Birdwoods is a very special place in the heart of beautiful Hawke's Bay. Set in the countryside just 3km from Havelock North village, Birdwoods is a 'must see' for all visitors and locals, offering a gallery, sculpture garden, cafe, real fruit ice-cream shop and our much loved old fashioned sweet shop.
Opened in 2005 by Bruce and Louise Stobart, the Gallery's home is the original church hall from St Peter's in Waipawa built in 1894. The old hall has since had a beautiful conservatory added and the extensive grounds include an outdoor terrace, a Garden Room, a Sun Room and a large sculpture garden and water feature, inhabited by ducks and gold fish. Visitors enjoy Birdwoods famous cafe treats all year round in one of the Bay's loveliest settings.
Right next door to Birdwoods Gallery is the Birdwoods Sweet Shop, an old fashioned sweet shop 'just like you remember' housed in a charming one room colonial cottage made from reclaimed materials. Packed to the rafters with a treasure trove of sweets, it’s a favourite of young and old.
The words most often used to describe visiting Birdwoods for the first time are, "serene", "wonderful", "delicious" and "stunning". Come and experience beautiful Birdwoods for yourself - available now via all the tours shown below.
Book your visit to Birdwoods with Tour Napier!
Te Mata Park and its famous peak is one of the most loved and visited places in Hawke’s Bay. Gifted in perpetuity to the community in 1927 and managed by a small group of volunteer trustees.
With appreciated help from local councils and the community, the Park is a cultural, historical and recreational treasure offering fabulous 360-degree views across the area.
Explore Te Mata Peak with Tour Napier
All the tours shown either include a visit to the Peak as standard or can include it on request
Key dates in history
1300s - Early settlement
There is evidence of past settlement from this period, including pā sites and other earthworks. The Karaka groves in the upper Te Hau Valley area and Moa bones found on the slopes suggest intensive Māori settlement.
1769 - James Cook
Captain James Cook sighted New Zealand on 6 October 1769, and landed at Poverty Bay two days later. He drew detailed and accurate maps of the country, and wrote about the Māori people.
His first encounter with Māori was not successful – a fight broke out in which some Māori were killed. However, after this Cook and his men are reported to have had friendly contact with Māori.
1820 - Waikato Maori invasion
The Waikato Māori are said to have invaded the Te Mata area and the Ngāti Pare tribe, which lived along the range as far as Mt Erin, made its last stand at Pakake on the western spurs of Te Mata Peak. The women and children who were spared went to the top and held a funeral ceremony looking toward Cape Kidnappers and cutting their faces and bodies with sharp flints. They were then taken to Waikato.
Chiefteness Winipere was also captured and recited a lament as she said farewell to Heretaunga from Te Mata Peak; this song was well known by elders as a funeral chant.
1862 - John Chambers
1926 - Redwoods planted
The grove of 223 stunning California redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) was planted in 1926 and many are now over 40 metres tall. The Chambers family were great experimenters with tree planting and, having generally favoured eucalypts, decided to try a conifer species. Noting the similarities between the climates of Hawke’s Bay and coastal California, they decided to plant a large grove of redwoods. Native to America and the tallest of all trees, the redwood is an evergreen and extremely long-lived tree with a life span of 2,500 to 3,500 years.
1977 - QE2 National Trust
In 1977, Te Mata Park was placed under a Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII National Trust) covenant to ensure permanent protection of this iconic landscape. The purpose of this covenant is to promote the provision, protection and enhancement of open space, for the benefit and enjoyment of all people in New Zealand.
Westshore was already a popular seaside resort when the 1931 earthquake reclaimed the Ahuriri lagoon, a long-time popular spot for yachting and boating activities. However, the quake also transformed the previously dangerous and shingly seashore into a safe and sandy swimming beach.
Established to promote Napier's attractions, the Thirty Thousand Club was among the ardent enthusiasts pressing for beautification of the beachfront. Newly planted trees and shrubs had to battle poor coastal soils and sparse water supplies to survive. This landscaping and other improvements help make this one of Napier's most popular beaches and today a 19.4ha strip reserve flanks the Westshore foreshore.
Recreational activities include swimming, picnicking and sunbathing, and the reserve includes a children's play area, surf clubs and changing and toilet facilities.
On the coast between Awatoto and Haumoana, Waitangi Regional Park links the Tukituki, Ngaruroro and Tūtaekurī Rivers, the Karamū Stream-Clive rivers and coastal reserves. The park covers an area of 300 ha along around 5km of a narrow strip of coastline.
This part of the coast is an important ecosystem. The birds you might spot include white heron, royal spoonbill, godwits, and gannets. You might also smell or spot a seal or two, when they come inshore. The lower parts of the rivers are popular for fishing, whitebaiting, rowing, waka ama, kayaking, jet boating, jet skiing, and kite surfing.
The Waitangi Estuary area was an early arrival site for both Māori and Europeans. The Star Compass symbolises the navigational skills of early settlers. On Waitangi Day, 6 February, a popular festival on the Clive River features a re-enactment of the arrival of the first European settlers.
Visit the carpark where Nelson Quay meets Hardinge Road in Ahuriri and you'll find a stunning, swim-safe little beach that the whole family will love. Stretching the length of the beach is a handy boardwalk that will lead you to the scenic Perfume Point to your left, or to Spriggs Park Playground to the right.
Kids also love exploring the rocky shore alongside Spriggs Park. Within a stone's throw of the beach you'll find an outstanding array of cafes and eateries to keep everyone fed and watered.
Article by Church Road Winery
It's triple success for our very own Chris Scott who has been named @wineestate New Zealand Winemaker of the Year for the third time. Why wouldn't you buy wine made by this man and his amazing team?
Visit Church Road Winery with Tour Napier - book now!
All the tours shown either include a visit to Church Road Winery as standard in the itinerary or can include it on request (and subject to availability). Please mention Church Road Winery when booking to avoid disappointment.
Written by John & Kathryn Loughlin, proprietors of Askerne Winery
Dear wine friends
2021 is racing by. We started our harvest on 5th March which is the earliest for about 20 years. We have now completed about a third of our harvest, with our early varieties largely complete. The fruit so far has been outstanding with beautiful flavours and lovely acidity giving great freshness. This vintage is throwing up a new challenge as most of our previous 25 vintages have done. This year’s challenge has been the highly publicised labour shortage.
Our 2019 Tere Syrah is the second wine in our “icon range” alongside The Archer Chardonnay. The name Tere honours our site in Te Mata Mangateretere Road, and the fast-flowing Tuki Tuki river which laid down our site including the gravel bed on which we grow our Syrah.
At Askerne we hand-harvest Chardonnay and Viognier in search of the pure characters from whole bunch pressing. We have four blocks of Chardonnay on different soils with five clones planted (Mendoza in 3 blocks and Clone 15 in 2). These have matured differently which has been a blessing with lots of small picks being able to be handled by family, the cellar door team, and friends. We have a long way to go with vintage, but the tension eases slightly with every good parcel of fruit that we bring in.
The Tere Syrah was our auction wine at the 2020 Hawke’s Bay Charity Wine Auction and attracted very strong bidding interest. It is a stylish wine and has a Northern Rhone style to it.
The second of our wines is a new rosé called Sérieux (French for serious) from the 2020 vintage. This is a dry, food-friendly wine that has been made from Carménère and Mourvèdre fruit grown on bony soils. This wine is reminiscent of the rosés from the South of France.
We are planning the release of a sister wine from a subsequent vintage. Rosé is a growing category, and this wine is a serious contribution to that category. This wine is proving really popular at our cellar door.
We have the extensions to our cellar door. As with most construction projects, the work ran on and promised timelines were not met. However, the project was completed in time for Summer and has been worth waiting for. The expanded tasting room and large under-veranda spaces are working really well. They are giving us the ability to offer good tasting experiences to multiple groups simultaneously, without the cramping that was the case in the old cellar door. We have also expanded our cellar door team to lift our service offering and invested in tables and chairs made from recycled wine barrels.
These provide covered seating for our “do it yourself gourmet picnics”. Summer has been a little quieter without the usual visits from overseas tourists. However, we have seen a lot more New Zealanders. Our very strong ratings on Google and Trip Advisor have contributed to this. We thank all of you who have left on-line ratings.
We do have a new special offer on our 2018 Sauvignon Blanc / Sauvignon Gris / Semillon. We made this wine to spearhead an export endeavour. We felt we needed a point of difference from Sauvignon Blanc. We received great feedback on it. However, we have also been told that the world knows and loves NZ Sauvignon Blanc, and the trade will buy what it knows it can sell. So, we are now long on this wine and short on Sauvignon Blanc as our 2019 and 2020 vintages have raced out the door.
We have made the brave decision to remain open 7 days a week for the whole year and will offer the gourmet picnics year-round. Hawke’s Bay does have some good weather on some days outside the tourist seasons.
Early this year we welcomed Cairn Coghill to the Askerne team as winemaker. Cairn has previously worked in the Villa Maria group, Alpha Domus, Hatton Estate and most recently Sileni Estate. Cairn has also worked four vintages in Bordeaux and Oregon. Cairn is bringing leadership, passion and energy to our winery team.
Along with most primary sector employers we are facing significant cost increases. We have made a decision not to lower wine quality and are going to lift our prices to try to recover these. The price increase will take effect from the end of April. So, we are giving you a last opportunity to buy at the old prices.
Stay safe out there
John & Kathryn Loughlin
Book now to Visit Askerne Winery with Tour Napier
Church Road Winery is one of the largest and best-known wineries in Hawkes Bay. Enjoying a convenient location just minutes from Napier City, the team creates highly acclaimed award-winning wines by using outstanding fruit from vineyards across Hawke’s Bay, and a combination of traditional and modern winemaking techniques.
One of the oldest wineries in New Zealand, our journey started with a young Tom McDonald whose passion for wine saw him forge both a remarkable legacy and enviable future for Hawke’s Bay winemaking and Church Road Winery. Today, our current Chief Winemaker Chris Scott continues this dedication to creating exceptional wines, combining traditional winemaking practices coupled with innovative techniques.
Visit Church Road Winery with Tour Napier
Church Road Winery is available by request on the tours shown
Established by Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg in 1988, Clearview Estate Winery continues as a successful family-owned and operated business situated in Te Awanga on the Cape Kidnappers coastline of Hawke's Bay.
Our winemaking philosophy is simple: we aim to craft enduring wines with great fruit intensity, wines which truly represent their terroir and varietal character. To accomplish this we nurture our own vineyards and carefully select grape grower partners who share our viticultural philosophy.
Chief Winemaker Matt Kirby and Assistant Winemaker Rob Bregmen continue to achieve the recognition of awards and accolades for the renowned wines produced at Clearview Estate, a legacy that began with original winemaker Tim Turvey in the late 1980's.
Planted varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Semillion & Syrah.
Visit Clearview Estate Winery with Tour Napier
Clearview Estate Winery is available by request on any of these tours.
Purpose-built as a winery, Brookfields is built on tradition and sustainability combining the best techniques from the past and today, to produce exciting wines each year from their own or shared ownership Hawke's Bay vineyards.
The history of Brookfields is revealed in the handmade 25cm concrete blocks used to build the winery and the cellar in the 1930s. These handmade blocks create the perfect environment for ageing great wines and keeping the cellar cool during Hawke's Bay's hot summers.
Peter creates classic wines with grapes only grown in specific locations and to his strict growing policy - expressing the essence of place. The Brookfields reputation has been built on stunning red wines. The 1989 'Gold Label' Cabernet / Merlot amazed traditional wine critics and the trade on its release. Its sheer weight and flavour made it the wine of the vintage. Subsequent vintages have firmly placed Brookfields as one of Hawke's Bay's best red winemakers.
Brookfields produces between 8,000 and 10,000 cases of wine each year and even in a great vintage, that won't change a great deal. Peter says he has no desire to push up volumes and chase expansion when there's always the challenge of creating an even more dramatic wine.
Visit Brookfields with Tour Napier
All the tours shown either include a visit to Brookfields in their standard itineraries or it can be included on request.
Great tours in and around Hawkes Bay from locals.