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Idealog—in the ideas business

Think Hawke's Bay, think wine. And legendary Hawke’s Bay winemaker Tom McDonald is at least partly to thank for that.

McDonald devoted his lifetime to producing outstanding New Zealand wines at the site of the current Church Road winery in Hawke’s Bay and now Church Road Winery is celebrating his life and legacy with the launch of the premium Church Road McDonald Series.

There are five key varietals in the range available nationwide from early May – merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc.


We have two packages of the Church Road McDonald Series wines to give away – each includes a bottle of 2011 Chardonnay and 2009 Cabernet Merlot in a special gift box (valued at $70 each).

To enter, leave a comment below and tell us one other thing that's great about Hawke's Bay.

Open to New Zealand residents 18 years or over only. Closes May 18.

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The wineries!

The environment!

Has to be The National Aquarium of New Zealand, closely followed by the Sunday Farmers' Market.

Hawkes bay is great because all the bogans live there which means the rest of the country is free of them! :p

Te Mata Peak has gorgeous views of the whole region and is my favourite place in Hawkes Bay (apart from all the cellar doors)

Amazing orchards with delicious fruit!

The weekly Farmers Markets! Amazing produce and setting

the hawkes bay is a great holiday location for the family to take a break it has great things to do and see especially in febuary with great music etc.


Nikki Carmichael

I love the wineries and being able to bike between them. It's a must do for any visitors to New Zealand

For me it absolutely has to be that little plot of land called The Gimblett Gravels - that's where the best Hawkes Bay red wines are born… not just the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir, but all the new exciting red varieties - Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Gamay Noir, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Tempranillo - Oh sorry got carried away there for a sec!

The Old Church Restaurant and Bar -

Catherine Renolds

The gorgeous Art Deco buildings and vineyards:-)

Fruit signs at the end of orchard driveways, everywhere. No need to wait for the weekend Farmer's markets to get the freshest produce, with 0 food miles and unforgettable flavour.

Amanda Godderidge

Me! HB born and bred (and they breed them modest, apparently)

Got to be the Art Deco buildings. Hopefully Christchurch can learn from Napier's successful re-emergence from the rubble.

Hawke's Bay has an incredibly vibrant creative community including such luminaries as Dick Frizzell, Fane Flaws, Brian & Leanne Culy, Nga Waiata, Nikki Gabriel, Rakai Karaitiana etc etc. A diverse and hugely talented bunch of people that add to the Bay's creative spirit.

When the swell is right (not too often) Te Awanga has a tasty wee right-hander point break and it's very close to Clearview's cellar door/restaurant which is a bonus!

The weather!

Being an out of a towner, out of town, I love driving over to HB - I love the “Welcome to Hawke's Bay” signs with the sun, the rolling vineyards and orchards… I especially like that feeling you get, ambling around the streets, taking in the history, culture and vibe… you feel like you're actually on holiday (even when you're there for work, like I usually am!)

Hawkes Bay; the wine, the beach, the people & the vibe, parking meters that only need silver coins unlike Alk, the free campsites with sunsets over the nearby vineyards & orchards, the memories of my our first roadtrip togeather round that area … and the wine again as it's so good it deserves a second mention

fresh air, fresh produce and fine wines - simply classic NZ

The Orca - saw some off Ocean Beach this weekend.

The weather and the vineyards!!

Hawkes Bay is on my bucket list. How could I miss it, it has everything I enjoy.

It's the best place to be in NZ during the Spring. [Great Weather when compared to Wellington and the Equinox winds!]

I love the cycle path, great way to spend time with family and visit great places at the same time.

The climate, Ocean spa outdoor pools in Napier, the view from atop Sugarloaf in Taradale, Rush munro ice-cream… I grew up in the Bay and would love to move back one day…

The valley to the east of Te Mata Peak with the Tukituki River. That's a nice spot.

Great friends, great area, great food and wine. Fresh clean-green New Zealand produce and people. What more could a true Kiwi ask for?

Fresh everything!

As cliche as it is, I love the shopping in Hawkes Bay.
The vintage shops are fantastic, there's some great art supply places and my favourite bakery I've ever eaten at is about 5 minutes walk from Marine Parade.

And the Opera House. It's gorgeous.

You only want one other thing that's great about Hawkes Bay…? Too many great things about the place, but to pick one not already mentioned would be The Mission Estate Concerts. Though Church Road have some gigs on so that's on my list for next year!

the sunshine!

Gary Richardson
Gary Richardson

Has to be the waterfront. Thoughtfully redeveloped old buildings with solid design principles, it can match anywhere in New Zealand for atmosphere.

MILLAR ROAD BOUTIQUE ACCOMMODATION!! I stayed there with my partner last year and it was just beautiful. It made me love hawkes bay :) also the wineries - you can spend many many hours drinking delicious wine and eating delicious food whilst surrounded by delicious scenery!

The Hawke's Bayians!

Early morning hot air balloon flights criss-crossing the patchwork fields of orchards, vineyards, farms, and wide open spaces fringed by mountains and sea as private helicopters fly to vineyards for exclusive lunch and wine tasting sessions, or into remote spots for wilderness adventures like trout fishing and rafting. ”

Hawke’s Bay has the world's second longest place name: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukaka-pikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu.

So when taking a 'second' to direct visitors to those world celebrated wineries, just say…..”Follow your nose!”

Dinosaur remains were discovered in Hawke’s Bay in 1975 proving that land dinosaurs had lived in New Zealand. Some still exist. But they moved to Wellington. Part of the Parliamentary Paleontological era I think, of the Late Caucus Period. Adaptable species but ways set in concrete.

A world record number of us on land! Mr and Mrs Gannet.

Let's not forget the ruggers! Go the mighty Magpies.

the friendly locals are a major drawcard!

Harvest Hawke's Bay is a highlight for me - the atmosphere is always fantastic and the food and wine on offer are always sublime!

I always really enjoy visiting the Hawkes Bay Museum in Napier. It is a treasure trove of artefacts and gives a wonderful insight into Napier's history. The bonus is they always have activities on offer to keep the kids occupied :)

Art Deco Weekend is always loads of fun. There is something for everyone - a vintage car cruise, jazz bands, a bi-plane swoop, exhibitions and entertainment - all with a 1930s theme. Everyone gets into the spirit of things and there are always lots of laughs. You must do it at least once every few years……if not annually!

Sunshine + Friends+Family + Vineyards + Ocean Spa <3 bliss

Uniquely beautiful stony beaches- Ocean and Waimarama.

I can't say the climate because I live in sunny Nelson!! So going for the art deco architecture and the Aquarium.

The best thing about Hawke's Bay for me, is Church Road wine. The Pinot Gris has been my favorite for a few years now, and the Rose has now hit the spot as well.

Top vineyard for sure.

I get this warm feeling that the people of Napier know they have to work together and be happy about in doing so. You see this in the stories from the old earthquake, the Art Deco effort for tourists, the wine enthusiasm.

Stunning beautiful landscape…Hawke's bay has one of the most breathtaking views

The quality soil. Without that, none of the fresh produce and vines spoken about above would be possible!

past family holidays at the police holiday homes a block back from marine parade.

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