Napier City Guide


The relaxed sunny coastal city of Napier is a favourite with holidaymakers who come to enjoy its great caf├ęs, fine wineries and unique art deco architecture. Napier was rebuilt in the art deco and Spanish mission styles of the day following an earthquake in 1931. Napier now contains some of the world's best examples of deco buildings and the annual Napier Art Deco Weekend held every February is hugely popular.

Hawke's Bay's sunny Mediterranean climate has guaranteed it a place among the country's leading wine-making regions, and many of the award-winning vineyards can be visited from Napier's city centre. If you fancy some outdoor adventure, you can take your pick from fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, jetboating, parasailing and skydiving.

Get your Bearings

Marine Parade runs parallel with the ocean. Main roads leading into Napier are Kennedy Road, Latham Road and Georges Drive. The CBD is centred around Tennyson Street, Hastings Street and Emerson Street. In Hastings, the main commercial area is around the city square, Market Street, Queen Street and Heretaunga Street.

Things to Do

  • Art Deco Weekend
    Napier's annual art deco festival is held every February, featuring a vintage car cruise, jazz bands, a bi-plane swoop, exhibitions and entertainment with a 1930s theme.
  • Art Deco Trust (Walks)
    Join the 20,000 plus people who take a guided Art Deco Walk each year. Your accredited guide will bring Napier's fascinating architecture to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco Quarter in the vibrant city centre. Walks are held twice daily year-round (except Christmas Day), plus evening walks from December through to March.
  • Vintage Deco Car Tour
    The Art Deco Trust also offers a one hour tour in a 1930s Buick. This tour includes an interior visit to the Hawke's Bay Club, Natioanl Tobacco Company Building and a private Art Deco home.
  • Wineries
    The region's popular wine and food festival, Harvest Hawke's Bay, takes place over the first weekend of February, drawing thousands of visitors each year. Local vineyards include Esk Valley Estate, with Church Road and Mission Estate Winery at nearby Taradale, and Brookfields Winery at Meeanee. Also worth a visit is Crossroads Winery, a boutique winery in Fernhill, and Sacred Hill Winery with its picturesque cellar door facility. A wine trail map is available from Napier Visitor information Centre (100 Marine Parade).
  • Cape Kidnappers
    The world's largest mainland gannet colony is well worth a visit for nature lovers. The birds are best seen from November to February (the sanctuary is closed June-October). Gannet Beach Adventures offer a range of options or you can walk the 8km (each way) along the beach from Clifton, when the tide is right. The visitor centre has tide times.
  • Hawke's Bay Museum
    Located between Herschell Street and Marine Parade, the regional museum features displays on the 1931 Hawke's Bay Earthquake, Maori treasures and dinosaur and fossil discoveries.
  • Marine Parade
    This 3km long seaside boulevard provides a pleasant walk and is dotted with a number of the city's key attractions, including the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
  • National Aquarium of New Zealand
    Exhibits include local marine and freshwater fish, crocodiles and piranhas.
  • Bluff Hill Lookout
    This dramatic lookout provides excellent views over Hawke Bay and the Port of Napier.
  • Kiwi House
    Celebrating New Zealand's national symbol. Open daily, with shows at 1pm and feeding at 2pm.
  • Opossum World
    An opportunity to meet live opossums and learn about their history and life cycle and how the opossum can be controlled. A boutique tannery provides a range of souvenirs.
  • Bay View & Westshore Beaches
    Just a few minutes drive from Napier are the lovely seaside suberbs of Bay View and Westshore with walks, watersports, bike trails and popular beaches.

Art Deco & Walks

Napier enjoys one of the highest concentrations of Art Deco architecture in the world.

Every February, Napier hosts an Art Deco Weekend, featuring a vintage car cruise, jazz bands, a bi-plane swoop, balls, dinners, exhibitions and entertainment with a 1930s theme. Characteristic art deco motifs include geometric shapes, zigzags, lightning flashes and rising suns. Some of the city's finest art deco buildings are located on Emerson Street, including the Criterion Hotel, ASB Bank and Provincial Hotel. Other highlights include the Daily Telegraph Building and the Municipal Theatre on Tennyson Street, and on Marine Parade, the Masonic Motel and the neon-lit art deco clock tower.

Walks
A series of self-guided art deco walk brochures are available at the Visitors Centre at 100 Marine Parade, or alternatively, take a guided walk:
  • Art Deco Trust (Walks)
    Join the 20,000 plus people who take a guided Art Deco Walk each year. Your accredited guide will bring Napier's fascinating architecture to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco Quarter in the vibrant city centre. Walks are held twice daily year-round (except Christmas Day), plus evening walks from December through to March.  
  • Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre (Par 2 Mini Golf)
    Daily walks from 10am during the summer.
Hastings
Hastings has some 40 buildings dating from the art deco era which can be visited on foot, including the impressive Westerman's building with its leadlight shop fronts, and the Municipal Theatre on Hastings Street. For those with private transport, the port area of Ahuriri, Hastings and Taradale have fine examples of art deco architecture, and a self-drive Art Deco Tour map is available from the Hastings Visitors Centre.


Wineries & Vineyards

New Zealand's first winery was established in the Hawke's Bay in 1851 when French Catholic missionaries planted vines at the Mission Estate. Today, some 25 wineries grace this region which boasts an average of 2245 hours of sunshine annually. Cabernet sauvignon, gewurztraminer, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc are among the varieties on offer. A drawcard for wine buffs is Harvest Hawke's Bay, a wine and food festival held the first weekend of every February.

  • Brookfields Winery and Restaurant
    One of Hawke's Bay's older wineries. Brookfields is an impressive venue during the day with its beautiful rose gardens, views of the vineyard, hand-made brick winery and tasting room and the petanque court.
  • Sacred Hill Winery
    The picturesque cellar door facility is considered to be one of the best. Taste the Sacred Hill wines with friends in a sophisticated yet relaxed environment.
  • Esk Valley Estate Hawkes Bay
    Mediterranean-style winery offering free tastings of both red and white wines, and tours by appointment. Picnic area.
  • Church Road
    Visit if you appreciate fine wine, history and great food. Tours of the winery and museum daily. Restaurant and garden dining available.
  • Mission Estate Winery
    New Zealand's oldest established winery. Wine sales and tastings and tours. A restaurant and craft gallery operate from the historic seminary building.
  • Crossroads Winery & Vineyard
    A boutique winery founded in 1990 and known for producing elegant wines of high quality and consistency. The quality wines and warm welcome makes this worth a visit.
Wine Tours
  • Hawke's Bay in a Glass
    Take a 'voyage of discovery' on a personalised wine tour.
  • Liberty Tours
    Boutique winery and sightseeing tours.
  • Toast the Bay
    Wine tours and scenic tours.

Business Services

Business Overview
Napier and Hastings service a booming wine region and fertile horticultural sector through wine and food processing and a major port. Innovative small manufacturers and IT firms are also located in the two cities.

Meeting Options
1000-seat auditorium and 350-400 theatre-style in the ballroom at War Memorial Centre, Napier, plus Marine Parade Seaside Conference Centre. Large meeting facilities at Hastings Municipal Theatre Complex, and smaller facilities in hotels and lodges.

Airport Location
Hawke's Bay airport is 7km away - a 10min drive from Napier city.