining in recent years.
Cape Kidnappers, 21km east of Hastings at the south end of Hawke's Bay, near Clifton, is noted particularly as a nesting place for gannets. The birds arrive in the sanctuary here at the end of July. Their eggs are laid between October and November, and the young birds hatch 6 weeks later. The gannets begin to leave their nesting place in February, and by April almost all of them have gone.The gannet colony can be reached from Clifton (5km walk) only at low tide along the sandy beach to an observation platform. There are conducted tours from Te Awanga and trips in all-terrain vehicles to near the site.
Wairoa, New Zealand
The little town of Wairoa (pop. 5000), situated on Hawke's Bay between Napier and Gisborne, is the commercial center of a large pastoral farming region and a good base from which to explore Urewera National Park, with Lake Waikaremoana. The first Europeans to come here in the 1820s were flax dealers, later followed by whalers and missionaries. In 1865 there was fighting between the settlers and supporters of the Hauhau movement, who were finally compelled to withdraw to the roadless vastness of the Urewera Range.
The most striking feature, on Marine Parade, is a lighthouse of kauri wood that from 1877 to 1958 stood on Portland Island, off the southern tip of the Mahia Peninsula.
The Wairoa Museum has mementos of the early settlement and a good collection of Maori material. From the bridge there is a view upstream of the Takitimu meeting house, with carving by Pine Taiapa.