Travel Blog


Fun Activities for all the Family in Hastings

Hastings is a beautiful city on the North Island of New Zealand and a wonderful place to bring your whole family together for a holiday they’ll never forget. The area was devastated by a huge earthquake in 1931 and then rebuilt, so the city offers an incredible example of 1930s architecture. It is also famed for its delicious food and wine offerings, making it a wonderful destination for foodies and its coastal location means that families flock to Hastings for wonderful beach-based fun. Looking for things to see and do during your next trip to the Hastings Top Ten? Here are some of the best family friendly activities:

Visit Pernel Fruitworld

Hastings is commonly referred to as the 'Fruit Bowl of New Zealand' because of the fertile plains that surround the city. You’ll find an abundance of stone fruit and vegetables growing almost everywhere you look and in recent years the city has also become a key location for native New Zealand wine production industry with plenty of vineyards growing in the fertile valleys. Keen to turn this local industry into a fun day out that the whole family will enjoy? Then head to Pernel Fruitworld where you can see some of the finest pip and stone fruit in the world hanging in the beautifully manicured orchards. You can also buy the fruit you see growing in the orchard and other fresh produce to take home with you: a great way to teach youngsters where the food they find on their plate actually comes from. Younger members of the family will also enjoy feeding the array of animals in the animal farm and for anyone interested in the history of Hawkes Bay fruit growing and manufacturing, there is a museum that will allow you to walk back in time. The Pernel orchards celebrated their 100 year anniversary in 2012, so there’s plenty of historical information and artefacts to explore.

Enjoy a Thrill Ride at Splash Planet

You can’t talk about Hastings and Hawkes Bay without mentioning Splash Planet: the largest water park in New Zealand featuring ten adrenaline pumping water rides, kayaks, a huge indoor pool and a toddler pool offering entertainment for the youngest members of the family too. If you’re not a fan of getting wet then the park also offers an array of fun dry entertainment options too. You can take a sight-seeing railway journey around the park, ride miniature formula one-style go karts, and even get the whole family involved in a competitive game of crazy golf! With so many fun activities to enjoy, this is one attraction you definitely won’t want to miss.  

Take to the Seas

New Zealand’s coastline is famous for its crystal clear blue seas and the wide array of wildlife to spot whilst you’re enjoying it. One wonderful way to see the coastline is to take a helicopter ride around the bay. Bay Heliwork can provide you with a memorable and exciting helicopter ride you’ll never forget and the only limit to your itinerary is your imagination. If you’d like to see the seas at closer quarters then there are plenty of opportunities available for this too. Enjoy a wonderful coastal walk or mountain bike ride, take a bucket and spade and build sandcastles on the beach, or even take a boat ride out into the bay. This part of New Zealand’s coastline is popular with luxury cruise liners, so you’ll be afforded plenty of opportunities to watch these huge liners pass by, and it will leave you feeling both thrilled and insignificant when your considerably smaller vessel whizzes by.

The National Aquarium of New Zealand

Finally, if you want to see some of the incredible marine life Hastings has to offer close up then why not head to the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier to see the largest display of aquatic life and unique New Zealand wildlife in the country. Here you can make like a fish as you pass through a glass tunnel with marine life everywhere you turn, and meet several different types of turtle. The daredevils in the family can even book and enjoy the unique experience of swimming with sharks in a safe and controlled environment. What are you waiting for? Why not book your trip to Hastings today?  

Hawkes Bay Family

Contributor: Susie Oakes.

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