Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia New Zealand North Island Hawke's Bay Region Napier





© themeyers

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.



Sights and Activities

Where the sun rises in Napier on the first day of the Millenium

Where the sun rises in Napier on the first day of the Millenium

© melmonson

  • National Aquarium of New Zeland - Stingray shaped buiding with a walk-through Oceanarium.
  • Bluff Hill Lookout - A steep walk up to the top is rewarded with great views over Hawke Bay.
  • Guided Art Deco Walk - The Art Deco Centre on Tennyson Street runs daily guided walks, taking in the city's architectural heritage. Walks are 1 or 2 hours and cost $14 or $20 respectively.
  • Wine tours - There are many wineries in the area and several companies offering tours which typically last for a few hours and take in several different wineries.
  • Botanical Gardens - Pretty gardens a short walk from the city centre.
  • Cricket - catch a match and enjoy a local game.
  • Sunrise Monument - this is were the sun rose on the first day of the Millennium
  • Te Mata Park



Events and Festivals

  • Art Deco Weekend - Takes place in the 3rd week of February and celebrates Napier's Art Deco heritage.




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 Max24.4 °C24.1 °C22.6 °C19.9 °C17.1 °C14.5 °C14.1 °C14.8 °C16.9 °C19.2 °C21 °C23 °C
Avg Min14.6 °C14.5 °C12.8 °C10.2 °C7.1 °C4.9 °C4.6 °C5.2 °C7.1 °C9.4 °C11.1 °C13.4 °C
Rainfall47.7 mm61.7 mm84.7 mm74.9 mm62.5 mm80.6 mm91.5 mm67.4 mm64.5 mm54.6 mm57.2 mm56.1 mm
Rain Days6.



Getting There

By Plane

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.

By Car

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):

  • Auckland - 420 km, 5hr
  • Hamilton - 295 km, 3hr 30min
  • Taupo - 145 km, 1hr 45min
  • Hastings - 21 km; 25min
  • Palmerston North - 180 km, 2hr 15min
  • Wellington - 320 km, 4hr

By Bus

National bus operators InterCity and provide daily services in and out with connections throughout the North Island, including Auckland, Wellington and Taupo.



Getting Around

By Car

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.

By Foot

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.


  • Napier YHA - Conveniently located on Marine Parade, a short walk from the city centre. A rambling building, with the usual good YHA facilities. A pretty courtyard is situated at the back and there are plenty of other communal areas.
  • Criterion Art Deco Backpackers - Centrally located in an art deco building.

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Keep Connected


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.

  • Telecom operates a UMTS (3G) network, named XT Network, nationwide on 850MHz with supplementary 2100MHz in metropolitan areas. (the same frequencies as Telstra in Australia and AT&T in the U.S.)
  • Vodafone operates a GSM network on 900MHz/2100 MHz and a UTMS (3G) network operates nationwide 900MHz with supplementary 2100MHz coverage.
  • 2degrees operates a UMTS (3G) network (2100MHz) in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, with supplementary GSM coverage provided elsewhere by Vodafone.

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.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -39.491733
  • Longitude: 176.916281

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