Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Napier – 3 Things to To and See

The sea side town of Napier is a popular tourist town beloved for its unique buildings and ocean views. But it hasn’t always been this way.

In 1931 the town witnessed a devastating earthquake that all but destroyed the town. Once the town recovered the buildings were eventually rebuilt in the style of the time – Art Deco. Today Napier is a World Heritage Site, commonly lauded as New Zealand’s prettiest city or the Art Deco Capital of the World, thanks to its large collection of Art Deco architecture.

More than just buildings however Napier is a town with its own unique style. Trendy cafes do a roaring trade and the surrounding wineries offer attractive day trip options.

To get to Napier you can either fly direct to Napier Airport or book cheap flights to Wellington and enjoy a scenic 4 hour drive up the coast.


Things to Do & See:

Art Deco Walk

Napier by Night
Image by Sriaam
Since you’re in the Art Deco Capital of the World, you may as well familiarise yourself with the style.

Art Deco is a design style that was made popular in the 1930s. Identifying features of the style include symmetry, geometric shapes and ornamental motifs.

A guided Art Deco walking tour of Napier is a great way to see the city and admire its remarkable buildings. Walks will also include interesting anecdotes and information about the city’s unique history.

An afternoon walking tour usually costs around $20 per adult and can be booked from the Art Deco Trust.

National Aquarium of New Zealand

Napier is also home to The National Aquarium of New Zealand, the largest aquarium in the country and an attraction not to be missed.

Open daily from 9am – 5pm, admission to the aquarium costs $17.90 for adults and $8.90 for children.

With a focus on conservation, the aquarium is home to a range of marine animals, from alligators to sea horses, coral and even Piranhas.

Enjoy a thrilling swim with the sharks at the aquarium, or if you’d prefer to sit back and enjoy, there is also a café located on-site.

Mission Estate Winery

Napier Bentley
Image by Alpine
With an ideal situation by the ocean and surrounded by hinterland, Napier can’t help but be a foodie’s haven. Wine from the Napier region in particular is highly regarded, with wine tasting a popular past time.

If you’re partial to the odd drop or two, a day at the Mission Estate Winery is in order. Dating back to 1851, the winery estate has a unique French heritage and is the oldest winery in New Zealand.

Over the years Mission has produced a number of award winning wines. The most recent recipients include Estate Riesling, Estate Merlot and Estate Rose.

An ideal trip to the Mission Estate Winery would include a tour of the vineyard followed by wine tasting and a late lunch at the onsite restaurant.


Guest Post by Georgie.

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