North to NapierDecember 10, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C
We left Wellington at 8am this morning to head to Napier in the Hawke’s Bay Area of New Zealand’s North Island. We drove through rolling hills with lots of sheep and cattle and the views were stunning. Our first stop was about 2 hours out of Wellington at a place called Palmerston North. This is a beautiful town, home to Massey University, renowned for its agriculture research, as well as being recognized in Australia, the US, Canada and Britain for its veterinary medicine program. The town is centred around a beautiful square with thousands of flowers, lovely buildings, and a great shopping area. Even the ducks like it here - we saw Mama and her babies taking a stroll through the square! We stopped for a photo opp at a town called Dannevirke, which was founded in the late 1800’s by Danish, Norwegian and Swedish settlers.
We continued on through farmland - lots of corn and squash, and eventually vineyards, before arriving in Napier around 1pm. We stocked up on a few groceries, checked into our hotel then went to explore the town. In 1931, Napier and nearby Hastings were hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that destroyed the downtown areas, killed 256 people and injured thousands. Napier came back from the earthquake with a clean slate and fresh land to build on. One hundred and eleven new buildings were constructed in the downtown area between 1931 and 1933. The vast majority took their cues from Art Deco, the era’s cutting-edge architectural trend which today gives the town its quirky, fun vibe. Every February, there is an Art Deco Festival in Napier, and many stores sell vintage clothes from the Great Gatsby era so that locals and visitors can participate in the festivities! There is a lovely waterfront flower garden, a pavilion used for shows during the summer months, and a black sand/gravel beach - so unlike the beaches we’ve seen along the New Zealand coastline so far! After a long walk and a bite to eat, we came back the hotel to do some research on the famous Hawke’s Bay Wineries we plan to visit tomorrow!Read more