A Short Guide to Napier
Population: 57,000+ (in the city)
Location: Hawkes Bay, east coast of New Zealand’s North Island
In 1931, New Zealand’s city of Napier received the opportunity to recreate itself. It was struck by a traumatic earthquake that lasted more than three minutes. Walking through the city feels like taking a step back in time into an F. Scott Fitzgerald book or a black and white film noir where women are called ‘doll face’ and all men are named ‘Schmitty.’ Art deco rules the city and rules its architecture beautifully.
Vintage cars can be found on street corners and Maori features are decorated into buildings to add a New Zealand flare to the architecture. This is definitely a city worth exploring and walking around. I adore art deco, so taking in the eclectic, colorful mixture of geometric building facades was enough to keep me occupied for an entire day.
Things to do
- Art deco architecture walking tour (guided or self-guided)
- Cycle the Hawkes Bay trails
- Taste the region’s Syrah and Pinot Gris on a wine tour
- Walk through the Napier Botanical Gardens
- Stroll along the oceanfront
- Explore the street art scene
- Food Hapī – clean food bar that promotes healthy living (so many vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc. options!)
- Coffee Six Sisters Coffee House – cute, comfortable coffee house on the main strip
- Shopping Caravan – unique, eclectic bohemian clothing and accessories