Napier’s CBD is full of surprises, with plenty on offer to keep the smaller people in your group amused.
Although the water is a no-go, beachcombing or building drift wood sculptures and huts along the beachfront is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The viewing platform provides a great view of the ocean and is the perfect place to do a bit of ship-spotting.
Marine Parade has fantastic walking and biking paths stretching along the ocean for miles. You can hire bikes and scooters or enjoy using your foot-power.
For small and big kids
Along Marine Parade are some brilliant free bike and scooter parks and playgrounds, all designed for different age groups. There’s plenty of places inside the parks and grounds for adults to sit down to watch their charges and thankfully there are cafes and food stores nearby should sustenance be required.
Every Saturday from 9am to 1pm the Napier Urban Farmers Market is held in Clive Square (lower Emerson Street). It’s where the locals shop and is the perfect place for the family to enjoy coffees and treats, and taste some of the best produce from the region.
Mini golf and surrounds
Near the i-Site on Marine Parade is 12 Par 2 Mini Golf that’s open every day from 9.30am. After a round, walk across to the sunken gardens and then head down to the Soundshell and say hi to Napier’s Pania of the Reef in all her bronze glory.
Get up close and personal with Nemo and his family at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. As well as housing the largest display of aquatic life in the country including Penguins and sharks, the Aquarium runs special events, personal encounters and handfeeding at set times of the day in the reef tank, the Oceanarium (where the sharks hang out) and the Penguins. Open daily from 9am.
MTG has school holiday programme that offers something for the kids
The MTG museum and gallery on the roundabout of Tennyson Street and Marine Parade is not only a great place to spend a wet afternoon, it also runs school holiday programmes.