I’ve spent the last two nights in an adorable town, Napier, on the east coast of NZ. I was planning to head straight from Taupo to Wellington, but Vivienne suggested I stop in Napier on the way. I’m so glad she did – it’s such a quaint town and is my favorite so far!
The main appeal to Napier is that it’s “Art Deco,” so the architecture is gorgeous and you definitely feel like you’re taking a step back in time. There was a 7.8 earthquake here in February of 1931 (I read it’s considered NZ’s deadliest natural disaster to this day) so in 1933 they rebuilt everything and designed it to look like the same city, pre earthquake. There’s an Art Deco festival here in February and it would be so fun to go!
The color of the buildings is also reminiscent of that era – lots of pale blues, green and tans. Mixed in with a bit of Spanish style, cobblestone streets and palm trees, the city is adorable. I tried to capture the vibe, but the pictures don’t do justice.
There’s a walking/biking path in both directions, that leads to some other towns. Napier (and Hawkes Bay, the region it’s in) are considered to be NZ’s wine region. You can rent bikes and cycle out to vineyards and through country roads. Would have been neat to do, in comparison to Sonoma County.
Right on the border of town is “Napier Hill”, which is a huge cliff. There are houses lining the side of the cliff and then a ton at the top of the hill. Staircases wind up the hill between houses and gardens – it was fun to explore!