In 1931, a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Hastings (as well as Napier) which required the town to virtually rebuild itself. The resulting new structures in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission styles of the time endured and today, the architecture along with tourism are the city's main draws.
Its long history of food production has created an industry literally lush with stone fruit, vegetables and wine. Following its wine trail brings you access to over 75 wineries in the surrounding area which includes New Zealand's oldest winery restaurant (Vidal Estate). Match your favoured wine from aming a selection of boutique food industries offering cheese, fine meats, and locally produced delicacies that are seen on display at the Hawkes Bay Farmer's Market which is New Zealand's oldest and largest weekly farmer's market).
Outdoor leisure activities dominate, with beaches, river, mountain biking, tramping, and golf, being popular. In summer, many large scale events attract domestic tourists including the Spring Racing Carnival, The Blossom Parade, Harvest Hawkes Bay Weekend, and various concerts and events usually held at wineries. The Blossom Festival was once a large national event in the mid 20th century, with charter trains from Wellington and Auckland coming for the event. This however has slowly declined in popularity.
Designated reserves for certified self-contained motorhomes allow overnight camping in some of the most scenic spots in the country, including Pakowhai Country Park, Richmond Road Clive, Clifton Road Reserve Te Awanga, Maraetotara Falls Reserve, Puketapu Park, Airini Rd Reserve Waimarama, Haumoana Domain, Clive Ski Reserve and Dartmoor Bridge Reserve.
There is also a motorhome overnight park in the Hastings CBD.
Hastings District Council Telephone: (06) 871 5000