The Art Deco capital of the world
With its beautifully preserved architecture and a local population passionate about its history, Napier is one of the world’s outstanding examples of the Art Deco style. After being wiped out by an earthquake in 1931, the town was rebuilt in the contemporary style, creating a moment-in-time jewel that has become a draw for Art Deco enthusiasts from the world over.
Napier is also the gateway to the greater Hawke’s Bay region, famous for producing some of the world’s best wines, in particular, full-bodied reds. Napier and nearby Taradale boast some of the region’s oldest and most famous wineries, making it a must for wine buffs. The region’s cycling paths are second-to-none, with 180km of trails between Napier and neighbouring city, Hastings.
Discover the gourmet food and the Art Deco of Hawke's Bay
New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay has picture-postcard looks, a dynamic food and wine scene, and a touch of 1930s glamour, writes Belinda Luksic.
Things to do
Learn about Napier’s Art Deco architecture and legacy with a guided walking tour run by the Art Deco Trust opens in new window. Walking tours run three times daily, or you can opt for a bus tour or get into the spirit of the thing with a tour by vintage car.
Located on the western boundary of the wine-producing Heretaunga Plains, sits Te Mata Peak opens in new window some 400m above sea level. Walk, bike or drive your way to the peak for panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru Ranges as well as Cape Kidnappers.
Wheels to wine
Take a cycling tour of the wine growing region of Gimblett Gravels with On Yer Bike opens in new window. Riding along flat terrain you’ll pass vineyards, olive groves and farmland and stop at nine wineries including Ash Ridge Wines, Abbey Cellars and Te Awa.
Bird's eye view
Named after an attempted kidnapping on a member of Captain Cook’s crew, Cape Kidnappers Gannet Reserve opens in new window is the perfect place to watch its two colonies of saddle and black reef gannets. Walk along the beach at low tide, ride on a tractor trailer or kayak your way there.
For winers and diners
Established in 1851 by pioneering French missionaries, Mission Estate opens in new window winery is said to be the birthplace of New Zealand wine. Take a cellar door tour (book ahead), sample their finest drops or enjoy a locally sourced lunch or dinner (with a spectacular view) in their restaurant.
Distance to city centre 6km
Taxi A taxi from the airport to Napier takes around 10 minutes and costs about NZD $20.
Shuttle Shuttles opens in new window take around 10 minutes and cost NZD $20 for one person, NZD $25 for two; bookings required.Back to top
When to go
Napier and the surrounding Hawke's Bay region is known for its Mediterranean climate. Summer (December–February) is long and warm, while winter (June–August) is mild and only a little wet. This moderate climate allows for year-round food and wine production.
On the third weekend of February is the Tremain’s Art Deco Weekend, one of Napier’s biggest events. Also in February is the Mission Estate Winery’s annual Mission Concert which draws local and international musical acts. Come November, food and wine are celebrated at the F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic.Back to top
The goBay opens in new window bus network runs between Napier and Hastings and around the surrounding areas. Take route 12 for the Napier to Hastings bus and route 13 for access to Taradale. If you’re planning to do lots of bus travel it may be worth getting a goBay smartcard.Back to top