Keen explorers will be able to learn while they walk, as the rich history is set to come alive through the creation of the Te Matau a Maui Arts & Heritage Trail.
Just last week, the first series of marker post storyboards and public artworks was unveiled at Black Bridge, where the trail will follow the cycleway to Cape Kidnappers, taking in two coastal communities, Haumoana and Te Awanga.
The trail complemented the council's Cape Coast Reserves Management Plan, which proposed significant landscaping, planting, scenic views, resting places and seating for tourists.
Cape Coast Arts & Heritage Trust trustee Martin Bates said the idea was for the trail was raised during preparation of the Hastings District Council's Cape Coast community plan when locals agreed on a project that best represented what they liked about their area.
"We have unique and compelling stories to tell: stories that until now have largely been hidden. We believe that by sharing these stories along the very public and well-used trail we will keep them alive both for the coming generations and for visitors," Bates said.
On completion, the trail would include eight marker posts describing the natural and human history of the area, as well as some large sculpture installations by local artists including Jacob Scott, Amy Lynch, Rick Terstappen and Louise Purvis, acting as visual representations of the area's history.
"Our Arts and Heritage Trail makes these stories accessible to the community and visitors offering the best in cultural tourism by showcasing the history and contemporary character of this iconic coastline," he said.
The Hastings District Council helped kick start the project with a $20,000 donation from the Contestable Grants Fund, allocated annually for projects that demonstrated they met the council's aim of "building a safe, liveable, sustainable community".
The Cape Coast Arts and Heritage Trust had already raised more than $80,000 to enable the completion of the marker posts and was now targeting phase two funding for the landscape installations, with the goal of full trail completion in 2019.
Bates said the successful completion of the project depended on funding for local businesses and organisations.
Approaches had been made to a number of parties as well as the establishment of a Givealittle page.
The trust was working closely with Hastings District Council, Matahiwi Marae, Hawke's Bay Regional Council, The Department of Conservation, Hawke's Bay Tourism and consultants to ensure its efforts were environmentally, historically and culturally inclusive.