Hastings, nicknamed the Fruit Bowl of New Zealand thanks to the abundant orchards in the area, is also one of the leading food and wine destinations in the country, with a host of laid-back cafes and fancy restaurants showcasing regional homegrown produce. Want the option to cook up a feast for yourself? Take your pick from our selection of the best self-catering holiday apartments in Hastings, bookable on Culture Trip.
Behind the impressive art deco facade, 47 modern light-filled studios and apartments await you – some have extra-high ceilings and balconies. Elsewhere, there are 50 colourful murals in and around Napier, designed to raise awareness of issues facing the ocean, such as plastic pollution and climate change, and you can see one of these artworks at the rear of the hotel. Don’t miss a walk around the nearby streets and the suburb of Ahuriri to see the others.
This rural outpost, between Hastings and Havelock North, comprises just three homely cottages (one studio, plus two one- and two-bedroom self-contained units) surrounded by apple orchards and rose bushes. Owners Max and Carol are impeccable hosts – on hot days, they may even treat you to some ice cream – and can help you plan your excursions if you can drag yourself away from the pool.
Hosts Rachel and Tony have thought of all the little extras, from generous breakfast supplies (including eggs from their own chickens) to free bike and e-bike hire. The three holiday cottages in Hastings circle a sculpted courtyard garden, and you can use the barbecue and trendy pizza oven. Napier and Havelock North are also an easy drive or cycle away, and a pebble beach is practically on your doorstep.
This clutch of one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages are perfect for families and groups, and just a stone’s throw from the food lover’s haven of Havelock North. Save time to enjoy the grounds – exploring the orchards, taking a dip in the heated pool, and meeting pigs, sheep and alpacas at the petting paddock. Don’t miss a trip to the numerous cellar doors and vineyards just east of town, too.
Looking for a romantic retreat? Check into one of the charming rooms at Kalldeen, run by affable owners Lynn and Wayne. There’s a pool and a tennis court on the 4ha (10-acre) plot, and the two chalets set away from the main lodge feature private decks and hot tubs – the perfect spot to share a bottle of wine from the surrounding vineyards. If you’re here on Saturday, take a trip to Hastings farmers’ market, which is one of the best in New Zealand.
Experience life among the vines at this secluded retreat in the Esk Valley near Napier; it features four self-contained one-bedroom suites and a celeb-worthy lodge and villa for larger groups. The suites and lodge have access to the hot tub, pool and uber-stylish lounge. Try the curiously named house wines (glass of Farting Kiwi, anyone?) and head to Mission Estate Winery to sample the fine local cuisine, such as rack of lamb and truffle-cauliflower mash.
Every last detail has been thought of at Lawn Cottages – think generous provisions of milk and bread and free mozzie spray – plus you’re even welcome to pick your own fruit and veg from the garden when it’s in season. When you’re not hanging out in one of the six modern cottages, which are filled with natural light thanks to the sliding patio doors, wander to the nearby beach or drive along the coast to soak up the scenery around Cape Kidnappers peninsula.
This pair of two-bedroom luxury villas overlook acres of grounds in Clive, near the coast. Plump for the larger villa, boasting a fireplace, a second bathroom with a stand-alone bath and a TV nook. Fancy soaking up some of the best scenery (and wine) in the region on two wheels? Look no further than Coastal Wine Cycles – just a five-minute drive towards the coast. The bikes are super comfy California-style cruisers, and the company will happily help you devise the right route for you.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.