Napier & Hawkes Bay – ideas for free time

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Napier is a very manageable size and you can walk around most of the city and get to the waterfront quite easily. A particularly good stroll is the Napier Pathway which meanders along scenic Marine Parade, through the city and up Bluff Hill where you can enjoy fantastic views of the bay. For a more informative amble, head to the visitor information centre (i-Site) where you can join guided art deco walks. The flat landscape around the city also makes it ideal for cycling and there are well established and extensive cycle trails which wind via various viewpoints and historical sights.

If you’re not already doing a wine tour then you can do wine tasting at any number of vineyards, though of course you need to be mindful of driving once you’ve had a tipple. Many of the vineyards also have excellent restaurants and provide a lovely setting for a lazy lunch or gourmet dinner.

Te Mata Peak, just south of Hastings, has some pleasant walking trails and splendid views from the top and if you’re out that way you may wish to drive a little further to Ocean Beach – a long stretch of golden sand which attracts both surfers and families alike.

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