We had a great half day in Napier as we were there for the art deco weekend. This is an annual classic car and 1930’s weekend. They expect 40,000 over the weekend. Car folks come from all over to show the cars.
Napier is a remarkable place with an exciting port and an unusual beautiful downtown area with almost all rebuilt since the massive earthquake in 1933. There are many places to visit including the completely rebuilt downtown areas but also the walk along the water is beautiful and with the trees and flowers right on the water it’s a very impressive area. The art deco Museum is well worth it and has a short 20 minute presentation on what happened before and after the earthquake and what turned it into the place it is today. And across the street from the art deco museum is their history museum that has a downstairs exhibit featuring the earthquake with a 20 minute revolving film about stories from survivors. Both museums are well worth it and you can do both in about an hour.
The Ship shuttle takes you right to the Information Center and from there a lot of information about the four or five main streets with lots of shops and restaurants and bars.The aquarium is very well done and has some excellent exhibits but is about a 20 minute walk from the Information Center but again well worth it if you like aquariums
If you have limited time in the port city then it’s best to leave early as the shops will open about 9…As you leave the information Center you can walk up to Clive Square which is at the edge of the art deco area and then come back by the Cathedral which was completely destroyed and totally rebuilt…… very impressive with the wood and stucco and a nice of the earthquake and the organ is spectacular.
In summary Napier is very much well worth the time … very impressive and rather amazing world wide to think that the city was totally destroyed and it’s been completely rebuilt. The earthquake museum really illustrate what the city went through and how they recovered in such a short time very well done.