Boasting over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year, Napier’s Mediterranean climate means that it is a great place to visit year-round. As we move into the winter months, although the temperatures may be dropping, the sun will usually be shining down in the Hawke’s Bay and this is a great time of year to head to Napier and explore all the delights from sipping warming glass of merlot in a sprawling vineyard to gazing at the Art Deco buildings or heading out for a walk down the promenade in the sun, you can’t help but fall in love with the seaside town of Napier, nestled in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island.
If there was a silver lining to the devastating earthquake which flattened much of Napier in 1931 it’s that the town now contains some of the world’s best examples of Art Deco buildings, built to replace those destroyed. Architecture buffs flock to Napier from across the globe and you can take a guided tour with the Art Deco Trust from just NZ$5 or pick up a self-guided tour leaflet (available online). Whatever you do, don’t miss The Daily Telegraph Building, the National Tobacco Company in Ahuriri, and the residential buildings in the district of Marewa. Even the local McDonalds is Art Deco!
With over 100 years of wine production to its name, Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s oldest and second largest wine region and is best known for its superb Merlots, Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs and Chardonnays. Many of the wineries are small, family-run businesses, giving the area a warm, friendly, boutique feel and most offer cellar door tastings. Fabulous food is also important to the region and the food and wine festival, Harvest Hawke’s Bay, is a popular event, as are the summertime al fresco wine concerts.
Half an hour from Napier lies the craggy peninsula of Cape Kidnappers, home to the world’s largest colony of mainland gannets. Time your trip between November and February and see the squawking population up close, by way of a 4WD adventure, a helicopter ride, in a tractor along the beach, or by tracking the tides and walking the 8 kilometres from Clifton to the Cape. The journey to spot the gannets is just as exciting as the destination!
As well as being home to the world’s largest colony of gannets, Cape Kidnappers is also the home of one of New Zealand’s best golf courses. Ranked as the 16th best golf course in the world by Golf Digest Magazine, this is a true test for any golfer. The golf course is played out onto the peninsula with bold tee shots rewarded as you take on ravines and cliff top edges. People come from all over the world to play this famous course and if you are a golf lover, then this is a great time of year to come and play as the green fees are reduced over the winter period and the weather is usually perfect.
Lined with Norfolk Pines and skimming the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Marine Parade is a destination itself. Take a stroll as the sun sets and, passing the rollerbladers and cyclists, Art Deco buildings and wide sandy beach, you could easily be in a far more laid-back Miami. There are also a host of attractions along Marine Parade, including the National Aquarium of New Zealand, Ocean Spa (containing four al fresco swimming pools and two outdoor spas, all with stunning sea views), the peaceful Sunken Gardens and Marine Parade Gardens.
When Winter sweeps in and the sun loses its punch, Hawke’s Bay proves there’s no need to hibernate.Read more
From the stunning craggy slopes of Te Mata Peak and Cape Kidnappers, to the National Aquarium and the wet and wild fun of Splash Planet, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Hawke's Bay.Read more
Originating in Europe, in the early 20th century the Art Deco style became widely known following the great Exposition de Arts Moderness Decoratifs et Industriels held in Paris in 1925 and from which its name was ultimately derived.Read more
Boasting over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year, Napier’s Mediterranean climate means that it is a great place to visit year-round.Read more