Hawke’s Bay

Day 6 – Gisborne to Napier


Waking up to another stunning day in Gisborne, sun is shining and the wind has died down. That’s great for my but not so much for the draught sickened area. Today’s plan is to head down to Napier, 3 hours south west of Gisborne down the coast, and see some sites along the way.

I set out mid-morning, do a quick loop around town then on to state highway 2 and make my way down the coast. At the other southern end of Poverty bay is Young Nicks head. This is where crew from Captain Cooks ship, the Endeavour first sighted New Zealand and the white cliffs of the head land. It was spotted by a young 12-year-old boy named Nicholas Young. As Captain Cook, had promised, the area would be named after the first person that sighted land and two gallons of rum, bet he was a happy young man 😊.


Carrying on down and into the Hawke’s Bay region, I pass Morere hot springs, the turn off to the Mangaone caves and carried on out to Mahia Peninsula. This is a great little peninsula with black sandy beaches in some areas and white sand coves in others, some interesting rock formations and in 2016 a company called Rocket Lab, started setting up a launch pad to launch rockets and small satellites, 500km up into a Sun-synchronous orbit.

Leaving Mahia after some lunch, I pass through the town of Wairoa and on to Raupunga, just past there, you head over a bridge, and on your left, you will see the massive Mohaka viaduct train bridge, at 95m high and 277m long, you can’t miss it. Next stop was at a small lake, lake Tutira, for a few photos and then back on the road to Napier.


Napier is a great little city on the east coast, with plenty to do. The Hawkes Bay known for its good wines, so there’s lots of vineyards to go wine tasting, take a bike for a ride along the water front, check out the Aquarium or take an Art Deco tour. The city was destroyed in 1931 by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, killing 256 people and injuring thousands. The city was slowly rebuilt in the 30’s and is now known as the art deco capital of New Zealand. This week is the famous Art deco week. The town comes alive with thousands of people coming into town, most dressed in 1930 outfits driving, vintage cars and enjoying activities of the era. This is another must do if you’re in the area at this time of year.


I head down to the water front when I arrive in town and take a quick walk down Marine Parade, the place is full with visitors all here for the festival. This is where I found the sunken gardens and the aquarium, before a little detour through the main street. Time for dinner so I jump back in the van and head over to meet up with my Aunty Yvonne and Shane, we decide to head out to a great little Mexican restaurant Mexi Mama, located on a stretch of old storage sheds, now transformed into great bars and restaurants overlooking the Marina.

After filling our belly’s, we head home to finish the night playing Virtual reality games, such a weird but awesome invention. I have never done this before so was quite sure what was going to happen, I put on the googles and had a couple of hand controllers. First they thing they put on was a scene where you’re on top of the mountain and It feels like your actually there walking around, seeing 360 degrees around, the weirdest feeling is when you step off a cliff, you know you’re in the lounge and your safe but with the goggles on you literally thing you’re going over the edge. We played a few other games through the night, great bit of fun and end to the day.


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