The story begins with a day out fishing...

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Maui is well-known as one of the most famous gods in Maori mythology and perhaps his most famous accomplishment was fishing up the North Island of New Zealand.

The story begins with a day out fishing with his brothers...

The brothers, wary of Maui’s antics, refused to give him any hook or bait so he used his own fish hook made from the jawbone of his grandmother. He then punched himself in the nose and smeared his blood on the hook to act as bait. Before long, Maui caught a great fish that turned out to be the North Island of New Zealand. The fishhook, according to legend, became the cape which now forms the southernmost tip of Hawke Bay. And here in Hawke’s Bay our coastline viewed from above still looks like the fish hook. Hence the name for this part of New Zealand, ‘Te Matau a Maui’, the ‘Hook of the Fish of Maui’.

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Much has happened since Maui used his magic fish hook. The region’s place in history was further cemented with a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 1931 that reduced the cities of Napier and Hastings to rubble. Rebuilt in the Art Deco style of the times, today a tour of Napier’s streets is a must do for any visitor to the region.

Today Hawke’s Bay boasts over 150 vineyards, more than 90 wineries, and 35 cellar doors, traditional farmers markets, boutique food stores and fabulous fresh produce and is widely recognised as New Zealand’s leading wine and food region. Outdoor dining at one of the many award winning winery restaurants is a must, as is partaking in one of the many winery concerts over the summer months.

The backbone of Hawke’s Bay is the stunning natural beauty that is only enhanced by our long sunny days. Big blue skies, white sand beaches and scenic icons such as Lake Waikaremoana, Te Mata Peak and Cape Kidnappers are what make Hawke’s Bay truly special.

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Our top picks

Hawke’s Bay has a wide range of great things to do and wonderful places to see. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to cover everything you want to see and do. Our top picks include:

Art Deco Tours

Napier was destroyed by earthquake and fire in 1931 and rebuilt in the styles of the times. Napier’s Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical and above all Art Deco, are all styles that express the confidence, optimism and vigour of the early 20th century.  This unique heritage is passionately protected under the careful governance of Napier’s Art Deco Trust.

A number of tours are available from guide yourself through to guided Vintage Car tours. To book a tour or for further information, phone the Art Deco Trust on Ph (06) 835 0022 or visit 

Gannet Safaris

Explore the world’s largest mainland gannet colony on Cape Kidnappers. Travel by 4WD adventure tour, by tractor ride along the beach or for the more adventurous, track the tides and do it yourself.

For tour details contact either Gannet Beach Adventures on (06) 875 0888, or Gannet Beach Adventures on (06) 875 0898,

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The Farm at Cape Kidnappers - Golf and Spa

Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 7,119 yards (6,510 meters) and will challenge golfers of all skill levels. The course is consistently ranked in the top 50 courses in the world. 

The Cape Kidnappers Spa relaxes, rejuvenates and revives your body and spirit. Located on the hillside above the Lodge, the treatment rooms feature amazing views across the valley towards the sea or over the pine forest to snow crowned Mount Ruapehu. Choose from a variety of treatments including massage, foot reflexology, body wraps, facials, pedicures, manicures and hair care.

Booking for both the spa and tee-off is essential and can be done by phoning Cape Kidnappers on (06) 875 1900.

Fly Fishing and Exclusive Wine Tours

With over 30 rivers and streams stocked with brown and rainbow trout, Hawke’s Bay provides many fly fishing opportunities. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced angler, Grant Petherick and his guiding team will give you an opportunity for challenge and success in the many kilometres of uncrowded waters.

If fly fishing is not on your list of must do’s but wine tasting is, Grant can also provide a tour of the Hawkes Bay wineries, tailor made to reflect your interest and wine preferences.

Contact Grant on 06 876 7467 or visit for more information.

Story of Maui kindly reproduced courtesy of Hawke’s Bay Tourism.