Five reasons to visit Haumoana, a Hawke’s Bay gem

It’s less well known than it’s fellow Hastings District Council towns of Napier and Havelock North, but set near the outlet of the Tukituki River in Hawke’s Bay, just 12 kilometres south of Napier, the coastal town of Haumoana is as beautiful as its name suggests.

Here are five reasons to visit this northern New Zealand gem.

The start of the Cape Coast: Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton

Along with Te Awanga and Clifton, Haumoana is one of three seaside communities that mark the start of the Cape Coast . The Cape Coast is a small stretch of coastline at the far end of Hawke’s Bay, just to the northwest of the New Zealand icon that is Cape Kidnappers.

In fact, the three towns represent the gateway to Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui, the iconic sandstone headland to the south that is known as Maui’s fishhook.

Haumoana has birds, birds, birds!

One of the main attractions near Haumoana has wings – and they have a two-metre wingspan. Cape Kidnappers is also the largest and most accessible gannet reserve in the world. There are approximately 6500 pairs of Australasian gannet/takapu that nest on the cape at four different spots, and the total gannet population in the Haumoana area is about 20,000 from September through April.

There are walking tracks in the area, but due to landslides and coastal erosion, the best way to get close to these noisy birds is with a local tour operator.

The fishing at Haumoana Beach

The low lying tidal sandy shores of Haumoana Beach offer some of the most accessible surfcasting in New Zealand – it’s the beach to bag yourself snapper.

And inland from the Haumoana beach, the nearby Tukituki River is a popular Hawkes Bay fly fishing destination thanks to robust populations of both brown and rainbow trout.

And the surfing at Haumoana

As for surfing, according to Surfcast, the Haumoana River Mouth “is an exposed River Bar break that has quite reliable surf and can work at any time of the year.” The wave can have hollow barrels, but be wary of string currents – this is an advanced to experts spot to surf.

It’s not far from Haumoana to some of the more storied Hawke’s Bay surf attractions. North of Haumoana, at the other end of Hawke’s Bay, the exposed peninsula at Mahia is a North Island surf Mecca, and a hangout for NZ pro surfer Ricardo Christie. And closer to Havelock North, Waimarama and Ocean Beach are two of the most famous waves in New Zealand.

Hawke’s Bay + wine. Enough said.

Hawkes Bay is one of the most cherished wine regions in New Zealand. It is known for its complex Chardonnays and reds, and don’t go past the apple cider either (or Haumoana Coffee, a local go-to).

Haumoana has several New Zealand wineries, including Elephant Hill and Te Awanga Estate, right in town and in the nearby vicinity. Just the thing after a long day in the waves.