Hawke's Bay Outdoor Activities

The great outdoors seem to be even greater in Hawke's Bay. With dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches and redwood forests, the outdoor activities are endless.

Lace up your walking shoes and explore Hawke's Bay. Whether you hike up Te Mata Peak, raft down the Mohaka River or spend a day at the beach, the outdoor activities are endless. Even wine tasting can be an outdoor adventure in Hawke's Bay, as many of the wineries are connected by biking trails.

On top of all that spectacular scenery, Hawke's Bay is a popular destination for birdwatching too. In fact, the largest colony of gannets can be found in Cape Kidnappers. Noisy, smelly, but absolutely amazing.

Are you planning a trip to Hawke's Bay? Look no further. Here are some of the best nature activities in Hawke's Bay.

Image: Kirsten Simcox for Hawke's Bay Tourism


  • With extensive trails and breathtaking views, Te Mata Peak is a perfect place to hike. The final climb to the summit is steep, but you'll forget your aching limbs when you see the view.
  • For a relaxing walk, try the Big Redwood Track. Walking among these towering trees is pretty magical.
  • The Lake Waikaremoana Track is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. If you don't have time for the whole walk, take a water taxi to a day hike.

Image: Richard Brimer for Hawke's Bay Tourism

Water Activities

  • Need an adrenaline boost? Epic adventures await at Backpaddock Lakes. This water sports park has multiple lakes for wakeboarding, water-skiing and kayaking.
  • For a more leisurely day on the water, head to Waimarama Beach. This big, sandy beach is perfect for a dip in the ocean, a stroll or some low-key surfing.
  • For an invigorating bit of exercise, go for a swim at Maraetotara Falls. The water is cold, but it's certainly refreshing!

Image: Kirsten Simcox for Hawke's Bay Tourism

Bird Watching at Cape Kidnappers

  • Cape Kidnappers is home to the world's largest, most accessible mainland gannet colony.
  • The birds thrive at the top of the sheer cliffs of Cape Kidnappers. An excursion to see them is one of the coolest things to do outdoors in Hawke's Bay.
  • Go from November to February to see the colony at its busiest.

Created in partnership with Hawke's Bay Tourism