Napier, the city (on the map)
Is a coast town located in Hawke’s Bay (love this name) on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island next to Hastings and Havelock North. Napier is a quite popular tourist destination and displays a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture. The city was re-built after it was almost entirely destroyed in the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake and the architects in charge of the conception of the buildings had a thing for Art Deco. Today, Napier is one of the purest art deco cities in the World. Click To Tweet
What to do in and around Napier
There are heaps of things to do in and around Napier here’s a list, but what I’d recommend is to go right away to the city center for a stroll and admire the art deco buildings, it’s a bit like time travelling and provides total escapism of the present. I just hope youre Napier experience won’t be as wet as ours, but hey… you can’t have it all!
Napier is also a beach town and is located just next to its km long beach made of black pebbles. During a rainstorm, you can make quite impressive photos on that beach, reflecting perfectly the force of nature.
Another fun thing to do if you have some time, the right gear and a certain tolerance for heights, is to do the Te Mata Peak hike. You’ll experience panoramic views, a top cardio workout, and fantastic hillscapes during 2 – 3 hours… depending on your personal fitness. Ah yeah, you can also talk to sheep… a lot of sheep! Joking aside, the landscapes are honestly worth the hassle of getting up there!
Other hikes, trails and walks in and around Napier here.
Where to eat
Who is Mister D?
Mister D is a schizophrenic. He doesn’t belong to Napier; he’s too trendy, too urban. On the other hand, his retro style and vintage look match perfectly the background. With a zest of Italy and a touch of innovation, Mister D offers tasty, generous and almost sophisticated food.
Your palate will most certainly love:
The Turkey tortellini with sage, Parmesan, mirepoix broth and mustard fruits – or – the Olive oil poached beef fillet, medium rare with mushroom risotto and wine maker’s butter.
Mmmhhhh… the Turkey tortellini … I'm still drooling thinking of Mister D, my favourite restaurant in New Zealand! Click To Tweet
Diva Bistro and Bar
Diva Bistro and Bar is the perfect place to eat a hearty burger when you are cold, wet, and deadbeat by the Te Mata Peak trail (and also when you need a bathroom to wash because a bird has just mistaken you for a toilet…).
Where to sleep
Pebble Beach Motor Inn
We stayed at a cool little Motel called Pebble Beach Motor Inn with sea view. Anyway, the rooms are huuuuuuge with, what would there be else, a hot tub in the centre. The owner was very friendly, but then again, all the kiwis we met were forthcoming, funny and so very friendly it was almost annoying. How can people be so nice all the time?
So, if you have some spare time to explore a weirdly retro sea town and you’re longing for those turkey tortellini, drive down to Napier!
Here are other articles, about locations and things to do in New Zealand’s North Island.
- Auckland, awkwardly awesome!
- Northland: Bay of Islands
- Great Lake Taupo
- Rotorua, The Sulphur City
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
You want to suggest other activities that should not be missed out on in Napier? Let the readers know about them!