The widespread art deco architecture and the superb gardens and immaculate flowerbeds stretching along the coast
Fondest memory: Dont miss the Jazz concert in the soundshell on Saturday night. The streets are lined with vintage cars and everyone is in costume
Many kiwis (and foreigners too for that matter) are looking to Napier as a wedding destination. It has a good climate, vineyards and beaches. It is also a lot cheaper than having a wedding in Auckland for example.
Fondest memory: My brother and his wife celebrated their wedding at a little church on the highway and then the reception was at Church Road Winery.
Favorite thing: The I-site office should be one of your first stops in Napier. Just across Marine Parade from the iconic A&B Building, the office provides information for free and can help you book tours and accommodation (a small fee usually applies for the latter). There is also a range of souvenirs here and a mini-golf course next door!
A quaint example of housing I found in one of the back streets of Napier.
Normal, all except for the bright splash of colour.
Aussies wouldn't do that, but the Kiwis don't seem to have the qualms we do about mixing multi colours or several colours together, mostly with fairly good results.
Even the Skate Park in Napier is on Marine Parade, right on the foreshore (seems like just about everything in this city gets a great waterfront view and are ON the waterfront!)
In Oz, some of our skate parks can be a bit unsightly, but this one is so well painted up and decorated, it's an asset.
(Located opposite the '6 Sisters' houses)
A good internet cafe I found with about 10 new computers was in the Ocean Boulevard Mall, in Dickens St.
It's called simply "And Computers" and is a computer shop as well.
Rates very good.
They also print & burn CD's & create CD's from digital photos, etc.
(Their brochure says they have a high speed connection too).
Open 7 days, 8 am - 10.30 pm.
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!)
I really loved these almost Roman style columns on Napier's waterfront. The architecture takes little bits and pieces from so many cultures and civilizations, and puts most of it together as Art Deco. It's brilliant.
I could dream I was in Rome here...
Here are some of the boats docked in Napier's marina area. The marquees and giant alcohol bottle in the distance are part of their Waitangi Day celebrations.
Wouldn't the cork go off like a rocket!!!
Several minutes from Napier by car, Napier's pier is kind of set near wetlands and a kind of 'back beach' which I believe was created when the harbour was changed as a consequence of the earthquake.
We were staying just down the road a little bit from it, or wouldn't have discovered it at all.
It's where the Waitangi Day festivities were held.
From the Bluff lookout, you can also have a great view down on the Port of Napier, which is really quite substantial.
Fondest memory: The port looked rather picturesque and more interesting when viewed from way up above like this.
A steep 5 or 7 minute drive from Napier takes you up to the Bluff lookout, where you can have a commanding 360 degree view, from various points of the lookout.
Here, we are looking down on the coastline and Napier city and some of its houses, built part way up the bluff. Even some of the houses in this area have been built in the Art Deco style!
Hawke's Bay is the Art Deco Capital of the World - thanks to the 1931 earthquake that virtually destroyed most of Napier and Hastings. The cities were rebuilt in the fashionable styles of the time - Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical, and above all Art Deco.
Fondest memory: just look at the different buildings designs
All sorts of things to do with children: Splash Planet, sheep sculptures, Marineland, the Aquarium, all the art deco architecture, the honey farm (and of course for the adults, the vineyards and the tapas bar!)
Fondest memory: I grew up in the area, so the best thing for me is the feeling of stepping back in time by about 50 years! (although youican buy a decent cappucino, which is a bonus)
Favorite thing: Even the surrounds to the plants in the main street of Hastings had been tiled, then cobbled! So neat, tidy and clean.