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Central Hawke's Bay

Oruawharo’s location on the Takapau Plains puts it in the heart of Central Hawke's Bay ‘Unwind Country’, midway between the long sandy beaches and rocky headlands of the Pacific Coast and the rugged

forest clad Ruahine Range to the west.

Surveying vast farmlands and with thriving country townships a short distance away, Oruawharo is a lasting symbol of its early contribution to local prosperity. At its back door, the rural service township of Takapau stands on land that was once part of Oruawharo and the farms that stretch across the plains from its feet are present-day reminders of the pioneering role the homestead’s first owners played in the sheep industry.

The landscape that surrounds it represents some of the best of rural New Zealand. From historic colonial architecture of farm homesteads and public buildings to the outdoor appeal of bush and mountains, rivers and beaches, from a community diary packed with arts and sports events, to leisurely shopping, Central Hawke's Bay blends revered country traditions with modern day spirit.


To discover the charm the visitor might dip into history at a museum, follow one of several heritage trails that meander mountains to coastline, survey the territory at a glance with a tiger moth or hot air balloon flight, take a farm tour or walk, go horse trekking or bike country roads.

The garden devotee will find beautiful country gardens to visit, the sports lover, everything from golf to BMX cycling, and the outdoor activity enthusiast, rugged forest parks, sparkling trout fishing rivers, good bird watching and hunting.

Well-endowed with galleries and art shops, with studios of artists as diverse as painters, sculptors and potters open to visitors, Central Hawke's Bay is also an art aficionado’s delight, especially in spring when the district exhibits its talent with an annual festival at Pukeora Estate winery.

All year round Central Hawke's Bay is a great place for time-out, offering accommodation choices ranging from farm and homestays, to self-catering houses, friendly motels, backpackers and camping grounds. Picnic spots and beaches provide outdoor relaxation, and the gourmet and wine buff can enjoy local produce and wines at restaurants and cafes.

Aside from the main centres of Waipukurau and Waipawa, some of the region’s gems are the tiny townships; Tikokino with its country gardens, historic homes and a farm museum; Onga Onga, a 19th century village of Edwardian homes and colonial cottages; or Scandinavian-origin Norsewood, home to the famous Norsewear factory, to a replica historic Norwegian village and craft stores and Rangiuru Farm whose award-winning cheesemakers run courses in the art of making farmhouse dairy products.

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