As you can see, I have grave doubts whether I can call what Napier has a beach....
well there is water, and a shore, but walking on it is to walk on rough grey/black gravel, nothing more.
Still, the way the shore slopes down to the water, when you're on Marine Parade, you can usually only see the water, so the view is not spoiled at all.
Here's a pic to show you what I mean (tourist guides shouldn't just be full of the great pics!)
Explore Marthas Vineyard
Marthas Vineyard is a coastal area in Napier (near the airport) that has vineyards and lavender fields.It is a nice place to bike or hike (tramp). We considered buying this 5 hectre lot that was once a part of a large farm. It is now subdivided for lifestyle homesites with stunning ocean views.
Te Whare Tangaroa o Aotearoa
The National Aquarium of New Zealand is also known as Te Whare Tangaroa o Aotearoa - the house of the God of the ocean of New Zealand. The new facility opened to the public in June 2002. Allow 1-2 hours to leisurely go round all the exhibits.
Maori spiritual concepts and tribal history are an important part of New Zealand's cultural history and education. As you come eye-to-eye with the thousands of strange and wonderful creatures that live in the National Aquarium of New Zealand, your experience will involve you in an enthralling, captivating Maori legend.
Tangaroa, God of the Ocean and his special connection to this Napier (Ahuriri) area through Pania, one of Tangaroa's sea people. Her tragic love story continues to be handed down from one generation to the next, shared by Maori and Pakeha alike.
As you leave the aquarium, look across the ocean for Tangaroa and see the spectacular geological formation of Cape Kidnappers which, according to Maori mythology, is the hook used by Maui when he fished the New Zealand islands from the ocean.
While considered an entertainment venue, the new Aquarium also incorporates education, research, and passive education with displays set up with a theme where topics such as ocean currents, water cycle, local (i.e. Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay) are displayed.
The National Aquarium of New Zealand is also involved in many conservation programmes, both national and international in scale. Some of these are historic in nature while others have only come online since the Aquarium re-opened in 2002.
26th December - 31st January: 9am - 7pm
1st February - 24th December: 9am - 5pm
At set times during the day, divers will enter the Oceanarium to feed the fish, and there will be other presentations around the aquarium. Check the sign boards for times.
Hand feeding in the reef tank: 10.00am
Hand feeding in the ocean tank: 2.00pm
Adult - $12.00
Child (up to 14 years) - $6.00
Mission Estate Winery
"The Mission" as it is often known is one of Napier's most popular vineyards. Not only are the wines superb but it is an excellent venue for functions such as weddings and even open air concerts are held here. The Mission Estate was established in 1851making it New Zealand's oldest winemaker.
The Cellar Door is open for tasting from Monday - Saturday 9.00am - 5.00pm and Sunday 10.00am - 4.30pm
Napier - Wine Tasting Trail
"My first wine tasting expedition"
New Zealand Wine is getting popular by the day and this is one of the best places (read cheap) to experience the process of wine tasting.
$45 well spent ...sipping various types of wines...trying variety of cheese and being driven from one beautiful winery to another ...Learn about wines and explore the intricacies of the taste, texture, after taste, smell and color!! and get a little high
We took a half day tour arranged by Bay tours & charters (06 845 9034). Not one of the best options I am told, which would be " The Grape Escape" where we couldn’t book a seat since they were fully booked and didn’t suit our timing. However I don’t think it be any more different.
Ours was almost like a personalized tour since it was just us and a tipsy old lady. The guide was friendly. We visited 4 - 5 wineries. Key Wineries visited - Sileni and Ngatarawa wines. Out of all the wines tasted...I like the Sauvignon Blanc from Sileni and of course the spicy Shiraz (but of course we are Indians) I learnt one more thing ...I hate blue cheese ...what ever I try, I cannot get myself to like it