The largest town and administrative centre of South Taranaki, Hawera developed to support the surrounding farming blocks. Hawera means “the burnt place” or “breath of fire” and takes its name from the old Maori village of Te Hawera, which was located approximately 3 km south east of the present town.
Approximately 9000 people enjoy the excellent residential and lifestyle options in Hawera. Its inviting town centre is modern and convenient providing everything from sporting goods, banks, bookstores, home wares, cafes and restaurants to fashion and furniture. Hawera’s art gallery, parks, movie and performance theatres are all within easy walking distance and its sporting/events and function centre, The TSB Hub, is only 1 kilometre from the town centre.
The region in general relies on its natural and physical resources for its social and economic wellbeing. Oil and gas reserves and sheep, beef and dairy farming all contribute to the local economy with the southern hemisphere’s largest single-site dairy factory Whareroa Fonterra just two kilometres south of the township.
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Things to see and do while visiting Hawera:Bruisiz Paintball – 355 Ngawhini Road, RD14, Hawera, phone 278 5140. Just five minutes out of town you can experience the action and adrenalin that is paintball. Overalls supplied, great location and a variety of game scenarios too. Go during the day or for extra thrills play under lights at night!
Cinema 2 – 110 Princes Street. Latest digital technology, big screen, delivering great picture and sound in two comfortable theatres.
Dam Dropping - Unique to Taranaki! You, a kayak and a 30ft drop of water, pure adrenaline! You have the option of using sit-on kayaks that are so easy to use or the sit-in kayaks, which require a little more nerve. Phone 06 752 7876 or 027 363 6034 to make your booking.
Elvis Presley Memorial Room – One man’s passion becomes South Taranaki’s asset and the Memorial Room is jam packed with memorabilia, rare recordings and interviews and souvenirs. If you are a fan of the King, the Memorial Room has all your favourites and more. Admission by donation.
Fancy a game of golf? - Two great courses in Hawera – one just a few minutes from the centre of town on Fairfield Road (turn at the Fire Station on South Road, Hawera) or just five minutes north out of town, the picturesque course at Te Ngutu Course on Katene Road in Normanby. Visit our separate webpage for a list of all the golf clubs in our area.
Goodson Dell – Situated on the corner of High Street and Cameron Street, Goodson Dell is a tranquil, woodland setting offering a picturesque walk among native and exotic trees and plants.
Hawera Water Tower - behind the I-site Visitor Information Centre. Climb 215 steps in the best known heritage building in Hawera for a bird’s eye view of the region and coast. Collect the key from the i-site Visitor Information Centre first!
Heritage Buildings – a walk through the centre of Hawera enables you to appreciate the story of the town through its buildings and historical features. Brochures available at the Hawera i-site.
King Edward Park – entrances on High Street, Waihi Road and the corner of Camberwell and High Streets welcome you into a large spacious park currently under redesign but featuring well established trees, lake, camellia and rose gardens. Childrens’ playground and clean public toilets available.
Lysaght Watt Gallery – 4-6 Union Street in Hawera, phone 278 7611: A community gallery growing in popularity and stature. Exhibitions change monthly and showcase contemporary fine arts by emerging and established artists. Gallery hours 10-4 pm weekdays and 10-1 pm on Saturday. Closed on Sunday. Free admission.
Ohawe Beach to Waihi Beach Coastal Walk – A tidal walkway which is safe to walk up to 2.5 hours before and after low tide. Swimming is not safe along the walk but there is a safe swimming area at the end of the boat ramp at Ohawe Beach. Toilets and changing rooms are available there.
Park to Park Walkway - The Hawera Park-To-Park walkway takes in beautiful King Edward Park with its manicured lawns, rose gardens, playgrounds and lake. The walk then leads you through the Hawera CBD through to the secluded Naumai Park; a tranquil haven renown for its native flora specimens. From end to end, the walk takes about half an hour, so come through and enjoy!
Tawhiti Museum - Forget your memories of walking through a stark, impersonal museum and marvel at this presentation of our heritage through its life size exhibits and intricately made scale models. Super realistic and spellbinding for all ages, spend a day looking through the museum, taking a ride on the bush railway or on a boat through the Traders and Whalers bush scenes, then follow up with a delicious light meal at the “Wind in the Willows” styled Badgers Café. A must see for every visitor.
The TSB Hub– Entrances off Waihi Road or Camberwell Road. Visit our multi million dollar sports, recreation and events facility based around Hick’s Park just one kilometre from the town centre. If you’ve been unlucky enough to visit at a rare time when there’s not something on at the TSB Hub, you can still call into the café for a sumptuous lunch while taking in a panoramic view of the mountain.
Turuturu Mokai - Turuturu Mokai redoubt and pa site is situated on Turuturu Road, Hawera. Gates are open daily from sunrise to sunset with a large stone monument outlining the history of this site and an easy, picturesque walk that takes you around the reserve and takes about 20 minutes to complete.
South Taranaki I-site Visitor Information Centre - For great advice, service and friendly tourist information wherever you are in the region, please phone or visit the i-Site Visitor Information Centre in Hawera. All South Taranaki libraries also offer visitor and tourist information throughout the working week and display boards are kept up to date with community notices and events.