Hawkes Bay Food and Wine Classic

Global Warming and Rising Sea Levels by Carly Ealey

The Hawkes Bay Food and Wine Classic (F.A.W.C.) in the summer is supposed to be epic, but the winter edition is pretty awesome too! Some tickets sold out quickly and we missed our chance to go on a truffle hunt, but the three events we attended were worth the trip to the North Island’s east coast.

On Saturday afternoon we commenced a self-guided walking tour of the Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans, an exhibit of mural art throughout Napier and Ahuriri that ‘brings the message of ocean conservation into the streets.’ The paintings were beautiful and sobering. Hunger hit during our walk and we realised we were close to, toasted!, a F.A.W.C. event where six toasted sandwiches compete for the People’s Choice Award. I voted for the Philly Cheesesteak, but the s’more sandwich was a close second.

Both of the F.A.W.C. evening events we went to were multicourse dinners with wine pairing. The International Kitchen Experience was a festive atmosphere with communal tables and cultural performances. Izakaya in the Vines was a quieter Japanese affair with half the diners checking their phones for the Lions vs All Blacks score and the other half intentionally ignoring the rugby chatter. (Spoiler alert: it was a draw.)

s’more at toasted!

On Sunday we dodged raindrops with a trip to the farmer’s market and Trinity Hill vineyard. We arrived at the airport ahead of scheduled and were lucky to catch an earlier flight back to Auckland.

Dates: 7-9 July 2017
Travel with: Allen & the Marshalls
Weather: 40-50s; no rain on Saturday; constant drizzle on Sunday. We were lucky to be moved to an earlier return flight because weather and winds were predicted to reach gale force.
Accommodation: Harbour View Seaside Accommodation, Napier

Marine Protected Areas by Aaron Glasson


  • Napier Urban Farmer’s Market
  • run along the water, Napier
  • International Kitchen Experience, Vidal, Hastings (F.A.W.C. event)
  • Izakaya in the Vines, Red Barrel Vineyard, Havenlock North (F.A.W.C. event)
  • toasted!, Napier (F.A.W.C. event)
  • Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans, Ahuriri route
  • wine tasting at Trinity Hill, Gimblett Gravels
  • Hawkes Bay Farmer’s Market

Food & Drink:

  • see F.A.W.C. events above
  • ZiggZagg Cafe, Napier
  • FJ Smith Eatery (!), Napier

Transportation: Air NZ, Apex car hire