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St Andrews Escape, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

by Gaycation Magazine

The popular tourist destination of Hawke’s Bay is a region of New Zealand, located on the east coast of the country’s North Island. It derives from Hawke Bay which was named by Captain James Cook in honour of Admiral Edward Hawke who decisively defeated the French at the Battle of Quiberon Bay. This is one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest regions which has made it one of the country’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines—cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah—but also with some quite stunning whites. The region is the first stop on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, and it’s a popular place for bicycle wine tours.

The gay-friendly St Andrews Escape is set in a large country garden embraced by the Karamu Stream. Surrounded by orchards and vineyards, the lodge commands beautiful views of Te Mata Peak and the distant mountain ranges. Around a pleasant, generous courtyard the air conditioned Guest Lounge overlooks a tranquil pond. They are located only five minutes from Hastings and Havelock North and twenty minutes from Napier.

They offer quality Bed and Breakfast rooms and a self contained Cottage. The main lodge has a variety of rooms overlooking the garden and all have comfortable beds. The lodge sleeps eleven and the cottage Te Whare sleeps three.

Hawke’s Bay is also New Zealand’s Art Deco centre, rebuilt in the 1930’s after a huge earthquake. It hosts the country’s most elaborate celebrations of Matariki – the Maori New Year. It’s a place where you can shop at the farmers’ market for locally grown delicacies, indulge in artisan gourmet food, and join the lunchers at Napier’s Great Long Lunch. And it’s a place where you can walk the forest trails of the Ruahine and Kaweka Forest Parks, visit the Cape Kidnappers gannet colony or relax on the glorious beaches that stretch along the coast.

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