A travel guide to Napier, New Zealand providing Napier tourism and travel information with hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping, surfing, things to do and more.
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Napier travel guide


Overview

Napier is the place to enjoy sea breezes whipping through your hair and bright sun on your face, but its distinct seaside-town atmosphere and earthquake history set it apart from the other towns along the east coast. Sauntering along stately, pine-lined Marine Parade, it’s hard to believe that this elegant city was completely rebuilt after total destruction in the Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931. Napier has an active fishing fleet, and Hawke’s Bay attracts large numbers of yachtsmen and boat enthusiasts to sail along this scenic coastline.

Along with all New Zealand cities, Napier has its colloquialisms – "Capital of the Sunrise Coast" and "the city where the surf meets the turf." Perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and backed by the green Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges, the climate is quite Mediterranean, with lots of sunshine and cool sea breezes. There’s plenty to see and do in the way of local attractions, but the relaxed by-the-sea atmosphere may tempt you to trade your backpack for a deckchair. 

You can spend an entire day soaking up the Napier feeling by taking a leisurely walk along the attractive, 4km oceanfront Marine Parade, the main drag for visitors. View interesting, 1930s Art Deco architecture on the west side of the street, nothing but ocean for as far as the eye can see to the east, or visit the many commercial attractions. Before continuing elsewhere, stop at the Public Relations Office. Pick up the free Napier street map and information guide and a scenic drive folder if you’ve got wheels, and you’ll be set for the rest of your stay. 

Napier residents are understandably proud of their Botanical Gardens. Perfect lawns give way to beds of flowers and blooming shrubs, and paths lead through shady groves of assorted trees in this small inner city oasis. A stream flows through the gardens and trickles down in tiny waterfalls; here and there miniature ornamental bridges or stepping stones allow passage back and forth. The main feature is a spacious aviary. The Botanical Gardens are located in the Hospital Hill area. Next to the gardens is an old tree-shaded cemetery where some of the older gravestones date back to the 19th century and lie abandoned or broken amongst grass and wildflowers.

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