Row of 5 photos of Hastings, New Zealand. Credit respectively to photographers Eva Bradley, Brian Culy, Eva Bradley, Tim Whittaker, Alphapix.

Groups for 2024

  • ASTRONOMY: The night sky opens up to show things we may have only dreamed of!  The group meets at the Planetarium from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on the Thursday following the second Wednesday of each month.
  • BOOK DISCUSSION: Meeting on the afternoon of the fourth Wednesday of every month, in the Hastings Library, the group discusses a wide range of books of interest.
  • BUSH WALKING: The aim of this group is to encourage those who have never done much bush walking to try it. Also it is to encourage people to enjoy places in HB that they may have never visited before or wouldn’t necessarily go to on their own. We will share cars for transport and take our lunch with us. This group activity will be on the second Wednesday of the month
  • CLASSICAL MUSIC: The group listens to the music of a variety of composers, based on video recordings and learning about different styles and how music progressed.  Meets monthly, on the second Tuesday afternoon.
  • COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD: Countries of the World – looking at countries in depth, aspects of their people, history, culture, language, religions, food, geographical features and their place in the world. Second Thursday afternoon 2 – 4pm each month.
  • CYCLE FUN: This group will hit the cycle-ways around Hawke’s Bay in the mornings of the first and third Wednesday each month, weather permitting!  This is an opportunity for people who want to cycle for fun and will not suit serious cyclists or keep-fit fanatics!
  • DANCE AND BALLET: A group that will appeal to lovers of ballet and other performed dance, meeting in the afternoons of the third Wednesday each month to watch DVDs of ballet and other dance.
  • EXPLORING POETRY:  On the third Friday, 10-12 pm, at Diana and Richard Jennings’ home. The group writes, reads, and enjoys poetry of all sorts, from the near ridiculous to touching the divine. Don’t let the thought of writing poetry put you off. We have our moments; we have our times when we can’t think of a thing to write, but we also have times of revelation as we amaze ourselves at what we’ve created – and we have plenty of laughs! Come and try us out!
  • GEOLOGY for STARTERS: Meeting at 2pm on the first Tuesday of the month, this is a One Year course on general geology, taught using the computer and is not oriented towards New Zealand geology. Members will learn the rudiments of general geology in the comfort of lounge chairs.
  • GREENFINGERS: Meeting on the first Tuesday morning each month, the group shares gardening tips, exchanges ideas (and plants), visits gardens, and listens to talks on how the experts do things.
  • HEADS OF STATE:  From 2-4 pm on the second Friday of each month, at Diana and Richard Jennings’ home. Group members take turns in researching and presenting facts about Heads of State. To date we have covered American Presidents, Russian Presidents, United Nations Secretaries General and New Zealand and United Kingdom Prime Ministers. We are currently getting to the end of Australian Prime Ministers and will then decide what to do for the balance of 2024: Maybe French Presidents, English Monarchs, Israeli Prime Ministers – we’ll see how we go!
  • HISTORICAL AMBLERS: Historical Amblers is a friendly group that meets on the fourth Thursday afternoon of each month (weather permitting), to walk to, and around, places of historical interest in Hastings, Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay. Members of the group will be required to contribute to the planning by suggesting places of interest to visit and a contact person.
  • ITALIAN: Members learn Italian language (mainly written) and culture. Group meets first and third Tuesday mornings of the month. 
  • LIVING LANGUAGE – NEW WORDS: A group which will activate your reading knowledge and increase your word power.  The group meets on the second Monday morning of the month at 9.45 (for morning tea – gold coin donation) till 12 noon. As a member of the group, if you see a word and do not know its meaning, you write it down in your notebook, look up its meaning in a good dictionary (NOT Wikipedia) and add the meaning into your notebook.  Try to have 2-3 words each month. When the group meets:
    • A) each member reads out their new words to see if others know the meanings, thus expanding everyone’s vocabulary (for example, what is a Quahog?). 
    • B) Then, secondly, members share their interpretive reactions to a single word or phrase which has been given at the end of the previous meeting (examples: ‘FIRST’ and ‘TELEGRAPH POLES’).
  • LUNCH GROUP TUESDAY: The group meets on fourth Tuesday each month, to have lunch at a different restaurant each time.
  • MAHJONG: This group meets every Wednesday morning in the Hastings Library to play Mahjong.
  • MENTAL ARITHMETIC – methods and tricks:
    • Impress your friends!
    • Beat the calculator!
    • Sharpen your brain!
    • Stave off mental decline. This group meets on the first and third Tuesday mornings of the month.
  • METEOROLOGY: This group meets from 2pm – 3.30pm on the last Thursday of each month in the Hastings City Art Gallery. Beginners are welcome, with basics being covered.
  • NORDIC WALKING: Nordic walking turns your everyday walking into a fun whole body fitness activity. It is a beneficial activity for a broad range of people and uses “90 percent of your muscles, 100 percent of the time.” We have a qualified Nordic walking instructor to teach the correct technique. Poles are available to buy or with which to learn. Whatever your age, from 8 to 80+, you’ll enjoy discovering the benefits of Nordic Walking. It will improve your quality of life. Be in and give it a go! First and third Wednesday mornings from 9.30am – 11.30am.
  • OPERA ON VIDEO: On the second Thursday afternoon each month this group meets to watch DVDs of operas.
  • PETANQUE: The group will meet every Thursday morning at Summerset in the Orchard to play petanque; tuition will be given.
  • QUIZ TIME: Meets 2pm – 4pm on the third Monday afternoon of the month at the Convenor’s home in Clive. Each member comes prepared with 10-12 general knowledge questions which they will put to the other members of the group. The questions can be based on a theme, or completely random. We have a break for afternoon tea.  
  • SCIENCE: TOPICS OF INTEREST: Participants can take turns at presenting topics of interest from science to be discussed by the group which will meet on the mornings of the second and fourth Wednesday each month.
  • SCRABBLE AND SCONES: Here’s a fun way to meet new people, improve your spelling and enjoy scones for afternoon tea. What could be better? The group meets on the second Monday afternoon of the month at 2p.m.
  • SOCIAL HISTORY: In this course, members research and discuss how people lived at a particular time. Meeting in the morning of the first Wednesday each month.
  • TEXTILE ART: Join a small group of people who are interested in exploring the process of experimenting with textiles and mixed media. A group who is willing to be surprised and delighted by the results created. You will be taken through a series of simple workshops of which everyone can be a part. You will experiment, play and manipulate through processes where there are no rights or wrongs. It is about having fun and being in the enjoyable company of like-minded people. This group meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 9.30am to about midday, with morning tea included. All materials will be supplied with plenty of samples to help you on the way.
  • WORD GAMES AND BRAIN GAMES: Meeting on the afternoon of the first Tuesday each month at Summerset in the Orchard.  Brains are stimulated by the puzzles and games, while word power is increased.

Daily Group Schedule 2024

Week OneMorningAfternoon
MondayTextile Art

Mental Arithmetic
Word Games and Brain Games
WednesdayCycle Fun
Nordic Walking
Social History


Week TwoMorningAfternoon
MondayLiving LanguageScrabble and Scones
Classical Music on Video
WednesdayBush Walking
Science: Topics of Interest


Astronomy (if following 2nd Wednesday)
Countries of the World
Opera on Video

Heads of State
Week ThreeMorningAfternoon
MondayTextile Art
Quiz time
Mental Arithmetic

Cycle Fun
Nordic Walking
Dance and Ballet
ThursdayPetanqueAstronomy (if following 2nd Wednesday)
Exploring Poetry

Week FourMorningAfternoon
TuesdayTuesday Lunch Group
Science: Topics of Interest
Book Discussion
ThursdayPetanqueHistorical Amblers
Meteorology (if last Thursday of the month)
Week FiveMorningAfternoon
ThursdayPetanqueMeteorology (if last Thursday of the month)