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Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 

A family wedding in the rural hinterland above Hawke's Bay served as the perfect excuse for journalist and magazine editor, Kate Finney, to jump on a plane to New Zealand, solo. Waved off by her husband, Ben, and three children - Martha (6), Cassie (4), and Iris (2) - she embarked on a blissful 10 days of wine, wedding parties, solitude and scenery. Here, she shares her pick of the bunch. 

Although there is a very relaxed vibe in Hawke's Bay, there are some very cool vineyards to visit, each with a stunning restaurant and tasting room, so a few dressier pieces came in handy. And with so many beaches and magical swimming holes around every bend, a lightweight Turkish towel and a swimming costume are useful for any unexpected opportunities. 

1. Aeyde sandals, £125,
2. Ray-Ban sunglasses, £127,
3. & Other Stories sunhat, £27, 
4. Norma Kamali swimsuit, £120 at
5. Hammamas towel, £35 at
. Maggie dress, £195,

Craggy Range is a stunning vineyard just outside Havelock North on the banks of the Tukituki River. Stay in one of their gorgeous cottages nestled amongst the vines. Prices for a one bedroom cottage start from around £250 per night.
The beautiful Black Barn has 17 different properties ranging from riverside retreats to beachfront villas, all offering incredible views and a relaxed vibe. As well as the vineyard itself, Black Barn hosts a farmers market, concerts and open-air cinema evenings. Rates start from around £365 for a two bedroom hideaway.
ALL the vineyards! Mission Estate, Church Road, Craggy Range, Elephant Hills, Trinity Hill, Te Awa… The list is endless. 
There are stunning beaches everywhere, my favourite was the Waimarama beach - a 25 minute drive from Havelock North - with miles and miles of crashing waves, white sand and kite surfers showing off some impressive moves. 
Climb (or drive!) up Te Mata Peak for unrivalled views across the whole of Hawkes Bay and beyond. 
Outside of the vineyards there are a few great coffee shops and bars, Bay Espresso was a hip lunch spot we loved. 
Whilst Havelock North is quite small it is home to a few great little boutiques. My favourite was Annabelle’s, for Bali-inspired homewares and beautiful boho clothing. I just wanted to move into the actual shop and live there forever. 
New Zealand is renowned for its epic landscape and topography, so a hire car is the best option. It’s a long drive down to Hawke's Bay from Auckland, but you can jump on an internal flight to Napier. Hawke's Bay itself is very flat, and there are tons of places to hire bikes (even electric bikes!) so you can free-wheel from one vineyard to another.

Arosa in the Swiss Alps for a long weekend.

*Kate has worked as Editor-in-Chief of Baby magazine and Little London magazine, she spent ten years at the BBC World Service and Radio 4, and has worked as a journalist and radio reporter at the United Nations in New York, devising and running training programmes for community radio stations in Cameroon, West Africa. 
When she’s not working, or hotfooting around after her children, she loves to swim in the sea off Cape Cod in the States, ski in the Canadian Rockies (Fernie in particular), or surf near Sennen, Cornwall. 

*All prices approximate