Hawkes Bay is offers a wide variety of different experiences - from rugged surf beaches to peaceful lakes, fresh produce and some great freedom parking.
Hastings is famous for it's horticulture, and you can buy farm gate produce in many locations. The local council has provided some excellent freedom parking areas for self-contained motorcaravanners, and you can be treated to some simply stunning sunsets and sunrises.
Napier is still coming to grips with freedom camping, but appears to accept it, even through there are prominent No Camping signs in most of their parking areas. Napier is New Zealand's Art Deco capital, and features an art deco festival every year in late summer.
Both cities offer great shopping and eating out. The council run Marine Parade carpark in Napier is particularly convenient, and provides free parking in the weekends and a Market every Sunday.
Outside of both city areas, you can find sandy beaches, fresh water lakes, and some great fishing. There is some really rugged rural country, and some really isolated locations to explore. The roads are generally sealed and and well maintained.