Day 7 – Napier – Hastings
Today I plan to stay around the area, find somewhere nice for lunch and maybe a wine tasting or two. The weather has turned today and local area must be pleased to finally get some rain, but not good news for the Big Art Deco weekend. We head out mid-morning, My Aunty Yvonne, Shane and I, and do a loop around town to see what’s going on, doesn’t look like much was happening at the moment so we carry on down the road and first stop is Hohepas Hawkes bay, we were on the hunt for some cheese so we head into the shop. The shop had quite a bit in it, ranging from Wooden toys, Wax candles, A range of organic fruit and vegetables and the very nice cheese we were after.
We carry on down state highway 2 towards Hastings and decide to head over to Birdwoods Café. Just outside Havelock north, this Café use to be the old St Peters church built in 1894. The main hall, as you walk inside, is full with craft and antique items, sculptures and the café counter. Carry on through the doors at the end of the hall, into the seated area for the café where we had a very nice lunch, looking out over some picnic tables and to a fantastic garden area full of sculptures. Looked like most of the work was sculpted by some very talented craftsmen from Africa and New Zealand, from Chairs made from old car parts to some very well crafted contemporary stone sculptures. Around the side of the main hall is described as the sweetest thing in the Hawkes bay, it’s a lolly shop, built to look like an olden day candy shop, filled with big jars full of all sorts of lollies and chocolate down to the old style till. We were kids in a candy shop, filling a bag full of all kinds of lollies, some I remember us having as kids but hadn’t seen for years. Can just picture mum now saying “make sure you wash your teeth after having those” yes mum 😊.
After felling sick after eating to many lollies we drive up to the summit lookout of Te Mata peak. The views were amazing, with the low cloud and the golden hills, we got the camera out started snapping away at its magic scene. There are plenty of walks and mountain bike tracks around the area and is also is where the local hand gliders and paragliders set off from.
As the weather wasn’t that nice, we decide to head back down and check out a few winery’s. Hawkes bay is known for its good wine, having many of its vineyard wines exported overseas. First on the list was Sileni estate, where we met with Terry for a wine tasting, tasting 6 of their wines, from their tropical fruit flavour of their Semillon to the Red berry and cracked pepper characteristics of their Syrah. $5 for the tasting or free if you buy a bottle.
Next up was Church Road, as we parked in the carpark I could see the nice big grounds where they sometimes hold concerts. We get to the big wooden doors and look inside the winery, I was blown away. It had the lights dimmed down, Big old wooden beams and wooden ceiling, wine barrels and a small copper distil at the end, with a few tables for lunch and of course the nice girls doing the tastings. We did the complementary tasting which consisted of three of their nice wines, with the Pinot Gris been our pick.
Then on to The Mission Estate, this place is stunning as well. This well restored and maintained Seminary building was Established in 1851 by the missionaries in the area. Now you can walk around the building taking in the history and then out to the gardens and take in the view out over the vineyards. After a quick walk around, since it was nearly closing time, decide to do the last tasting, all up we tasted 7 wines, 3 whites, 3reds and a dessert wines with a couple of them been the best of the day, the Syrah and Chardonnay. Also as a bonus with the $5 tasting you get a little souvenir Glass to take home.
Starting to feel the effects of the wine, we make our way back home for dinner and the end of the very enjoyable first week of the trip.