Hawke's Bay

Trip Start Aug 11, 2010
Trip End May 21, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, November 4, 2010

The well-known and often little-believed saying, 'the best things in life are free,' seemed to happily characterise our experience of Hawke’s Bay and Napier. The happiness experienced by such things is enhanced when travelling in a country that can be shockingly expensive, especially with the current rate of exchange. So, after walking around the Art Deco capital, Napier, and taking many pictures of cool buildings with their many colours and fascinating designs, we travelled along the coast in search of a campsite. We were very happy when we found a completely free one right next to the sea- you rarely find free ones here so we were very excited about this fact and its amazing location. It had a toilet and a tap- what more can you ask for? It was great at night as you were comforted by the steady rhythm of the sea and when we ventured out of the van to go to the toilet we were met with a wonderful view of the starry night sky.

The next day we really got to enjoy some of the things that Hawke’s Bay is famous for- wine. After a brief scenic drive to our first winery, Te Mata, surrounded by hills, flowers and grape vines, we sheepishly went to the front desk. We were presented with a wine list to choose from and both enjoyed sampling some red and white wines. We then returned to our campsite and decided to walk to the two wineries near the camp. One was literally opposite! We visited one called ‘Clearview’ and the other called ‘Elephant Hill’. All of the wines we tasted were good- not that we are very discerning customers! We especially liked Elephant Hill’s rosť and the sweet desert wine offered by Clearview. It was interesting talking to the staff and trying to detect subtle flavours like pineapple, blackcurrant, caramel etc. Perhaps more practise is needed. It was also cool to have a full day’s experience that was completely free and ended up in us both being merrier than usual....
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