Situated on New Zealand’s North Island, the coastal city of Napier is renowned for its warm Mediterranean climate. Dating back to the Ngāti Kahungunu people who settled in the area many centuries ago, Napier is now recognised as the world’s largest wool producer in the Southern Hemisphere as well as a centre for wine-tasting. Following the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1769, Hawkes Bay was transformed into a bustling harbour, while the destruction of the 1931 earthquake led to the town’s rebuilding in its famed art deco style – one of the best preserved examples of art deco outside Miami. To learn more about the history of the region, visit the Otatara Pa Historic Reserve for insight into Napier’s indigenous past.
There’s many different things to get up to during your time in Napier, from wine tasting to swimming in the beautiful waters of Hawkes Bay. While the best art deco architecture can be found at the Masonic Lodge and Criterion Hotel, the Napier Prison is also worth a visit. In terms of nature, head to Bluff Hill for picturesque views of the city or hike to the summit of Te Mata Peak for sheep and Lord of the Rings-style scenery. Alternatively, visit the Napier Botanical Garden or wander along the Marine Parade to find delicious restaurants like Pacifica or Mista D.