The North Island’s fruit-bowl, the region also has extensive vineyards thanks to consistently hot and dry summers and autumns.
Napier, built in a distinctive art deco style, adjoins Hastings, the region’s agricultural service hub.
Hawke’s Bay is a large area surrounding a bay around 100 km / 60 miles long on the south-eastern side of the North Island. About 73,000 people live in the Hastings district, and 57,000 in the ‘twin’ city of Napier about 18 km / 11 miles away.
Population (2013 Census)
% born outside NZ:
Average house price Dec 2019:
Napier City $585,000
Hawke's Bay Region $520,000
Hawke's Bay/Gisborne: $40,040
It’s about 5½ hours’ drive from Auckland to Napier, or 4½ hours from Wellington.
For years, Hawke’s Bay (particularly the Hastings District) was known as ‘New Zealand’s fruit bowl’ for its stone and pip fruit production. More recently, land use has diversified, especially into viticulture.
A strong earthquake in 1931 destroyed many buildings in Hastings and particularly Napier. Rebuilt in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission architectural styles in vogue at that time, their unique character still draws enthusiasts from around the world.
The iconic buildings, reliably sunny climate, great food and wine all combine to give Hawke’s Bay an attractive, almost Mediterranean lifestyle.
Sport and culture are well catered for with facilities including a recently remodelled Opera House, museums, art galleries and sports arenas. There is a large base hospital and an Institute of Technology whose Viticultural qualifications are now internationally sought after. The region is also home to some of the country’s leading secondary schools.
Scenic attractions include the world’s largest onshore gannet colony (Cape Kidnappers), there are many excellent golf courses and the region hosts several classic road cycle races.
Notable events attracting many outsiders include the region's annual Art Deco Weekend, and the Mission Estate Concert at Mission Estate and Winery.
Hawke's Bay is renowned for its primary sector industries. Cherries and apples, the original staples of the local economy are important: so are those classic New Zealand pastoral activities of sheep and beef farming. Grapes grow well throughout the region, and most famous are the wines developed in the Gimblett Gravels area. The Cabernets and Merlots produced there consistently outperform French competitors in blind taste tests.
The region also produces table vegetables, including organic produce. Food and beverage processing, forestry and manufacturing are significant industries.
Tourism is increasingly important in the region. Built around the region’s climate, iconic buildings, and wineries, Hawke's Bay hosts many concerts, conferences, sporting events and farmers' markets.
The Hawke's Bay is dry and temperate with long hot summers and cool winters. In summer daytime maximums are around 19-24°C falling to 10-15°C in winter.
Rainfall is highly variable - summer can have droughts or heavy rains. In winter Hawke’s Bay is subject to cold southerly winds.
Many migrants have already made Hawke's Bay home. The table below shows where these migrants are moving from and demonstrates the diverse population you can expect to find in Hawke's Bay.
It can be comforting to know there are others, similar to you, who have experienced the move.
Country of origin
No. of migrants
UK and Ireland
|Europe (excl. UK and Ireland)||1,866|
Adrian Matthews - I think the key thing is to do your research and to have a good look around. Try and form some networks.
Bob Stimson - The more homework you can do, the smoother the transition will be.
George Manjooran - If you study the market well, it’s easy to get a job in New Zealand.
Now that you know about what Hawke's Bay has to offer, have a read about everyday life in the region, and services and support you can access.
Upcoming events in your region
Events for new migrants are regularly held throughout the country. Gain local insight into finding a job and getting setup and settled in New Zealand.View events calendar