BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook


BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Hawkes Bay > Hastings


Like Napier, Hastings also has some lovely Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture, but it doesn’t share the same cosmopolitan feel as its neighbour. There’s a distinctly agricultural feel to the place, a rougher, less polished vibe.

Most backpackers come to Hastings for fruit picking work (available Nov-May). People also come to Hastings to check out the wineries in the area, but probably the main attraction is Splash Planet, a big family-oriented water park.

Practical information

Hastings i-SITE Visitor Centre

Russell Street, Hastings
Tel (06) 873 5526
Website www.hastings.co.nz
Open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 9am-3pm

Coming & going

InterCity Coachlines (tel (09) 623 1503) go to Gisborne, Taupo and Wellington and Naked Bus has direct buses to Auckland, Waitomo, Wellington and Whangarei. BayXpress (tel 0800 422 997) is a good alternative if you’re going to Palmerston North or Wellington.

Buses depart from Russell Street near the Police kiosk.

Local transport

The Hawkes Bay area has a good local bus service with most bus routes running every half hour. Most fares in Hastings are $2.40 although it costs $2.90 to go to Havelock North and $4.30 to go to Napier.

Hostel accommodation

Most backpackers come to Hastings for fruit picking work (available Nov-May) and almost all the hostels in town cater to temporary workers. It’s worth mentioning that some hostels this past year were completely or almost completely full for the entire season. Briefly, a change to the TRSE (Transitioning to Recognised Seasonal Worker) work policy has required large employers such as Watties or Mr Apple to provide accommodation for their TRSE workers (who are frequently Pacific Islanders).

The employers are turning to hostels to house their workers and for some hostels the prospect of a fully-booked season is too good to resist. So in short, check ahead. And it’s always worthwhile to arrive before the season starts if you’re serious about getting work.

122 Stortford Street, St Leonards, Hastings

Tel (06) 873 4285

AJ’s Backpackers Lodge

405 Southland Road, Hastings
Tel (06) 878 2302

No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Hastings Backpackers Hostel

505 Lyndon Road East, Hastings
Tel (06) 876 5888

The Rotten Apple

114 Heretaunga Street, Hastings
Tel (06) 878 4363

Siesta Backpackers

911 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings
Tel (06) 870 8112

No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Sleeping Giant

109 Davis Street, St Leonards, Hastings
Tel (06) 877 4445

606 St Aubyn Street West, Hastings
Tel (06) 878 7108

No booking fee when you book this hostel online at bug.co.uk

Eating & drinking

Hastings doesn’t have the same upscale dining scene as Napier; however there are a few top-class restaurants in town, as well as several budget options on and around Heretaunga Street, including Indian, Asian, kebabs and fish-and-chip takeaways.

Nearby Havelock North also has several fine cafés, restaurants, and places to sample the local wines, if you feel like blowing a little of your fruit-picking earnings.

Supermarkets in Hastings include Countdown (corner Queen Street West & King Street North, Hastings); New World (400 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings) and Pak’n Save (corner Heretaunga & Westend Streets, Hastings).

Sightseeing, museums & tourist attractions

Splash Planet

This 6.5ha aqua theme park is Hastings’ top attraction although it is targeted mostly towards families. It features plenty of waterslides and some land-based attractions such as mini-golf and mini jeeps.

Grove Road, Hastings
Tel (06) 876 9856
Website www.splashplanet.co.nz
Admission $25
Open summer 10am-6pm daily

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