an Art Deco City
Sightseeing in Napier
Hotels in Gisborne
1931 the thriving New Zealand seaside city of Napier was shaken
and pushed around by a massive earthquake that not only destroyed
almost every building, but also left the landscape unrecognisable.
2.5 minutes the tremor lasted and during that time the entire area
was raised almost two metres higher than it was before, 9000 acres
of land were pushed out of the water as a lagoon was emptied and
more than 2200 hectares of new land rose to sea level.
The quake was New Zealand's largest ever and was recorded at 7.9
on the Richter scale. The death toll was 258 people, with 162 dying
in Napier and 96 in the nearby places of Hastings and Wairoa.
erupted in both main towns and raged out of control in Napier where
the water supply had been destroyed. But out of the terrible blazes
that occurred that day in 1931, a Phoenix-like city has risen.
The people of Napier redesigned their home and within two years
had the world's most modern city using the styles of the era built
what is now considered to be an Art Deco masterpiece.
architecture is unrivalled in the world and tourists who are into
Art Deco flock there in the thousands.
city puts on vintage car weekends and jazz festivals where everyone
gets into the feel of the occasion and dresses up in costumes.
are guided walks around the city showing off the fine examples of
Art Deco with more than 93 buildings and structures boasting the
style. If you don't want to take a structured tour the information
office has a $4 guide you can buy and just wander around yourselves.
for this fellow were the Municipal
Theatre, which is seriously cool, the open air Soundshell and
the nearby Tom Parker Fountain,
which at night is lit by coloured lights.
city's museum is a great place to spend some time and it has an
excellent collection of Maori art and a gripping short film - about
40 minutes - of earthquake survivors telling what happened on the
day the Big One hit.
Napier you get a very pleasant feel for the place and this is boosted
by some excellent cafes and restaurants.
city is close to some superb Hawke's Bay wineries - Church Rd, the
Mission, Esk Valley, Lucknow Estate and Matariki to name but a few
- and there are wine tours
for sensible tasters who don't wish to drink and drive.
long beach is very wild and not recommended for swimming, however,
it is very pleasant to walk down Marine Parade and look at the waves,
the houses and some of the most magnificent Norfolk pines.
are some cool buildings on Marine Parade, such as the cute Six Sisters
- half a dozen buldings of similar design - and a pretty cool artists'
shop called Arts on Parade.
for some terrific views of the sea and a working port, hop in the
car and head up to the Bluff Hill lookout.
can spend a lot of time viewing the scenery and even more so watching
the goings on the docks themselves. The way those guys move giant
cranes around has to be seen to be believed.
is plenty of accommodation in the town and is a good place to stop
over when you are in Hawke's Bay.
interesting place to have a look at it Otatara Pa. This is the city's
suburb of Taradale and is a fascinating look at a Maori fort.
fact Otatara Pa is the largest pa site in New Zealand and its strong
defensive position has seen many battles fought for its ownership.
is a loop walk that takes you through the site - complete with wooden
palisades and memorial posts - and it can be a little eerie.
the way stop and check out some of the views, which are at times