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Travel Tips Napier: New Zealand's art deco city

We want to be honest: Napier was originally nothing more than a compromise on our New Zealand trip. It was thanks to the persistent rain front that we quickly chose the place on the North Island for which the weather forecast predicted the most hours of sunshine. So we ended up in Napier quite spontaneously and without big plans.

After a difficult, rainy start, the turning point came promptly: Napier surprised us quite a bit. We have not met a comparable city in all of New Zealand. With its art deco elements, the center of Napier is reminiscent of a film set from the 30 years. In this blog article we tell you about our highlights in and around Napier.

1. Napier: What to Expect in New Zealand’s Art Deco City A devastating earthquake has made a stroll through Napier feel like stepping back in time . In the 30s the city was reduced to rubble and then rebuilt in the Art Deco style of the time.

Central Napier therefore resembles a film set from the 30 years. We didn’t expect the buildings to be so well preserved. From the street lamps to the lettering on the buildings: Art Deco is omnipresent in Napier.

Napier is also home to one of New Zealand’s most important wine regions: Hawke’s Bay. So we took it upon ourselves and paid a visit to one of the famous wineries. This is not one of the cheap activities (alcohol is very expensive in New Zealand), but for us it was simply part of it.

In terms of landscape, Te Mata Peak around Napier impressed us the most. The sunset from the summit definitely goes into the list of our most beautiful moments in New Zealand.

2. Things to Do in Napier Art Deco in Napier: The Highlights Don’t worry: you don’t have to go looking for art deco buildings, because if you walk through the town center you will come across a lot of historic buildings anyway. In the city center it is above all the area around Emerson Street, that has the flair the 30 he years is particularly present.

Napier’s most famous Art Deco building is just outside the center: The “National Tobacco Company Building” is probably the most photographed house in the city. Also worth seeing is the “Daily Telegraph Building”, which is located on Tennyson Street.

If you want to have a coffee in a historical atmosphere, then you are in Emporium in good hands. If you are looking for souvenirs, “The Art Deco Shop” is a good place to go . Here you’ll find Art Deco souvenirs and lots of old-time memorabilia.

Marine Parade You should definitely plan a walk along Marine Parade. Although there are admittedly more impressive beach promenades , the Marine Parade with its sometimes very bizarre buildings (including “The Colonnade”) but well worth seeing.

Unfortunately you can’t go swimming here, the currents are too strong for that. However, you can watch the waves crash from the jetty.

Bluff Hill Lookout From the Bluff Hill Lookout you look directly at the Port of Napier and have a wide view of the beach and the surrounding area. We personally found it very exciting to watch what was happening in the container port, but there are certainly more spectacular vantage points in New Zealand.

You can reach the Bluff Hill Lookout fairly easily by car. From the town center it is not even 10 minutes travel time. Alternatively, you can climb the hill on foot. Good 30 minutes you have to plan for this short but relatively steep hike.

3. Attractions around Napier Te Mata Peak Our personal highlight in Napier was the sunset that we were able to experience from Te Mata Peak. If you’re lucky with the weather, the setting sun bathes the hilly landscape in an orange-red light. We never thought we would find such a breathtaking backdrop in the otherwise relatively flat Napier.

A trip to Te Mata Peak we can warmly recommend you. If you are a little tired from the day (like us), then you can easily drive to the summit by car. Alternatively, you can climb Te Mata Peak on foot.

Our tip: It is best to take a blanket and a cool drink with you. Then you can make yourself comfortable at the summit and watch the sun go down. For us, the moment was one of our most beautiful on the North Island.

Hawke’s Bay Wineries Napier is situated in the heart of Hawke’s Bay, one of New Zealand’s most important wine regions. Countless wineries are located here. So tasting a glass of white wine (or two) is on the agenda for many travelers.

And of course we didn’t let this experience take us away either. Our choice fell on Black Barn Vineyard, a well-known and beautifully situated winery south of Napier. Alcohol is relatively expensive in New Zealand. For a glass of wine you have to pay approx. 12 Calculate NZD.

Our tip: We combined our visit to Black Barn Vineyard with a trip to Te Mata Peak. The Black Barn Vineyard is located at the foot of Te Mata Peak.

Lake Waikaremoana A somewhat unusual tip, but you know us – we love tips away from the mainstream: Lake Waikaremoana is located – unfortunately! – Approx. 2.5 hours drive from Napier and is therefore not one of the typical destinations. “What the heck”, we thought and took the route for a day trip.

On the west coast of Lake Waikaremoana runs one of the lesser known “Great Walks” (those nine most famous hiking trails in New Zealand). You need several days for the entire route. But: You reach the most spectacular section of the route right at the beginning.

You have to hike uphill for just over an hour before you are rewarded with fascinating views over Lake Waikaremoana. Unfortunately, we were quite unlucky with the weather, but even that didn’t spoil the fascination of this place. You can find more information about this hike in our article The most beautiful day hikes in New Zealand.

Cape Kidnappers Unfortunately we didn’t make it anymore, hike to Cape Kidnappers. The way there is only accessible when the tide is low and when we were there it was very, very early in the morning and then again in the dark.

At Cape Kidnappers lives the world’s largest Booby colony. Yes, you read that right: boobies, a special kind of bird. A visit to the Cape Kidnappers is only possible on foot or as part of a guided tour. The jeep tour with Gannet Beach Adventure also depends on the timing of the tides as you drive along the beach. However, overland tours with Gannet Safaris depart daily at the same time.

Hastings Just like Napier will too the small town of Hastings is often referred to as an Art Deco town. Let’s be honest: If you’ve seen Napier, a visit to Hastings is pretty much unnecessary. Napier is a lot neater and just has more to offer.

If you do end up in Hastings, then you can visit the region’s most famous ice cream parlor, which is just outside the city centre: at Rush Monro’s Icecream Gardens has been making ice cream for generations. We tested it: It was very good, but not better than at our regular ice cream parlor in Vienna.

4. Food & Drink in Napier Organic store at Chantal Organics A bit bizarre & highly recommended – that’s how we would describe the Chantal Café, which is located in the organic shop of the same name. You choose your food directly from the display case: there is a great selection of healthy dishes, including salads, quiches and also a soup of the day. Then you take a seat at one of the large tables.

Apart from us, there were mainly pensioners and local families present. Because our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, we decided on three dishes (for both of us) and cleaned everything down to the last crumb because it tasted so good. We have a clear recommendation!

Address: 16 Hastings Street, Napier

Hapī Clean Kai Co-op We ended up at Café Hapī looking for a snack. The tiny little hipster café is mainly frequented by young people and families. Vegan, healthy dishes and drinks are served.

You can choose from sandwiches, salads and cakes. There are also plenty of smoothies, freshly squeezed juices and various nut milk drinks. We went here for lunch but it’s definitely worth a visit for a healthy breakfast too. Oh yes, a big plus: The coffee is excellent.

Note: Like many cafés in New Zealand, Café Hapī closes very early. Every day at 16 Clock!

Address: 30 Hastings Street, Napier

5. More New Zealand Travel Reports Our route through New Zealand The most beautiful day hikes in New Zealand Christchurch: Sights & Tips Lake Tekapo: Our Tips Dunedin & Otago Peninsula The Catlins – New Zealand’s rugged south Helicopter flight over Queenstown Wanaka: Hike to Roy’s Peak Day hike in Abel Tasman National Park Wellington: Tips for New Zealand’s cozy capital

Have you been to Napier? Or are you considering traveling to Napier as well? As always, we look forward to your comment! 2018