Napier, New Zealand
Napier, the Art Deco capital of the world, is a must-see destination for lovers of all things architecture, art and wine. Every year, more than 20,000 people take guided tours on the streets of this coastal city, exploring Napier’s unique architectural style, which is the result of a city-wide rebuild following an earthquake in 1931. It’s common to feel like you’ve walked into the set of a silent movie when disembarking in Napier.
Serial and amateur shoppers alike will enjoy Napier’s shopping districts, while other attractions like the local aquarium and Marine Parade make it a popular destination for families and people of all ages.
Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s largest wine-producing regions, so a tour to the neighbouring orchards is an absolute must for wine lovers. Napier itself is home to the country’s oldest wineries.
The Port of Napier is less than a kilometre away from the town’s centre. This port is widely considered the best industrial port in central New Zealand and it is situated on the east coast of the north island. The nearest large city is Hastings, about 20 kilometres to the southwest.
Because the Port of Napier is a working port rather than a passenger pier, pedestrians are restricted from accessing it. Upon berthing, you will be transferred straight to the visitor centre in the city via a complimentary shuttle bus. Once in the city, any facilities you require will be readily available and usually within walking distance.
Facilities in Napier (within a 10-minute walking radius) include:
- Banks and ATMs
- Internet cafés
- Shops and restaurants
- Souvenir shopping
How to Get Around
All of Napier’s main attractions are close enough to the city centre to travel to on foot. The visitor information centre is located on Marine Parade.
If you need to venture further or prefer not to walk, public buses and taxis are available and can take you to various spots within the Hawke’s Bay region.
For those that have their heart set on a wine tour, your best option is a short guided tour or even a private tour. You might also prefer to hire a vehicle for the day.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 14 minute walk from the visitor information centre to the National Aquarium
- It is a 37 minute walk from the visitor information centre to Ahuriri.
- It is a 2 hour and 46 minute journey to Rotorua Airport by car
- It is a 2 minute journey to the National Aquarium by car
- It is a 9 minute journey to Ahuriri by car
- It is a 22 minute journey to Cape Kidnappers Golf Course by car.
- Currency - The currency used in Napier is the New Zealand dollar, with denominations identical to those in Australia. Coins come in $1, $2, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent denominations. Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout New Zealand.
- Time Zone – Napier is on New Zealand Standard Time, which is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). From late September to early April, Napier changes to daylight savings time, putting them an extra hour ahead (UTC+13:00).
- Weather – The climate in Napier is relatively dry and sunny throughout the year, reminiscent of Mediterranean destinations. In fact, Napier enjoys more hours of sunshine than most towns in New Zealand, with rainfall being quite rare. You will also enjoy fresh sea breezes.
- Art Deco – The unique style and architecture of Napier is what draws in the most visitors. There are several guided tours available for a more thorough and educational experience of the town, though wandering through the streets unassisted can be equally enjoyable. If you happen to be visiting in February, you won’t be able to miss the annual Art Deco Weekend Summer Festival, which celebrates the town’s reconstruction with wonderful performances and celebrations on the streets.
- Wine Tours – The orchards of the Hawke’s Bay region are beautiful to look at and to sample. The area’s Mediterranean-style weather makes it perfect for growing grapes and you can taste the results for yourself during a guided or unguided tour of the multiple wineries. You can get a very satisfying taste without leaving Napier at the New Zealand Wine Centre.
- Marine Parade and the Aquarium – Host to the Tom Parker Fountain and Pania of the Reef statue, Marine Parade is a delightful spot for a leisurely stroll at the end of your day in Napier. Along the way, you’ll come across the National Aquarium of New Zealand, home to an impressive array of aquatic wildlife. Allow at least an hour here.