393 Gloucester Street, Napier, New Zealand
More about Napier
Gannet in flight
Art deco? Art moderne
Guys at the Te Mata Peak Look Out
We will spend one day in Napier in November on our cruise around NZ. We would like to see a winery or two. What is the best way to get to the wineries -- hiring a car or arranging a tour guide to pick us up?
Re: winery tour
If you want to taste some wines it is always better to organise transportation and not drive yourself. They also offer wine tours from Napier.
On this website you find a lot of contacts for wine tours, and you can also contact the Visitor Information.
There is a link to an operator who offers wine tours by bicycle. I have not done this in the Hawke's Bay but in France, and that was great. However, it is similar to driving a car and wine tasting... If you drink too much you should not use the bicycle either ;-)
Travel Tips for Napier
Pacific Neighbors and Sister Cities
When I was staying at the B&B in Napier I saw a picture on the wall of a Pergola with Tuscan pillars overlooking the sea and said to my Host "Oh you've been to Santa Barbara California?" His response was "No, that picture was taken here in Napier !" Then he went on to say that the structure was inspired by the one in Santa Barbara, Napier's Sister City in America. He also gave me a book to read that explained even more. After the Earthquake of 1931 in Napier it was decided to rebuild in a way that would be not only more modern but also more earthquake safe. Santa Barbara was used as a model since it had suffered the same fate following a huge quake 6 years earlier. Santa Barbara was beautifully rebuilt predominately in Spanish Mission Style because of it's history. But It also rebuilt in modern Art Deco, a style inspired by the discovery of Tuts Tomb in Egypt. Napier rebuilt in Stripped Classical , Spanish Mission Style.and most predominately in Art Deco Style. So Napier and Santa Barbara not only share the shores of the Pacific Ocean, these sister cities share a history of being devestated by horrible earthquakes and rebuilding in triumphant glory. Both cities today are popular seaside resorts, famous for their excellent and predominate architecture.
Panorama from Bluff Hill.
If you have your own transport, you should be able to make your way through the winding streets of Bluff Hill, to the Bluff Hill Domain. Here you can park and get an expansive view of Hawke Bay (the marine feature) and Hawkes Bay (the name of the region - the land bit). You can't get that good a view of Napier city centre from here.
The drive up to the domain will take you throught a suburb of stately old wooden villas dating back to the early twentieth century. Remarkably this area apparently survived pretty much intact in 1931.
If you look west, you will see the large area of 'new land' that the earthquake reclaimed from the sea.
Marine Parade, as the name suggests, runs along the sea front. The area is very nice.
The fountain here, we only saw in the day time, but at night it is lit, I think in different colours.
THE NEW NAPIER ARCH (1938) commemorates the rebuilding of the city, is not very new any more! There is a colonnade, with two smaller arches, the Veronica Sunbay built in 1934 in the Classic Revival Style. The plaza itself was once used as a skating rink and there is the sound shell.
It is here, where you will find the Visitor information centre.
BLUFF HILL LOOKOUT
This hilltop was originally occupied by the Army during World War 2. Its a great vantage point for views over Hawkes Bay, from Mahia Peninsula to Cape Kidnappers. Captain Cook, in 1769, sailed along the coast and noted this "Bluff Head" and he also named quite a few places along the coast. Be careful driving up this narrow, windy road to the lookout, as the locals speed up and down it, cutting corners, very dangerous.
Te Mata Peak
Only a few minutes drive from Hastings in the town of Havelock North, is Te Mata Peak, a huge hill/mountain which can be driven up right to the top, where you can then have 360 degree views right over Hawkes Bay, Napier, Hastings, and other mountains and surrounding green rolling hills.