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Napier was devastated by a huge earthquake in 1931, as a result of which most of the city had to be rebuilt. As Art Deco was popular at the time, there are many fine examples of this type of architecture throughout the city, as well as Spanish Mission -style buildings. Napier is also in one of New Zealand's main wine producing regions, Hawke's Bay.
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Napier has an oceanic climate. The climate is warm and relatively dry resulting from its location on the east coast of the North Island. Most of New Zealand's weather patterns cross the country from the west, and the city lies in the rain shadow of the North Island Volcanic Plateau and surrounding ranges such as the Kaweka Range.
|Avg Max||24.4 °C||24.1 °C||22.6 °C||19.9 °C||17.1 °C||14.5 °C||14.1 °C||14.8 °C||16.9 °C||19.2 °C||21 °C||23 °C|
|Avg Min||14.6 °C||14.5 °C||12.8 °C||10.2 °C||7.1 °C||4.9 °C||4.6 °C||5.2 °C||7.1 °C||9.4 °C||11.1 °C||13.4 °C|
|Rainfall||47.7 mm||61.7 mm||84.7 mm||74.9 mm||62.5 mm||80.6 mm||91.5 mm||67.4 mm||64.5 mm||54.6 mm||57.2 mm||56.1 mm|
Hawke's Bay Airport (IATA: NPE, ICAO: NZNR) is 8 kilometres north of the city and mainly serves domestic destinations. There are daily flights to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Gisborne, Tauranga, Hamilton and Palmerston North. International charter flights can be arranged for aircraft with fourteen or less people on board with prior arrangement.
Napier lies on State Highway 2, which passes through the centre of Napier just outside the downtown area. State Highway 50 crosses the city from the Port to Taradale before continuing south.
From Taupo and most destinations north, take State Highway 5 (Napier-Taupo Road) east from Taupo. The highway terminates onto State Highway 2 at Eskdale, 14 kilometres north of central Napier. Make sure you check you have at least 150 kilometres worth of fuel before leaving Taupo, as there are no fuel stations en route.
Distances and travel times to Napier (times are non-stop in typical traffic, so allow additional time for breaks and delays on longer trips):
Parking in the centre of the centre is by meter at $1.00 per hour. Just a short distance from the centre, parking is free with a two hour restriction.
Serveral of the major hire car companies have offices at Hawkes Bay Airport.
The city centre is compact enough to explore easily on foot.
Accommodation is abundant in Napier and the surrounding area and ranges from luxury to budget; hotels, self-catering apartments, motels and lodges (some with restaurants), homestay; holiday parks and motor camps with self-catering units, budget cabins and campsites. There is also a beachfront youth hostel for backpackers. Families and groups are welcome at most establishments; seasonal and group discounts may apply.
For more accommodation options and the above with travellers ratings:
|Criterion Art Deco Backpackers||48 Emerson Street City Centre||Hostel||83|
|Greenmeadows on Gloucester||47 Gloucester Street Greenmeadows Napier||Apartment||-|
|Econo Lodge Westshore Beach||85 Meeanee Quay-Napier Hawkes Bay||Hotel||-|
|YHA Napier||277 Marine Parade||Hostel||81|
|Portside Inn Backpackers Lodge||52 Bridge Street Napier||Hostel||72|
|Mountain Valley Adventure Lodge||408 McVicar Road RD 2||HOSTEL||-|
|Stables Lodge Backpackers||PO Box 269, Napier 370 Hastings Street||Hostel||80|
Internet cafés are widely available throughout New Zealand at rates of around NZ$2-4, though sometimes more in smaller places. Besides internet and e-mail services, most big internet cafés also offer some way for travellers to connect their digital camera and burn cds. Many public libraries have public Internet access, and most of them offer short free internet sessions. Wi-Fi access is getting more and more common in for example coffee places or fast food chains. It is becoming more common for Wi-Fi to be provided at hotels and motels, though sometimes at a fee. Wireless Hotspots are located in many cities and towns all over New Zealand from dedicated Wireless providers from whom you can buy connect time. Many camping holiday parks also have such services available.
See also International Telephone Calls
Dial 111 for emergency police, fire or ambulance services. The worldwide emergency number for GSM mobile phones, 112, can also be used.
The country code is 64.
Most payphones in New Zealand require the use of phone cards for payment and it is getting harder to find payphones that accept coins. As phone cards are available at a lot of outlets, they are easy to purchase and very handy as a backup in case of emergencies. Many of them also accept creditcards. Local calls are free from residential phones and charges for calling outside that area can be found at the front of the regional phone books, amongst many other services.
Mobile telephone coverage is effectively national in near urban areas although the mountainous terrain means that outside the urban areas, and especially away from the main highway system, coverage does have huge dead patches. Do not rely on mobile phones in hilly or mountainous terrain. Mobile telephone users can call 555 only to report Non-emergency traffic safety incidents, such as a breakdown, road hazard or non-injury car crash, to the Police. There are currently three major mobile carriers in New Zealand.
A prepaid sim-card connection pack with $10 credit from Telecom or Vodafone costs around $30, and prepaid sim-cards from 2degrees cost $10. Telecom has broader coverage in remote areas away from major cities compared to Vodafone and 2degrees.
Most areas have dedicated PostShops, however stamps can also be bought at grocery shops, supermarkets and book stores. There are two main formats for domestic mail, namely Standard Post and Fast Post. Fast Post is used next day delivery between major towns and cities (two days from rural areas), whereas Standard Post will take a few working days to deliver nationwide. Standard costs NZ$0.50 for letters/postcards (NZ$0.80 for larger envelopes), Fast Post costs NZ$0.80 (NZ$1.20 for larger envelopes). International mail takes about 3-6 days to Australia (NZ$1.50), and 6-12 days to Europe, Asia and the United States (NZ$2). Post boxes are white, red and black and can be found in many areas throughout towns and cities, including information about when their contents are collected. Most post offices and smaller post shops have opening hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday. You can buy stamps here, or at newsagents and general stores. For parcels, you can use the NZ Post or otherwise courier companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.
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