Napier, a small city full of character, is located in Hawke’s Bay which is famous for it’s wine. Hawke’s Bay has produced some of New Zealand’s finest wine since the first vines were planted back in 1851. Hawke’s Bay is a great place to sample a number of different fantastic wines due the established Wine Tourism Trail.
This however can get quite pricey if you go with one of the wine tour companies. For example Great Escape Hawke’s Bay do a half day Wine and Dine tour for $110. Not particularly attractive for those on a limited budget.
Solution, get bikes. However, even bike rental companies in the area can be quite expensive with prices such as $55 for a full day hire.
Solution number 2, rent bikes from a campsite or a hostel. We stayed at Hawke’s Bay Holiday Park (http://www.hbhp.co.nz/) and rented our bikes from 11am till 5pm for $20 (£12ish) each. Great deal! We then grabbed one of the winery tour maps (shown above) and had a great day trying some amazing wines (even if Carolyn’s bike did get a puncture)!
- Mission Estate: for $5 you get a Mission Estate wine glass (we use them to feel super posh at campsites) and a taste of 8 different wines. The grounds and the building at Mission Estate are also beautiful. I actually preferred the wine at some of the other wineries we visited but the location and wine glasses should not be missed!
- Church Road: a 2 minute cycle down the road from Mission Estate you stumble across Church Road. The grounds and the building are much less fancy but the wine speaks for itself. You can do a free wine tasting of 4 of their cheaper wines or paid wine tastings from $5-$20 of some of their more expensive bottles (if buy a bottle of wine you don’t have to pay the tasting fee). My favourite wine from Church Road, and in fact New Zealand so far, was their Pinot Gris (http://www.church-road.co.nz/our-wines/church-road/hawkes-bay-pinot-gris/). If you are in the area this winery is a must!