Itineraries for Your Trip to Napier

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1 Day in Napier for First Timers

Curated by Elen TurnerElen is a writer and editor based in the small city of Nelson, on New Zealand's South Island. Her work focuses on travel, arts, culture, and the humanities. When not working, she likes to explore one of the three national parks on her doorstep.

A small city in Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Napier is blessed with natural, cultural, and culinary attractions. With a tightly packed itinerary, you can experience the city’s art deco architecture, superlative wine, and waterfront dining in one day. Here’s how.


Destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and reconstructed in the art deco style of the day, Napier is famous throughout New Zealand for its architecture. Spend the morning taking in such highlights as the National Tobacco Company Building, the Daily Telegraph Building, and the Masonic Hotel on an art and architecture tour of the city, either by foot, electric bike, or vintage car.


Although wine is made throughout New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay is the country’s oldest winemaking region, with the first grapes planted in the 1850s. A single afternoon may not be enough time to tour the whole of Hawke’s Bay, but you can sample several of the region’s finest vintages on a half-day tour. Wineries near Napier and its sister city, Hastings, showcase the region’s famous reds, and many also house restaurants that serve delicious food made from local produce.


Its history and status at the center of the Hawke’s Bay winemaking region means that Napier has some lovely wine bars. If you’ve had enough wine for one day, though, turn your attention to New Zealand (and imported) beers and crafty cocktails instead. Spend the evening exploring the Ahuriri Waterfront area, with a high concentration of bars and restaurants, and harbor views to boot.

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