Napier, a port city in the Hawke Bay region of New Zealand, is the art deco capital of the world. After an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale and subsequent fires destroyed most of the commercial centre in 1931, the city was rebuilt in the flamboyant art deco style prevalent at the time. The clean geometric lines, neon clocks and brightly lit fountains lend Napier a film set feel. Napier also boasts the highest number of sunshine hours of any town in the country, a feature that has made this region one of New Zealand's most important wine-producing areas.Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
Without a doubt, Napier's biggest attraction is the city itself, with marvellous architecture that takes visitors back in time. But the National Aquarium of New Zealand on Marine Parade is a Napier destination you wouldn't want to miss. Opened in March 2002, it has a huge ocean tank with an observation tunnel and holds the most comprehensive collection of marine life in the country. The aquarium's magnificent architecture resembles a stingray. Exhibits include kiwis, piranhas, crocodiles and every sea creature you could imagine.
Napier's Onekawa Aquatic Centre offers facilities for swimming, volleyball, miniature golf, touch rugby and basketball. The Ocean Spa Napier features toddler pools, swimming pools, sauna and massage facilities, beauty therapy and a café. The Kiwi Adventure Company is as good a place as any to burn off energy. It has climbing walls designed for everyone from beginners to experts and also offers kayak lessons and rentals, plus customised adventure trips.
Considering its size, Napier has an abundant supply of restaurants. Most are located on Marine Parade and the main streets in the city centre. Like other New Zealand cities, Napier also offers a varied choice of menus, ranging from Indonesian to French cuisine.
Napier is one of only a few provincial cities with 7 days a week shopping. You can visit the Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre on Marine Parade for a shopping guide.
The local currency used is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, NZD 1 and NZD 2; notes come in denominations of NZD 5, NZD 10, NZD 20, NZD 50 and NZD 100. It is advisable to keep some amount of cash handy, especially if you are travelling into rural areas, where cash machines are scarce.
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Learn more about this port city with this tourist information guide.