New Zealand’s age-old wine-growing region, Hawke’s Bay, proudly steps into the global spotlight as the latest Great Wine Capital. With this prestigious distinction, it aligns itself with internationally esteemed wine hotspots such as Bordeaux (France), Bilbao (Spain), and Napa Valley (USA). Hawke’s Bay combines a rich Art Deco heritage with unique experiences like vineyard lunches and cellar door bike tours, further solidifying its status as a world-class wine destination.
The recognition comes as a significant endorsement of the region’s vibrant wine industry, particularly at a time when it is bouncing back from Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact. Hawke’s Bay joined the elite Great Wine Capitals list after a stringent selection process assessing aspects like the wine industry, historical relevance, tourism offerings, educational prospects, and overall charm.
Hawke’s Bay Tourism CEO, Hamish Saxton, lauds this achievement, saying, “Hawke’s Bay’s inclusion as one of just 12 Great Wine Capitals of the world is of regional and national significance… The climate, unique soils and the innovation of so many talented individuals, have come together to deliver an accolade the region wholeheartedly deserves.”
Waitaki Whitestone – New Zealand’s Inaugural UNESCO Global Geopark
The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark recently clinched the title of New Zealand’s first and Australasia’s sole UNESCO Global Geopark. This esteemed recognition focuses on the region’s distinct geological and cultural heritage, as well as its commitment to sustainable development and community engagement.
The Geopark is home to diverse and breathtaking geological features, presenting more than 40 geological sites, many of which are open to visitors free of charge. Chair of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust, Helen Jansen, celebrates this historic moment, stating, “We have always believed that this is a very special area, telling the story of the 8th continent.”
Raising a Toast to New Zealand’s Achievements
These dual accolades mark monumental milestones for New Zealand, substantially reinforcing its tourism offerings. New Zealand is now indisputably a must-visit destination for travellers interested in wine, culture, and nature.