For the purpose of mimicking the structure and matching mechanical properties of human cortical bone, a natural composite material, hydroxyapatite (HA) reinforced high density polyethylene (HDPE) has been developed as a bioactive, analogue material for bone replacement. This synthetic composite material is now in clinical use. To understand the deformation behaviour and determine mechanical properties of HA/HDPE composite under different loading modes and loading conditions, tensile and compression tests were performed in the current investigation. It was observed that under tension, HA/HDPE composite exhibited two types of deformation behaviour: ductile and brittle. Under compression, the composite deformed in a ductile manner and did not fracture at high compressive strains. It was found that an increase in HA content resulted in increases in Young’s modulus, compressive modulus, tensile strength and compressive yield strength of the composite. A higher strain rate led to higher modulus and strength values and lower tensile fracture strains of the composite.