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Weekend in Napier: A premier destination for couples

You need a fedora hat, a love of all things pink, soft baby blue, an appetite for food and feast. Your life will be richer as you have:

  • Acquired fabulous possum clothing – all in a good cause
  • Explored Maori heritage site
  • Eaten as much as possible with a few sips of wine to help it all down
  • Relaxed into the vibe of the 1920’s with the assistance of Art Deco Napier

3 days
2 nights

Trip Overview

Start NZ anywhere
Finish NZ anywhere

Getting around: Vehicle either car or rented bike. Napier is a regional town with a scattered infrastructure making it difficult to get around the town without some form of personal transport. This weekend is designed to be undertaken in conjunction with a vehicle or bicycle.

Best time to visit: Year round

Weather in Napier: Kāmera ipurangi Webcams

Start NZ anywhere
Finish NZ anywhere

Itinerary

Where is Napier (Ahuriri)

Arrive Friday Afternoon - Evening

Settling in

Ahuriri Estuary, New Zealand @milesteppin
Ahuriri Estuary @milesteppin

Ahuriri estuary walking track Ahuriri Estuary Walking Track: Napier area, Hawke’s Bay region is going to get the taste buds working with a leisurely flat stroll at dusk to check out the local birdlife. Wading birds include shags, kingfishers, grey herons, royal spoonbills and pied stilts, estuary dwellers and the life between the water and land is on full view. Your walk follows the footsteps of people over hundreds of years harvesting the bounty of the sea and land. Up until 1931 earthquake the area was a large tidal inlet which was immediately raised 2.7 metres above sea level draining 5510 acres of the lagoon.

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Stay

Weekend accomodation

East Pier Hotel, Napier, New Zealand @ booking
East Pier Hotel @Booking

Ahuriri is a place imbued with history. Inhabited for hundreds of years the area provided shelter and food sources for Maori. The shallow harbour was safe anchorage for ships trading with the Hawkes Bay. Since the 1931 earthquake forced the relocation of the Port to its current site the area became a hub for industrial activity and warehousing. Today Ahuriri renaissance sees repurposed warehousing into retail outlets, shops and art stores. While Ahuriri architectural layers reflect the history of Napier today it is a place of relaxation and entertainment. The quintessential weekend destination makes Napier a popular choice year round for couples wanting a break.

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Saturday Morning

Art Deco Exploration

Soundshell public pavilion, Napier, New Zealand @The west Australian
Soundshell public pavilion @The west Australian

Art Deco exploration is a must when visiting Napier. You will have stopped by the Ahuriri National Tobacco building to glimpse the combination of art nouveau curved doorway tipped with roses adorning an art deco sunburst. It is an elaborate confection of Art Deco now a photo favourite. Moving onto Napier’s waterfront your Art Deco exploration will discover the Soundshell public pavilion and the nearby statue of Pania of the Reef, (1950’s European view of Maori cultural narratives). Pania has echoes of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid. The surrounding gardens continue to be faithfully planted in the art deco style. The marine parade majestic Norfolk pines are pencil lines down the parade, offering a counterpoint to the Soundshell curved raised public art space.

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Saturday Afternoon

Opossum world Retail therapy

Opossum World, Napier, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
Opossum World @TripAdvisor

Opossum World is a museum, taxidermy displays and a diorama of stuffed possums explaining the possum birth process. The unambiguous narrative is possums are terrible for New Zealand flora and fauna. The introduced animal, with no natural predators is steadily munching its way through kiwi chick eggs, birds and anything that gets in its way of consuming 21,000 tonnes of foliage a night.

According to Opossum World there are 20 possums to every New Zealander. If you enjoy Willy Nelson’s folksy tunes as you’ve got a treat with a taxidermy Possum choir singing ‘On the Road Again.’ A definitive roadkill song just for possums. Australians just block your ears and enjoy the retail store.

 

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Saturday Evening

Art escape

Sea Walls – Napier’s Spectacular Street Art @Trippin’ Turpins
Sea Walls – Napier’s Spectacular Street Art @Trippin’ Turpins

View the Seawalls street art, a project created to help bring the beauty and the plight of the world’s oceans into streets around the globe via art and activism. “Seawalls project took place in two stages: the first, in March 2016, saw national and international artists transform 29 blank walls in the CBD and Ahuriri.

Their work poignantly addressed such issues as over-fishing, plastics and pollution, global climate change and have an iconic feature of the city, bringing the immensity and fragility of the world’s oceans onto our streets – and into our minds.” Napier City Council

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Dinner

Pacifica restaurant, Napier, New Zealand @panpacifichanoi
Pacifica restaurant @panpacifichanoi

Back on Marine Parade, Napier you will experience New Zealand on a plate tonight. Step inside a modest weathered, bright-blue bungalow that is home to Pacifica. Focusing on local produce, this is the place to find genuine NZ cuisine in a casual environment. From seating to food and exemplary service, this makes for a perfect cohesion involving all aspects of the dining experience. Relax and savour your Napier weekend.

Of Ngati Tuwharetoa & Ngapuhi descent, Jeremy is focused on “bringing old flavours forward; stuff of childhood memories, using techniques that are natural ” to him; whilst retaining the integrity of fresh ingredients.

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Sunday Morning

Napier to Waimarama

Celestial Compass, Napier, New Zealand @croadie
Celestial Compass @croadie

A morning spent immersed in the Maori heritage of the Hawke’s Bay Tours | Waimarama Maori Tours | New Zealand Tours, “Experience real New Zealand Maori culture with a unique insight into a day in the life of a Maori elder. Kaumatua are the elders in Maori society, and are respected for their knowledge of tribal history and traditions. They are the keepers of the accumulated history of our people. Their guidance is often sought on all manner of topics in daily life as well as ceremonial matters of Maori tradition. There is an excellent gift shop with one of a kind crafted artisan goods.

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Sunday Afternoon

Back to home

Ahuriri, Napier, New Zealand @Trover
Ahuriri @Trover

It’s time to return home, back to the working week. Perhaps you’ve time for a Napier cycle tour to get a last glimpse of Art Deco Napier, the waterfront and marine parade. Or you have a few moments to check out the local shops. Napier is a great family destination with glorious beaches, Cape Kidnappers and the gannets, paddle boarding and safe shallow estuaries for children to swim in. There are plenty of attractions you did not have time for including the historic Napier prison, the Napier Museum as well as an exploration of the wider area that is Hawkes Bay.

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Travel Pack Information

@napiercity
@napiercity

Getting around

Vehicle either car or rented bike. Napier is a regional town with a scattered infrastructure making it difficult to get around the town without some form of personal transport.

This weekend is designed to be undertaken in conjunction with a vehicle or bicycle.

Read more

Instagram

Celestial Compass, Napier, New Zealand @croadie
Celestial Compass, Napier, New Zealand @croadie
Ahuriri, Napier, New Zealand @Trover
Ahuriri, Napier, New Zealand @Trover
Waimarama Maori Tours, Napier, New Zealand @escape
Waimarama Maori Tours, Napier, New Zealand @escape
Street art in Napier Seawalls project, Napier, New Zealand @2SewTextiles -Brenda Wood
Street art in Napier Seawalls project, Napier, New Zealand @2SewTextiles -Brenda Wood
Opossum World, Napier, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
Opossum World, Napier, New Zealand @TripAdvisor
Ahuriri National Tobacco building, Napier, New Zealand @Wikiwand
Ahuriri National Tobacco building, Napier, New Zealand @Wikiwand
Soundshell public pavilion, Napier, New Zealand @The west Australian
Soundshell public pavilion, Napier, New Zealand @The west Australian
Ahuriri Estuary, New Zealand @milesteppin
Ahuriri Estuary, New Zealand @milesteppin

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