New Zealand
Napier City

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  • Day22

    Notable Napier

    February 11 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    A lovely morning visit to the town of Napier - almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and rebuilt in the modernist style of the day - Art Deco. We took a small tour with one of the town’s Art Deco experts who gave us an interesting history of the town both pre and post earthquake. It seems the ground was raised by 2 metres, and a huge area of new land was created from a shallow lagoon and swamp area. Some fabulous buildings including the Daily Telegraph and National Tobacco Company.

    On our return we joined a Q&A session with the singers and dancers and had a backstage tour of the theatre. Question from an audience member to the cast: ‘Can you tell us the topics Holland America does not allow you to discuss with the passengers?’ Duh...

    It was very hot today and we were glad to get back on board to the AC. Jean was asked by a helpful crew member if she was going to the dining room for a late lunch and was heard to reply: ‘No, I’m dining on my balcony!’ Hopefully there was no forced laughter! (Ken and Bill - you’ll recognise that).
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  • Day52

    Day 50 ~ 17,900 Miles

    February 25 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    Day 50 ~ 17,900 Miles

    Dateline:
    Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand: RSSC Mariner Run Aground!

    Don’t worry, it’s cods wallop, but from the looks of the picture one can’t be sure. Just a reminder to see how easy some may try to twist the truth in today’s climate

    Napier is a city rebuilt from the ashes following an earthquake and ensuing fire in 1931 so powerful it raised the seabed of their harbor creating over 4,000 acres of dry land and a reverse tsunami which drained the port.

    The Napier of today is a salute to a time long past with an abundance of original Art Deco homes and commercial buildings built following the earthquake. Unfortunately the building of the replacement man-made harbor changed the ocean current so that the sandy beaches were devoured into the sea and have been replaced with sea walls and black gravel; so it’s pretty but I wouldn’t want to swim there not to mention that Napier beaches are listed among New Zealand’s most dangerous. It was, however, a near perfect day walking the beautiful streets of Napier.

    I’d better rattle the dags and get meself ready for dinner.
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  • Day81

    Napier

    December 11, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    Heute waren wir in Napier. Das ist ein kleiner Ort am Meer, der vor fast 100 Jahren von einem Erdbeben und Feuer zerstört wurde und danach im Art Déco Stil wieder aufgebaut wurde. Die Häuser sind ziemlich schön und der Ort hat eine angenehme Atmosphäre. Wir waren auch noch kurz am Wasser und auf dem Bluff Hill und haben von dort auf den Hafen runtergeguckt.Read more

  • Day272

    Napier

    March 10, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Napier ist eine gemütliche kleine Stadt, und vor allem für Weinliebhaber interessant. Da wir nicht die größten Weinfans sind 🤷🏼‍♀️ gibt es für uns hier nicht sehr viel zu entdecken. Es ist außerdem die Art Déco Stadt Neuseelands. Da wir zudem noch Kunstbanausen sind, war auch das leider kein Highlight für uns. Da die Stadt eigentlich ganz schön ist, kommen kultiviertere Menschen hier bestimmt auf ihre Kosten. 😉

    Wir fanden vor allem die Ampeln sehr witzig (s. Foto). Wir spazieren an der Promenade direkt am Meer entlang und schlendern durch die Innenstadt bevor wir uns auf die vierstündige Fahrt nach Wellington machen.
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  • Day29

    Found Penguins ..... and more Wineries!

    December 12, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    Woke up to another cloudy day, but had already made plans to go to the National New Zealand Aquarium, and got there when it opened at 9am - what an awesome place, and yes, they had penguins!! We walked around for the first half hour looking at the fabulous displays, reptiles, stingrays, and one of which actually has two Kiwi birds who were chasing each other and having a great time! It was very dark in their display as they are nocturnal birds, so getting a photo was a challenge! Got one dark one, but also got one of a stuffed Kiwi and her large egg! At 9:30, it was penguin feeding time - what cuties these are! They are actually blue (or “little”) penguins, native to New Zealand and are so sweet and quite tame. One in particular is named Dora, and she has been raised in the aquarium since she was very small and loves human interaction - what a fun little penguin she is! They all have names and their own personalities, as noted by the “naughty” and “good” sign posted in their pool area. At 10am, it was fish feeding time in the “reef” and a diver actually comes and hand feeds the fish in that area which was really cool! We stayed for about another hour, seeing a huge sea turtle, sharks, a moray eel, piranas , beautifully coloured tropical fish and more stingrays.

    Next stop was downtown as Dave wanted to get a haircut - he found a barber shop on the Main Street and had a great time chatting with the two kiwi barbers - one was an Everton fan, the other a die hard Liverpool fan, with lots of memorabilia at his workstation - had to get a pic of that! We stopped for a quick lunch, then headed off to check out a few more wineries. Went to Urban Winery first, about 10 minutes from where we are staying. So nice to talk to the people serving at these places - they are all very knowledgeable about the products, and also love hearing about BC and our wine districts. Next stop was Mission Estate - a former church and now a lovely winery which still has a chapel and beautiful gardens in addition to the vineyards. Our last stop was a Church Road Winery, just down the road, and after our tasting, we sat outside to have a glass of wine, and the sun actually came out - yay! As we were sitting outside, we both commented on how similar the Hawke’s Bay wine area is very similar to the Okanagan wine district.

    After another busy day, we had a Mexican dinner and are now preparing to hit the road again tomorrow to our next destination - Rotorua!
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  • Day28

    A Tasting we will go!

    December 11, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Got up to another overcast day today but we don’t let that stop us! We drove up to a lookout point called Bluff Hill with a great view over the other side of Napier - a town called Ahuriri - the log dry land sort and container port. There was a small cruise ship approaching shore while we were there. We then drove down to Perfume Point where there is a cool little lighthouse, then walked into the town of Ahuriri to have a quick look around. From there, we headed south to a town called Hastings - another place that suffered lots of damage from the 1931 earthquake and has been rebuilt. We walked around the town - saw Santa on his “sleigh” driving around, the Christmas decorations and some cool little stores on the Main Street - they actually still have K-Mart here, but forgot to get a pic! We grabbed some lunch then set off to find some of the famous Hawke’s Bay wineries!

    The first winery we stopped at was called Pask, and the lovely manager, Mel, was very informative and gave us some very nice wines to sample. We started talking to her about the Kelowna wineries we’ve visited, and it turned out she knew a friend of Jeff’s from Beaumont winery, who has been here and travels all over trying new wines and visiting wineries! Small world! I picked up a bottle of Chardonnay at Pask - looking forward to trying that! Our next stop was Te Awa winery which is on the Gimblett Gravels - this is an area where an earthquake diverted the river leaving behind gravel type soil, which creates perfect drainage for growing grapes. We each got to taste 6 different varieties of wine here (hic) - good thing they’re small samples! We crossed over half a block down the road to Trinity Hill Winery, also part of the Gimblett Gravels, and I have to say, some of the best wine we have tasted in the area! In all 3 places, I tried the whites and Dave the reds, and we both agreed at Trinity Hill, all of the samples we had were amazing! Dave bought a bottle of their Syrah, which he really enjoyed in the tasting. As I said, it’s a good thing the samples are small, as we had a 40 minute drive back to Napier after all these shenanigans!!

    We decided to go back over to Ahuriri for dinner to a place we’d found in a brochure called The Jandal, which looked to have some pretty good menu items. As you can see from the photo below, it’s a good thing we got there early..... ha ha!! When we first walked in, there wasn’t even a greeter, server or bartender, and we had to cough a few times before anyone realized we were there! Nevertheless, we had a pretty good dinner, and by the time we left, one other couple had arrived to eat - must be the weather, or maybe cos it’s only Tuesday here 🤷‍♀️. Back to our hotel now for a rest and to plan tomorrow’s adventures!
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  • Day27

    North to Napier

    December 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!
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  • Day74

    Back to Napier

    September 13, 2019 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    A lovely place with nice people. I am really happy that I got the chance to come back to this place.
    In addition I stay in Kiwi Backpackers, another hostel than one one week before. I like this hostel very much and I find a job there.

  • Day72

    Napier-Marine Parade & National Aquarium

    February 20 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.
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  • Day72

    Napier’s Art Deco Festival

    February 20 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    During the third week of February (this week), Napier hosts an Art Deco Festival and here we are. It’s mission is to “preserve, restore,celebrate and promote Napier’s Art Deco heritage”.

    The first festival was held 32 years ago and since then it has grown significantly. I think that there are around 300 events this year, some that cost and others that are free - dinners, dances, picnics, balls, bands, Gatsy-esque fancy dress. Children and adults get all dressed up in vintage clothes from the 1920s to 1930s and have a not too serious celebration of things Art Deco. Phil Crosby ( Bing Crosby’s grandson) will be presenting his Golden Age of Hollywood show on Friday night. They expect about 40,000 people to attend.

    When we walked around the town on Thursday, we saw lots of evidence of things to come.Jazz music was being played in the bandshell, beautiful Model Ts were scooting around, people dressed as flappers and bootleggers, zoot suits and more. What a lot of fun.

    The weekend is the big event so we hope to see a parade of vintage cars or dogs, see the airshow with old planes, as well as to listen to the Marine Band.

    So today’s photos, on Thursday, are a only a teaser for Friday’s collection.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Napier, Napier City, नेपियर, نیپیر, NPE, ネーピア, ნეიპირი, 네이피어, Neipiras, Ahuriri, നേപ്പിയർ, Napier på New Zealand, Нейпир, Нејпијер, நேப்பியர், నేపియర్, Нейпір, نیپئر، نیوزی لینڈ, 內皮爾

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