Hawke's Bay

Hastings is in a perfect spot to enjoy the delights of Hawkes Bay. Known for its Mediterranean climate, Hawkes Bay has plenty to offer backpackers, including beaches, mountains and of course… the wineries.

Some of the most popular day trips from the Rotten Apple require a car but if you are feeling energetic you could consider hiring a bike to take a tour of the area. For those of you who do not want to venture too far from the city, it is worth taking the recommended walking tour to see the Spanish Architecture and get a feel for Hasting’s history. Also within walking distance of the hostel is the Race Course, Splash Planet, the Art Gallery and various local events and festivals held throughout the year

For more info and links to everything going on in and around the city, jump to Hastings.

Te Mata Peak

This should definitely be at the top of your to-do list whilst you are staying at the Rotten Apple! Standing at 399 metres above sea level, Te Mata Peak towers over the nearby town of Havelock North. There are plenty of trails for those of you keen to tramp or you can just drive up to the peak with a picnic and enjoy the 360 panaramic view of the surrounding area.

For those of you needing more adventure than a walk and a picnic… you can try downhill mountain biking, abseiling or parasailing!

Wine Tasting

We have over 30 wineries surrounding the city. Drive (or cycle) in any direction and you will find yourself on the “Wine Trail” and you will not be disappointed by the wineries you find. It is generally not cheap to dine at the vineyards but sampling wine is not expensive and most wineries waive the fee if you actually buy a bottle.

Cape Kidnappers

Cape Kidnappers is one of the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colonies in the world. Just remember to plan your walk around low-tide!


  • Shops

    Hastings boasts a range of high street stores as well as supermarkets (PakN’Save, Countdown, New World etc) and major department stores (Warehouse, K-mart etc).

  • Bars, Restaurants & Cafes

    There are a number of cafes and restaurants in the town centre but if you’re heading out for a few drinks, check out the Rotten Apple’s favourite… The CRU BAR!

  • Leisure Centre, Gyms, Swimming pools & Parks

    Hastings has several gyms which offer temporary membership and the swimming pool is available for one-off visits. The local parks include Cornwall Park which is the venue for our own Rotten Apple summertime Sunday Football League.

  • I-Site & Library

    The I-site is literally opposite our front door and the friendly staff there will provide you with everything you need to know about Hastings and Hawkes Bay (as well as booking activities/transport for you). The library is a 3 minute walk away and offers a visitor’s membership for a small deposit.

  • Banks

    The Rotten Apple is within walking distance of all the major banks including ANZ, ASB, Bank of New Zealand, KiwiBank, Post Office & Westpac

  • Wineries

    With over 35 wineries to choose from, you should not leave Hastings without having visted some of the local vineyards for a reasonably priced tasting session. If you don’t fancy being the designated driver, consider a guided tour or hiring bikes.

  • FREE Activities & low-cost Adventures

    Check out this link to find out what you can do in and around Hastings within your budget. Includes information on city walking tours, paintballing, horse riding, hot air ballooning, art galleries and golf courses.

  • Hastings Racecourse

    A short stroll from the hostel will bring you to the city’s racecourse where you can enjoy a day at the horses. See this link for details of upcoming events.

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    Splash Planet

    New Zealand’s first fully themed water park, Splash Planet is filled with slides, rides and swimming pools… the perfect way to enjoy a hot summer’s day in Hawke’s Bay!

  • Tramping in Hawke's Bay

    There are a number of beautiful walks & locations a short drive from Hastings. Trampers can visit Cape Kidnappers to view the famous Gannet colony, stroll and swim at Waimarama or Ocean Beach or enjoy the perfect picnic spot on Te Mata Peak.

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    Surf, Sea & Sand

    A short drive from Hastings will bring you to some fantastic beaches. Ocean Beach & Waimarama are great for surfing & swimming or if you want a great beach walk, check the tides before visiting the famous gannet colony of Cape Kidnappers.

  • Cape Kidnappers

    Information from the Department of Conservation about the Cape and the Gannet colony.

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