Whether you’re here for a day or a month, our beautiful ocean-bordered city is full to its Art Deco brim of things to do and see. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Get acquainted with Art Deco
An Art Deco guided walk around the CBD will introduce you to Napier’s fine examples of 1930s Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture.
Get an art and culture fix
The MTG museum, theatre and gallery on the roundabout of Tennyson Street and Marine Parade is the cultural heart of the city, and home to a nationally important collection of art and objects. As well as a varied and changing programme of exhibitions and displays, the MTG hosts film and performing arts events during the year.
Napier’s Arts Quarter bordering Hastings and Tennyson Streets has a number of independent galleries all within a short walking distance of each other. For a community arts flavour, CAN in Byron Street has exhibitions running throughout the year of work by local artists.
Dine your way around the CBD
They don’t call Hawke’s Bay ‘wine country’ for nothing and Napier has some of the best cafes, restaurants and bars in NZ. Try Mister D’s legendary custard injectable donuts, a coffee at the lovely Georgia in Tennyson Street or a glass of Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay over looking out to sea at Emporium in the Masonic Hotel.
Shop till you drop
Spend an hour exploring the large number of independent, specialist stores dotted around the CBD. Or if you’re in town on a Saturday, the Farmer’s Market in Clive Square is where our boutique food producers and artisans sell their wares.
Climb to the top of Tiffen Park
If you’re feeling fit, climb the steps to the top of Tiffen Park in Tennyson Street and you will be richly rewarded with stunning views over the city.
Take a walk above the sea
The new viewing platform on Marine Parade brings ocean to land, and is the perfect spot to contemplate or simply admire the view. You never know your luck, you may even see pods of whales and dolphins.
Get up close and personal with marine life at the Aquarium
Napier is home to the National Aquarium of New Zealand. As well as housing the largest display of aquatic life in the country, the Aquarium offers close encounters with penguins, kiwi and for those brave enough, sharks.
Stroll along Marine Parade
The walkways along Marine Parade take you past several iconic Napier landmarks including the Tom Parker Fountain, the Soundshell, the Pania of the Reef sculpture, the Sunken Gardens and our beautiful golden lady, the Spirit of Napier.
Let off some steam at the bike tracks
To burn off excess energy, there are skate parks, scooter and pump tracks and junior bike parks for the kids along Marine Parade. There are also great playgrounds that the smaller people can enjoy while you relax with a coffee.
Words by Sarah Cameron – www.sarahcameron.co.nz
Photos by Alice Lee