Napier is a charismatic and affluent town which boasts a unique concentration of beautiful art-deco architecture. Many of the 1930s facades and streetscapes are original, which give the town an almost prohibition-era quality that cannot be found anywhere else in the world on the same scale. Further to its striking aesthetic, Napier offers some of regional New Zealand's best restaurants, wineries and artisan cafes. What’s more, the business district is one of the most attractive retail and business hubs in New Zealand.
Despite its diminutive size, Napier offers a fantastic range of accommodation. If you are visiting the city for longer than a few days, perhaps on a business trip, then the city’s selection of serviced apartments could prove the most cost-effective and comfortable means of enjoying your stay. The Squa.re present several such properties, ranging from functional corporate housing to luxury apartments. Each offers many of the benefits of traditional accommodation, such as room cleaning and concierge services, but also gives the added convenience of fully equipped kitchen facilities, private access and a host of mod cons.
Napier has a great offering of attractions and cultural goings on, which vary district to district. The business areas are chock full of high-end restaurants, palm-lined streets and glorious green spaces, which make them ideal for strolling around when the weather’s good and simply taking in the stunning art deco buildings. The centre of town is also home to numerous bars and restaurants, which add to the city’s unique ambience.
Those seeking to explore the surrounding countryside will find Cape Kidnappers offers winery tours, gold and even safari excursions, whilst Te Mata Peak national park has some of the best hiking routes anywhere on the island and offers stunning views of the unique landscape.
Alternatively, the city itself also has plenty of leisure facilities in the centre, with plenty of cinemas, theatres and live music venues for evening entertainment. There are also several leisure complexes, as well as art galleries, museums and monuments. Whatever your interests, Napier offers an unforgettable and fulfilling travel experience, all year round.
Napier has a superb range of modern and traditional restaurants, catering to every taste. The Emporium Eatery & Bar on Tennyson Street is a local favourite, serving a range of dishes and also offering a late night bar. There’s also The Thirsty Whale Bar & Restaurant located in the inner harbour, which offers a contemporary in a stylish setting. For international cuisine, Cafe De Laos Napier, Sangam Indian Restaurant & Bar and Kilim Cafe Napier are all popular venues.
Whilst Napier is not one of New Zealand’s premier shopping destinations, there are nonetheless plenty of quirky and interesting retailers dotted throughout the city. The Art Deco Shop is a tourist attraction in itself, selling a range of prints and models of famous examples, whilst Simply New Zealand - Napier is also a great place to pick up souvenirs. For everyday goods, Emerson Street is lined with convenience, homeware and grocery stores for all your basic retail needs.
Napier’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its art deco heritage - people flock from all over the world just to wander round and enjoy the architecture. MTG Hawke's Bay is also an absolute must for first time visitors, as it houses a museum, theatre and art gallery devoted to the city’s history and rich cultural heritage. The Botanical Gardens are also popular in the summer months.
Public transport in Napier modern and reasonably priced. Visitors have the option buses, taxis, trains, flights or ferries, depending on where it is they are planning to travel to. Alternatively hiring a rental car is also popular, as it is a great way to explore the surrounding countryside without being restricted to public transport routes. The city centre itself is easily explored on foot or by bicycle.
Tourism is big business in Napier, with several tour operators based in the centre. The wider Hawke’s Bay area is also becoming increasingly popular with larger firms seeking a base outside of the capital. Agriculture is particularly strong in the region, with Fern Ridge Produce Limited, Blackbridge Apiaries and Phoenix Contracting Limited all being based in or around the city.
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