Caught out after a couple of beers on Napier's Marine Parade. Looking for a toilet? or a place to park you bike or your luggage for a few hours while you explore Napier's architecture?? You can hire towels for a swim in the ocean or take a shower!
These are facilities available next to the Sound Shell on Marine Parade. See the details on my Napier home page.
URL - http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/ae2c2/1cb9f0/
We toured the coast and to The Mission winery by bike. We rented tow at Fish bikes, 26 Marine Parade, Bluff Hill, Napier 4110. Driving along the coast bike lane was easy and fun - apart from returning against the wind. The best part was travelling along the river bank towards the hills. We left the track too early and had to make our way to The Mission along the car traffic. Leave the track after you've passed the high way.
Returning to Napier from The Mission starts out very easy, good bike lanes. But after crossing a street, the bike lanes are gone. We had to find our way back by crossing roads, biking on the wrong side of the road etc. Here is still a challenge for the tourist industry in Napier. So bring along a good map.
As we left the foyer of the Napier theatre, we were approach by a man who offered us a tour of the building. This proved to be very interesting. The Theatre has been restored and is now in an excellent condition. We were told that the neon lights are among the first ever applied. In the old foyer, the original lamps are still in situ and working. In the auditorium, the neon lights slowly change.
The Napier Municipal Theatre stands on the site of the 1912 building destroyed in the 1931 eathquake. After several years and more necessary construction a new theatre was proposed and was opened in 1938.
Minor improvements were made in the next years but a major redevelopment in 1992 saw the theatre taking its place as one of the most modern venues in New Zealand. Much care was taken to preserve the Art Deco features of the theatre.
For lovers of Art Deco the theatre has some great examples of the style. The neon lights in the foyer are some of the first examples of this art form. When viewed from below the bright light changes to pastel tones. The huge light in the theatre itself changes colour in the centre.
This walking trail is run by the local Art Deco Trust. A volunteer guide takes you along the city streets and points out the more famous of the buildings and tells the history of each as well as the general history of the earthquake. You also get a lesson in the features of Art Deco - Zig-zags, fountains and speed lines etc. and the melding of Maori art into the Art Deco.
There are also self-guided walks available.
Not everyone's cup of tea but interesting and great if you love lines and angles and photography.
Topurs leave from the Art Deco Trust shop in Tennyson Street
Continuing on our scenic drive, a big surprise was seeing the extremely high Mohaka River Viaduct.
This is the highest railway viaduct in Australasia, standing 95m above the Mohaka river.
Construction began in 1930, but was not completed until 1937. At the time of its construction the viaduct was the fourth highest in the world and its completion was the final link in the Napier – Wairoa rail line which had commenced at Napier in 1912.
The trestle-constructed Mohaka Viaduct, crosses the Mohaka River close to the small settlement of Raupunga.
Travelling time is about 45 mins either way, from either Gisborne or Wairoa, for a safe comfortable journey.
Tiniroto road was a scenic option of reaching Gisborne from Napier. It was a beautiful drive, with many scenic sights. We came from Wairoa where the river valley views are just spectacular, especially with the coloured leaves of the Poplar & Willow Trees. We followed the Hangaroa River, well known for its trout, and stopped at the Te Reinga waterfalls.
Then nearly at Gisborne, at the top of Gentle Annie Hill, there were wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
We thought it was a really nice drive!
Te Reinga Falls were raging because of recent rain! A few minutes walk from the carpark and picnic area takes you to the lookout to view the spectacular 35 metre falls.
Just above the bridge the Hangaroa and Ruakituri Rivers combine to form the Wairoa River.
On State Highway 5, we came across this beautiful, small, chuch, made prettier with the autumn leaves.
I had to stop and have a look....
It was dedicated in 1920, and was built in memory of a local man, Percival Beattie, who was killed near the end of the First World War.
Eskdale farmer Thomas Clark donated the land and his daughter Annie, who was married to Percival Beattie, donated money for the furnishings and building of it....
Hawkes Bay Opera house is a beautiful old building built in Spanish Mission
The Opera House has a reputation for being one of the best lyric theatres of its type in Australasia made better by recent renovations.
The attached Municipal Buildings also house Hawke's Bay's largest ballroom (complete with fully restored sprung dance floor). The 985 seat Opera House hosts all kinds of performances from ballet to contemporary dance, operas to musical theatre, vaudeville to stand-up comedy, Shakespearean drama to pantomime and more.
Hawkes Bay is home to over 70 vineyards, and is New Zealands oldest wine region. It was stunning, as the Autumn leaves in this area were at their best, a nice time to visit!
There are some wonderful Wineries here, like the "Craggy Range" which has a restaurant serving New Zealand food with a French theme. The views are of Te Mata Peak, the lake and vineyards. Location is ...253 Waimarama Road, Havelock North
Wineries are at Eskdale, Havelock North and Hastings and other close by areas.
The lovely Clive Square we came across by accident. It was hard to believe, that years ago, cricket and football matches were played here.
In 1886, the square was enclosed with white picket fencing and gates at the corner entrances. Most of the enclosed area was in lawn, with trees and shrubs planted around the perimeter. The Clive Square side boasted a large centred circle, and seating around the outside of this faced inwards to a central band rotunda. The square now has a good selection of large cycads, Palms, nice gardens, lamp posts and seating.
There are toilets nearby.
ART DECO, originated in Europe from 1920 - 1940, a form that expressed all the vigor and optimism of the roaring twenties, and the idealism and escapism of the grim thirties.
When walking around we found many of the different themes represented in the way the buildings were built.
To get an idea some of them are.......
Sunbursts and fountains - representing the dawn of a new modern age.
The Skyscraper shape - symbolic of the 20th century.
Symbols of speed, power and flight - the exiting new developments in transport and communications.
Geometric shapes - representing the machine and technology which it was thought would solve all our problems.
The new woman - revelling in her recently won social freedoms.
Breaking the rules - cacophonous jazz, short skirts and hair, shocking dances.
Ancient cultures - for oddly enough, there was a fascination with the civilizations of Egypt and central America. Self-Guided Walks
There are guided walking tours which would give you a lot more information, we just walked around Napier with the ART DECO WALK booklet which we bought from the tourist information centre for $5. The booklets are for sale at other places in Napier.
The walk is 1.5 kilometres long and takes about 1.5hours and it really is quite interesting.
The town seems very proud of its buildings, they were all nicely painted and well looked after, a credit to Napier!
This is another Art Deco style of which we saw on our walk around Napier.
The photo, showing the style, is of the original Napier Central Fire Station. It was built of brick in 1921, but after damage from the earthquake, it was partly demolished and rebuilt in ferro-concrete to the exact original design.
It is now the home of the Art Deco Trust.
Other buildings in town of this particular style are.........
National Tobacco company.......Hawkes Bay Museum......
The Hay Building......Tennyson Chambers....and AMP building.
On our drive from Taupo to Napier we came across the Waipunga Falls that are located on the Waipunga River near Tarawera.
Its worth stopping and having a look at these. Waipunga Falls is a gorgeous 40m waterfall featuring three parallel columns. During periods of high flow, you might also see its companion waterfall - Waiarua Falls. Only a short walk to see them!