New Zealand is full of beautiful locations whether it be a city, town, a national park, a reserve, the list is endless. I was brought up in a small community of about 7,000, known as Central Hawke’s Bay. Not many New Zealanders know of this place but many would drive through it! It’s a collection of small towns that combine to make one big community.
Although many would think a small town would have nothing to do…think again!! Waipukurau is the largest town in CHB. It has an indoor heated pool complex, cycle trails along the river, skatepark, new playgrounds, racecourse, movie theatre and many boutique shops.
About 3km out of town you would find “Pukeora Hill” meaning “Hill of Health”. This hill provides stunning views of the nearby mountain range, the Ruahine Ranges, and the Waipukurau town. A winery is situated at the top of this hill and is a local delicacy! (Look for Pukeora in the wine isles if interested!!). In September the annual spring festival is held in the old hospital. A unique range of hand crafted goods, food stalls, artwork and performances. A must do if you happen to drive through CHB in early September. Let’s not forget the trolley derby in October either!! Budding dare devils create trolleys to race down the hill at record speeds. A great event to spectate or participate if you are an adrenalin junky!
September is also the start of Spring and Central Hawke’s Bay has an array of events that come under the “Spring Fling”. This includes visiting the beautiful Taniwha Daffodil Farm, in Takapau (about a 15 minute drive south of Waipukurau). This popular family park is open during the month of September. You get to pick your own daffodils, 30 for $5 where all proceeds go towards the local Plunket. It is a photographers paradise!! Even on a dull day. So bring a picnic and sit amongst the brightly coloured flowers, or next to the crocodile infested lake😉
The Hatuma Half Marathon is another event that happens in spring in Central Hawke’s Bay. This annual sporting event is popular amongst the locals where the course takes you around the perimeter of lake Hatuma. All abilities are encouraged and all ages!!
So if you ever happen to be driving north of Dannevirke one day or South of Hastings on your travels within New Zealand, no doubtebly you will be driving through Central Hawkes Bay. Stop and take a look around! The locals would be more than happy to give you advice or point out where to go!