Art deco 1930s architecture
Totally rebuilt after a devastating 1931 earthquake in which 258 people lost their lives, Napier (pop 63,000) is known as a surprisingly uniform city, in the popular art deco architectural style of the 1930s.
These events and the architecture is celebrated by the annual mid-February Art Deco Festival Napier; a great time to be in town.
In general Napier is a sunny, optimistic sort of place anyway; with good eateries, excellent wineries, farmers markets and fruit orchards nearby.
It’s easy to chill out for a day and wander around Napier, checking out the buildings and the impressive MTG Hawke’s Bay (Museum Theatre Gallery), which has lots going on, including changing gallery and museum exhibitions.
Marine Parade, along the waterfront, is lined with Norfolk Island pines and there are top views further north at Bluff Hill Lookout.
Napier is a 141km drive southeast from Taupo on SH5 or a 214km drive southwest of Gisborne. The airport is 8km north of the city and has connections to the major centres.