Napier is one of New Zealand's most attractive cities, located in the south of the Hawkes Bay. Palm trees line the inner-city streets and the wonderfully sculpted Marine Parade, as the name suggests, runs along the shore of the city.
A national disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. On the morning of February 3rd 1931 a massive earthquake - 7.9 on the Richter scale - rocked Hawke's Bay for more than three minutes. Nearly 260 lives were lost and the vast majority of buildings in the commercial centre of Napier were destroyed, either by the quake itself or the fires that followed. Rebuilding began almost immediately, and much of it was completed in two years. New buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco.
One of the 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 it's heritage with the Art Deco weekend - a stylish celebration of all things 1930's, including vintage cars, fashion and music.
Napier is also the home of New Zealand wine, housing the oldest wineries and wine-making establishments in the country. With some of the best sunshine hours in New Zealand, mountainous shelter from prevailing westerly winds, and refreshing sea breezes, not only is Napier a great climate for visiting, but is ideal for grape growing. Pinot Gris and Syrah are the region's signature drops.