Hawkes Bay (originally known as Hawke Bay) occupies the east coast of the North Island just north of the Wairarapa Region. The eastern border is a 100 kilometre semi-circular bay which extends from Cape Kidnappers north to Mahia Peninsula . The region includes a hilly interior which blends into the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges. There are two main areas of plains. In the north are the flood plains around the Wairoa River and the south is home to the Heretaunga Plains around Hastings.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is an unremarkable hill in southern Hawke's Bay, not far from Waipukurau. It has the honour of being New Zealand's longest place name and is recognised as the second longest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Due to a major earthquake in 1931, Napier was rebuilt in the art deco style of that period. The result is a city that is remarkably different to other cities of New Zealand and looks more akin to Miami Beach in Florida. Napier celebrates its Art Deco lifestyle annually in Art Deco Weekend.
Napier has one of New Zealand's biggest ports which exports wool, and fruit such as apples, pears and stone fruits. There are also many fine vineyards producing world-class wines. Most vineyards offer free tasting and high quality dining. Each year there is a Wine and Food Festival that shows off the local produce.
Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual New Zealand). Providing a credit or link is appreciated.
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