Napier-Marine Parade & National AquariumFebruary 20, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C
The Napier area has been settled since around the 12th century. James Cook visited the area in 1769. In the 1830’s, whalers established a trading post. In 1931, the city was levelled by a 7.9 earthquake. 258 people died and the town was now 40 square km larger, as the earthquake heaved sections of what was once a lagoon, 2 m above sea level. The city was rebuilt and ended up being the most uniformly art-deco cities in the world.
We drove into town, thinking that we would just stroll on the lovely seaside avenue but the start of an Art Deco Festival was in progress so we saw more than just the seaside.
Marine Parade is an elegant promenade. Standing on the walkway, we could see the turquoise Pacific Ocean in front of us, and in the distance we could see the dramatic curve of Cape Kidnappers on one side and the high Bluff Hill on the other side. Behind us, there was a “treasure trove of architectural delights”, all painted in soft, pastel tones.
You can walk or cycle about 3 km on the promenade. There are lovely sunken gardens with lots of places to sit and read. The I-site (information) is located here as well as a free mini-golf course, a skate-park, a swim centre and a bandshell. Huge Norfolk Island pines line the avenue. It is very attractive.
We walked down the road to the National Aquarium of New Zealand and did a little tour of this modern stingray-shaped building. It's home to a wide range of saltwater, freshwater and land animal exhibits from New Zealand and around the world.
We especially the 1.5 million litre Oceanarium which showcased the fish that exist in Hawke Bay, including shark, stingray and other reef fish. We stood on a moving ramp and entered a underwater viewing tunnel with fish all around us.Read more