A drive up the legendary Te Mata Peak on the North Island of New Zealand

Te Mata Peak is a mountain peak at an elevation of 389m (1,276ft) above sea level, located in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. The drive is a real thrill and the views from the top are amazing.

Te Mata Peak

Can you drive to the top of Te Mata Peak?

Set high in the Te Mata Hills, the road to the summit is called Te Mata Peak Road. It’s totally paved but narrow and steep. The road up requires some care as one way in parts. The upper section of the road (beyond Peak House) is closed to vehicles between 10pm and 5.30am every day.

How long is the road to Te Mata Peak?

Tucked away on the east coast of the North Island, the road to the summit (the Sleeping Giant) is very steep, hitting a 18% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Havelock North, the ascent is 5.7 km (3.54 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 343 meters. The average gradient is 6.01%. The road features sharp hairpin bends but is definitely worth the drive.

Is the road to Te Mata Peak worth it?

Located within the Te Mata Park, at the western boundary of Heretaunga Plains, to drive the road without stopping will take most people between 15 and 25 minutes. The drive offers sweeping views across Hawke's Bay. The summit is a popular lookout with stunning views. There are many excellent photo opportunities. As the highest peak in the area, Te Mata Peak gives 360° views. Visitors can see Napier and Mahia Peninsula to the north and east, hill country to the south and east, and the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges beyond the fertile Heretaunga Plains. Mount Ruapehu and Mahia Peninsula are often visible in the distance.