Street after street of stunning and beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings have made Napier famous as one of the most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. In 1931 a massive earthquake rocked Hawke's Bay for more than three minutes, killing nearly 260 and destroying the commercial centre of Napier.
Rebuilding began almost immediately, and new buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco. Napier is often referred to as a 1930s film set, and one of the best ways to enjoy the streetscape is on a self-guided walk - ask for a map at the information centre or at the Art Deco Trust. Guided walks around the city are also available every day rain or shine (except Christmas Day!). Every February, Napier celebrates its heritage with the Art Deco Festival - a stylish celebration of all things 1930s, including vintage cars, fashion and music.
Napier is home to many fine wineries, fabulous restaurants, bars and cafes. The boutique shops are a must-visit, as is the Sea Walls collection of magnificent murals painted on more than 50 walls around the city. Grab a map and walk or ride around the city to see them up close.
The beautifully restored Marine Parade serves as a scenic and popular bridge between the city and the Pacific Ocean, with a wealth of family-friendly activities sure to keep the kids entertained for hours. Napier’s iconic Norfolk Pines, Deco Soundshell, Tom Parker Fountain and ‘Pania of the Reef’ statue are a visual reminder of the city’s past. Drive just outside the city centre to the historic fishing village of Ahuriri to check out the growing list of cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries and boutique stores.
For the perfect photo opportunity, visit the Viewing Platform located on the Marine Parade foreshore, just down from the Pania statue. Napier is also the perfect base from which to explore the wider Hawke’s Bay region.