Oz travel website extols Bay gems

By Kaysha Brownlie

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Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas says the region offers great opportunities.
Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas says the region offers great opportunities.

Wineries, unique architecture and a beautiful coast are features an Australian website is touting as Hawke's Bay's standouts.

Australian website, Experience OZ & NZ, is calling for votes from around the world for New Zealand's top destination for 2016.

Hawke's Bay was one of 30 nominated places, but needed to make it into the top 10 before it could expect to take top spot.

The website stated: "Each year, we aim to capture the imaginations of those in - or planning to visit - New Zealand."

Last year, Taupo was voted the best, with Doubtful Sound and Bay of Islands the runners-up.

The website described Hawke's Bay as warm and sunny and "an essential spot on New Zealand's wine trail".

Hawke's Bay Winegrowers Association executive officer Melisa Beight said it was one of the world's leading wine regions.

"It is the second largest wine region in New Zealand and the oldest."

Best known for award-winning syrah, cabernet-merlot blends and rich, full-bodied chardonnay, she said there was also an array of other varieties.

"Hawke's Bay is a fantastic destination for wine tourism, with stunning, world-class wineries and cellar doors."

The website claimed Hawke's Bay was brimming with fresh produce that complimented wonderful scenery.

"If you're after an equal feast for your mouth and eyes, it makes for a great choice."

Trail and mountain biking, as well as whitewater rafting also features, claiming they were the best ways to experience the region's back-country.

Takaro Trails owner Jenny Ryan said cyclists flocking to the region had increased 40 per cent year on year since their 2009 opening.

"We've seen a real surge this season."

There were now more than 200km of trails and Ms Ryan said word was spreading.

She said Hawke's Bay deserved to not only make it into the top 10, but would be among the top three.

"I think as a region it over-delivers on people's expectations. It's been a well-kept secret."

Kaweka Range, Ngaruroro and Mohaka River valleys and Cape Kidnappers were also mentioned, offering views and local wildlife experiences.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said: "From the spectacular Art Deco precinct in Napier to the majesty of Te Mata Peak, Hawke's Bay has it all."

He said Napier's Marine Parade was the "jewel in the Hawke's Bay tourism crown".

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said the region had "unbelievable weather" with quality food and dining.

"I certainly believe Hawke's Bay is one of the top 10 destinations in New Zealand. We cater for the family right through to the high end tourist."

He said the region offered a "world-class playground for visitors".

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said it was a great opportunity for Hawke's Bay and proved the region had "exceptional tourism experiences".

- Voting closes on May 22 with just one permitted per day, to vote visit: https://news.experienceoz.com.au/hawkes-bay-top-destinations/

- Hawkes Bay Today

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