The one notable exception to the vineyards and plains surrounding Hastings, craggy Te Mata Peak rises 1,300 feet (396 meters) above sea level and offers sensational views. Set just south of Napier and Hastings, Te Mata Peak is renowned for its sweeping, 360 degree views, which stretch from the coastline out to the farms that ring the towns of Hawke’s Bay. While it’s easy to drive to the summit, many visitors choose to hike on the network of forested trails, all of which are well maintained and marked with colorful signs.
Enjoy the scent of towering Redwoods and fresh mountain air, before emerging onto the windswept peak that’s steeped in Maori legend. Guided cultural tours of the mountain explain a bit of its past, and offer insight on the history, people, and beauty of North Island's Hawke’s Bay.
Te Mata Peak is about 35 minutes from downtown Napier and 20 minutes from Hastings by car. All the hiking trails have steep sections, and the longest trail takes about 2.5 hours round trip. There are no facilities within the park, but ample parking at the summit lookout for those who want to drive to the top.
Did You Know? On a clear day, you can see all the way west to Mt. Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park.