Located on the eastern coast of the North Island, Napier has a Mediterranean climate and offers excellent tourist attractions and culture. This destination is a great starting point for exploring the Hawke’s Bay region so hit the road to experience some of these great attractions or head further a field on a road trip.
Known as the Art Deco city, Napier has the most comprehensive collection of inner-city art deco buildings in the world. It also has one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the country, a statue on Marine Parade called Pania of the Reef. The marina and waterfront in Napier, is a popular tourism attraction where you will also find the National Aquarium. The city offers a range of activities including shopping, arts and crafts, city tours, theatres, swimming, sailing and fishing, and has an active nightlife with a vibrant café culture and excellent cuisine.
Napier Road Trips
Taradale is located 10 kilometres southwest of the centre of Napier. Gloucester Street, the main street, is unique with core retail predominately contained within a traditional busy high street. Moreover, Taradale’s village is a vibrant destination with its boutique shopping, cafés and unique atmosphere and is also the gateway to some of the finest and oldest wineries in New Zealand. The 127 metre high Sugar Loaf hill, or Pukekura, dominates the skyline of the western hills offering spectacular 306 degree views, and the Otatara Pa Historical Reserve is among New Zealand’s most important archeological sites.
Drive less than 30 minutes south and reach Napier’s twin city, Hastings, the home of fabulous parks, wine and fruit growers, and delicious Rush Munro’s ice cream. Adjacent to Hastings, you’ll find the picturesque town of Havelock North which offers a wide range of attractions to see and natural beauty to experience like Duart House, Keirunga Gardens and Te Mata Peak.
Hawkes Bay’s best beaches are at Waimarama and Ocean Beach approx one hour south from Napier. Follow the well signposted route through Havelock North.
During the breeding season a trip to Cape Kidnappers to see the only mainland Gannet colony in the world is a must. There are a number of tour operators that travel by overland bus or via the beach on special tractors and trailers. Departure times will depend on tides.
On your way south you’ll drive through Waipukurau and Waipawa where you can peruse its historic buildings. In Dannevirke, a town originally settled by Scandinavians, you can inspect locally made knitwear or head for the Ruahine Ranges for tramping and camping. Woodville offers a chance to browse antique shops and enjoy cafés, or if you want adventure, go quad biking, jet boating, horse trekking or bush walking. Follow the road to Balance and view the Tararua Wind Farm just 5 km west of Woodville, which covers 700 hectares of spectacular rolling hills.
Masterton is 28 km south of Eketahuna, the next township from Woodville. You will be awed by its working farms, country gardens, and wild coastline complete with seal colonies. You may also sample anything from venison to mushrooms, berry fruit to crayfish, eels to olives and discover the wine the world raves over in Martinborough Wine Village, famed for its international award-winning Pinot Noir.
Getting around Napier is easy with a rental car and there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
New Zealand Rent A Car has car rental locations throughout New Zealand and the North Island, including a handy Napier car rental depot, offering a range of reliable affordable rental cars to suit your budget.
Napier: Top 5 Tourist Attractions