Itineraries for Your Trip to Napier

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2 Days 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.

Two days in the small city of Napier, in the heart of New Zealand’s oldest winemaking region, is enough time to tour its highlights and devote a day to the nectar of the gods. Here’s how to get the most out of 48 hours in this North Island town.

Day 1: Morning

Devastated by an earthquake in 1931, much of Napier was rebuilt in the art deco style, and today the city is well-known for its architecture. Spend the morning touring the city’s art deco highlights on a small-group tour, on foot or by bike or vintage car.

Day 1: Afternoon

Dive in to Napier’s history this afternoon on a guided or self-guided tour of Napier Prison, New Zealand’s oldest jail. Then—especially if you’re traveling with children—get up close to penguins and kiwis at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, or just take a stroll along Marine Parade to enjoy the sea views.

Day 1: Night

Get your first taste of locally produced wine at a wine bar with a view. The Ahuriri Waterfront area is the place to go at night, with harbor views and plenty of bars and restaurants. But don’t overdo it, as there are more wine-related activities on the agenda tomorrow.

Day 2: Morning

Make your second day in Napier all about the famous wine produced in Hawke’s Bay. Choose a guided tour, which ensures that everyone in the group can enjoy wine tasting without reservation, or rent a bicycle and ride from vineyard to vineyard. Hawke’s Bay is especially famous for its red wines, and many vineyards have restaurants that serve delicious local food to pair with their wines. Time your visit around lunch or dinnertime to make the most of the Hawke’s Bay vineyard experience.

Day 2: Night

Those who aren’t having dinner at a vineyard can head back into Napier for the evening. If it’s summer and warm outside, take advantage of the long daylight hours by grabbing some local fish-and-chips and eating them along Marine Parade, taking in the views along the 1.8-mile (3-kilometer) waterfront.

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