Havelock North has a population of 12,000. It is a 'suburb' of Hastings, but the locals consider themselves separate. It strives to maintain a 'village' feel about the town despite its size.
Havelock North was originally a borough, with its own local governance structure. It is often referred to as the 'Village' by the locals as a throw-back to its original farming village beginnings.
- By car, there are a number of turnoffs from the main highway through Hastings.
- Bus services
- Hawke's Bay Airport in Napier is the region's airport. It is a 30 minute drive from Havelock North, so ideally have friends come and collect you, or rent a vehicle to avoid a large taxi fare. Air NZ operate daily services.
- There are no passenger train services in Hawke's Bay.
- Driving is the best option, although because of its compact nature walking is also an option.
- Cycling around Havelock North is an option, although as the suburb is located on the side of Te Mata Peak, you can begin to encounter a number of hills depending on the direction you are heading. Cycling around wineries is a common option at times.
- The views from the top of Te Mata Peak are spectacular, but the road up is poorly marked. Ask any of the friendly 'villagers' how to get up there.
- The half a dozen or so really close wineries.
- Go for a swim at the ever popular Undercliff on the Tukituki River.
- A short distance down the Te Mata peak from the car park is a cave that is rumoured to extend for kilometers. People have estimated it ends somewhere underneath Hereworth School. It's slightly difficult to find and would be very dangerous during rain. This should only be for experienced cavers. To find it: Go to the redwoods car park just after the stone gates. Go down the hill to your right (facing away from road) through the trees folling the bottom of the valley. It's about 300m down the hill and you will need to jump a fence. Keep following the gully and you will know you are there when you see a rusted green Ford Escort. Make sure you let someone know where you are going, just in case.
- Go to the top of Te Mata Peak. On a clear day the vista spans 360 degrees, looking out to the sea in the East, Napier to the north, Hastings to the north west, the region's rich and plentiful orchards in the west and rolling farmlands in the south. If you are lucky enough, you'll see Mount Ruapehu over 100km away poking its snow domed head out above the Kaweka ranges. For the fit, you can walk to the top on a mixture of road and walking tracks, either from Tauroa Road or Te Mata Peak road. Vehicle access is available only via Te Mata Peak road. For those driving, be aware that the last section of road to the peak is narrow but sealed, with steep drops without barriers. For less confident drivers, it is possible to drive most of the way to the peak on relatively wide roads and park your car a few hundred metres from the top and walk the remainder of the journey up walking tracks.
- Redwood walk. Located half way up the peak road. You can walk through tracks to a grove of Redwoods. If you are lucky enough you'll pick a day when a wedding party has chosen to have a ceremony of photo in this remote but alluring spot.
- Visit the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre. Arataki Honey is a brand exported and respected around the world. The visitor centre is free entry, and includes a range of family friendly, educatonal activities.
- Pick your own strawberries at Scott's Strawberry Farm. Located 2 minutes drive out of Havelock North on Te Aute Road this small strawberry farm can be a short fun outing for the family, with a juicy sweet reward.
- Take in an Open Air Movie at Black Barn winery.
- Try Paragliding off Te Mata Peak. When the wind is right, many paragliders can be seen launching from the top of the peak. Commercial operators offer tandem paraglider flights. The usual landing site is on the eastern side of the Peak towards Craggy Range winery.
Havelock North has a mix of public and private schools. The one public high school, Havelock North High, is situated on Te Mata Road, a stone's throw from Hereworth, a private primary and intermediate boarding and day school for boys. There is also Iona College and Woodford House, both day and boarding schools for girls.
- Havelock North is home to many privately owned upmarket stores and is the "trendy" place to go shopping in Hawke's Bay, besides Napier.
- Jacksons on Jolls bakery offers the best bakery food in town.
- Terrôir. Giants Winery, Craggy Range, 253 Waimarama Rd. Mains $35-40.
There is plenty of wine. They are especially known for their reds.
- The Happy Tav is the oldest existing public bar in Havelock North. It consists of a sports and lounge bar as well as a bottle store selling off license alcohol. Enjoy the large outdoor seating area, which in the 1990s was originally built as a sand-based beach volleyball court.
- Diva as its name implies is one of the trendier places to go drinking within the Hastings region.
- The Loading Ramp is a modern bar, nestled off Treachers Lane or Porter Drive.
- Turks is a down-to-earth sports bar. It has a TAB for those inclined to place a few bets on the horses or greyhounds. Turks is located a minute walk from the roundabout on Napier Road.
- The Rose and Shamrock is an Irish style pub located two minutes walk from the roundabout on Napier Road.
- Te Mata Estate Winery
- Selini Wines
- Black Barn Winery
- There are a few hotels, but the majority can be found in Hastings
- Havelock North Motor Lodge, 7 Havelock Road (Near the middle of town.), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Studios, 1 & 2 Bedroom units, 2 access units. Sky TV, Spa baths, Wireless Internet. Breakfast menu. A member of the Host Accommodation group. Qualmark applied for self-contained and serviced. $115 – $190.
- Visit nearby Hastings, Clive, Ocean Beach, Waimarama or the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers near Clifton.
- Havelock North is the gateway to Elsthorpe