Napier, New Zealand North Island

Destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, then reborn within a decade, Napier in the North Island is the “Art Deco Capital of the World.” Join the annual celebration when the townspeople don 1930s attire, stroll along the bayside promenades and gardens plus drive immaculate vintage cars of the era. Also marvel at the outstanding murals with marine-life preservation themes.

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1 T & G Mutual Building in Napier, New Zealand

The intersection of Marine Parade and Emerson Street is an excellent place to begin your walking tour of Napier, New Zealand. You will first marvel at the cooper dome and clock tower of the T & G Mutual Building. This handsome landmark was built in 1936 for the Temperance & General Insurance Company. The façade’s unique blend of Art Deco and Spanish Mission elements was the work of architect Cyril Hawthorn Mitchell. Today, The Dome offers vacationers rentable studios and apartments.

101 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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2 Soundshell in Napier, New Zealand

Now walk across Marine Parade. This two-mile street runs parallel to Hawke’s Bay and offers a plethora of waterfront sites you will not want to miss. The first is the Soundshell, built in 1935. Two years later the surrounding Colonnade was added. This created a public square in front of the bandstand. The Forecourt was a popular place for dancing and roller skating through the early 1950s. These projects were sponsored by the Thirty Thousand Club. This group of civic-minded locals was formed in 1913 with the goal of developing and promoting Napier until it reach 30,000 citizens. When the goal was achieved in 1975, the club disbanded.

70 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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3 Veronica Sunbay Pergola in Napier, New Zealand

The HMS Veronica was a U.K. naval ship built in 1915. On the morning of February 3, 1931, the vessel was docked in Port Ahuriri when the harbor floor lurched upwards during the earthquake and beached the ship. The crew radioed for help from nearby ships then sprang into action recusing earthquake victims. The Veronica Sunbay was built in 1934 within Marine Parade Gardens to honor the crew’s bravery. The curved colonnade on the foreshore of Hawke’s Bay was rebuilt in 1991. The Sunbay is a marvelous place to sit, talk with friends and enjoy the cool breeze drifting from across the bay. Near the Tom Parker Fountain is another waterfront overlook. The Viewing Platform was finished in 2015.

60 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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4 New Napier Arch at Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

Visiting Napier during the annual Art Deco Festival is like stepping back into the 1930s. The center of town is filled with stunning classic cars. An example is this 1936 Buick Roadmaster. During the Tremains Art Deco Festival 2018, this Series 80 Convertible was parked in front of the New Napier Arch in the background. It was one of three arches built in 1940 as a tribute to the citizens who not only endured the earthquake’s aftermath but worked together to rebuild a marvelous city. The inscription above this arch reads, “Courage is the thing: all goes if courage goes.”

60 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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5 Napier South African War Memorial in Napier, New Zealand

The South African War was a battle from 1899 – 1902 between the British and two Boer republics. The conflict arose over control of the Witwatersrand gold mine in South Africa. Among the 100,000 casualties were residents of Hawke’s Bay. This Boer War memorial was erected in 1906 as a tribute to the 388 local men who served. On top of the obelisk is a mourning trooper holding an inverted rifle. On the side is a lion carving holding a shield. After being destroyed during the 1931 earthquake, the Napier South African War Memorial was refurbished in 1947.

Herschell St & Emerson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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6 The Gold of the Kowhai Sculpture in Napier, New Zealand

The golden Kōwhai flower is indigenous to New Zealand. Many people consider it to be the country’s national flower. Kōwhai is also the Māori word for yellow. In 2014, The Gold of the Kowhai sculpture by artist Paul Dibble was unveiled. The 13 foot artwork is bronze and gilded with 24-carat gold.

Tennyson St & Herschell St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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7 MTG Hawke’s Bay in Napier, New Zealand

MTG Hawke’s Bay is a collection of several structures with a rich cultural history. The Athenaeum was built in 1865 to house the initial collection of art and scientific exhibits. The Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery was added in 1936. Its design followed the prevalent Art Deco theme of the times. In 1977, the modernistic Century Theatre concert hall was finished by architect Guy Natusch. A new wing was constructed prior to the reopening of MTG Hawke’s Bay in 2013. This premier art gallery, museum and theater in Napier features a 100,000 piece collection of fine and decorative art plus artifacts representing the region’s natural, social and Taonga Māori history.

1 Tennyson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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8 Conservation House in Napier, New Zealand

Few 19th century buildings remain standing in central Napier. A marvelous survivor of the 1931 earthquake is the Conservation House. This all timber, two-story structure designed by colonial architect William Henry Clayton was the Napier Courthouse when it opened in 1875. At various times, it housed different courts (Supreme, East Coast District, Magistrate’s and Maori Land) plus the police, public records and a law library. After the last court case was heard in 1988, it was purchased by the Department of Conservation for the Hawke’s Bay District Office.

59 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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9 Pania on the Reef Statue in Napier, New Zealand

According to an ancient Māori legend, Pania was a local maiden who married a chieftain named Karitoki. She gave birth to a hairless son named Maremate. Pania was lured by siren voices to swim across the bay. She met her demise when Moana-nui-a-kiwa, the lord of the sea, converted her into an underwater reef at Napier Breakwater. This bronze statue located at Marine Parade Gardens was a gift of the Thirty Thousand Club in 1954. The facial likeness of Māori college student Mei Robin has become a treasured landmark in Napier.

56 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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10 Tom Parker Fountain in Napier, New Zealand

Tom Park was a Napier shopkeeper and member of the Thirty Thousand Club. He was also a generous promotor during the rebuilding of Napier. He is best remembered for gifting this Art Deco water fountain named in his honor. Architect J. T. Watson is credited with the design. It was crafted in 1936 on Marine Parade above the earthquake rubble. During the day, water pressure is low so the water jets are modest. At night, the Tom Parker Fountain comes alive with dramatic sprays synchronized with a light show.

56 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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11 Napier Conference Centre in Napier, New Zealand

Napier Conference Centre is a waterfront, special event facility on Marine Parade. The property includes a ballroom, meeting rooms and two exhibition halls. Among its best features are the large windows framing panoramic views of Hawke’s Bay. The Napier Conference Centre was completely refurbished in 2017.

48 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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12 Endangered Marine Animals Mural by Flox in Napier, New Zealand

With an estimated population of 50,000, the New Zealand fur seal is a common site along the coasts. Yet they were nearly hunted to extinction by the early Polynesian and European settlers. The other crowned creature is an elephant seal. To build awareness of the plight of New Zealand marine animals, artist Flox participated in the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans festival in 2017. This was the second year international artists were invited to Napier to create large-scale murals with an ocean environment theme. The event is sponsored by the PangeaSeed Foundation. Flox is an accomplished artist from Auckland. She specializes in paintings of birds, flowers and ferns. In preparation for this mural titled “Honor and Trust,” she created an enormous, hand-cut stencil.

38 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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13 Clive Flood Memorial in Napier, New Zealand

On Good Friday in 1897, the Heretaunga Plains at the south end of Hawke’s Bay was flooded including the town of Clive about six miles from Napier. A team rushed to rescue the 236 trapped residents. Tragically, two of their three boats capsized and ten men were drowned. The Clive Flood Memorial was erected in 1900 on Marine Parade in recognition and appreciation for their valiant actions.

40 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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14 Recycling Kingdom Mural by Qbic in Napier, New Zealand

Recycling Kingdom has an arrestingly unique style compared to most murals around Napier created during the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans festivals in 2016 and 2017. Russian artist Rustam Qbic depicts a girl cleaning up an oil spill around a whale while two boys are creating structures on the mammal’s back. The message is today’s pollution negatively impacts future generations. Going forward, we need to construct new cities devoid of discarded waste and in harmony with the ocean’s animals.

Browning St & Herschell St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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15 The County Hotel in Napier, New Zealand

The idiom “Stand the test of time” aptly describes Napier’s only Victorian-Edwardian structure. Form 1909 until 1987, this cornerstone of Browning Street served as the offices for Hawke’s Bay County Council. Its reinforced concrete construction helped it survive the 1931 earthquake virtually unscathed. Richard and Andrea Lysnar converted the property into The County Hotel. The boutique accommodations only has 18 rooms. Yet the hotel consistently earns five stars, awards plus recommendations from reviewers and guests.

12 Browning St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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16 Historic Retailer Marques in Napier, New Zealand

Napier has changed considerably since its central business district was destroyed and rebuilt during the 1930s. Yet throughout the town, the marques retain the names of historic merchants. Here is a glimpse of Hastings Street. On the right was Barry Bros. Ltd. built in 1936. Born in the mid-19th century from Irish immigrants, Patrick and David first operated a delivery business serviced by 60 Clydesdales and then expanded into coal and timber. Next door is Ringlands’. The Ringland Brothers ran a drapery shop here when it opened in 1932. Next door was Harston’s. This Spanish Mission design was a music shop and warehouse when finished in 1932. If you would like learning more about the city’s architecture, pick up the book “The New Napier: Art Deco City in the 1930s” by Robert McGregor.

1 Hastings St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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17 St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Napier, New Zealand

Three churches predated the current St. John’s Anglican Cathedral. The first was constructed in 1862 and was part of the Wellington Diocese. After the second was destroyed by the 1931 earthquake, a temporary structure served the Anglican community until the current Napier Cathedral opened in 1965. Its modernist design is a standout in a town dominated by Art Deco. The pro-cathedral is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. This also serves as the mother church for the Diocese of Waiapu Tikanga. Waiapu is both a river and a valley in East Cape at the northeastern corner of New Zealand. This is where the first Māori people where converted to the Anglican faith in the 1820s. St. John’s slogan is, “We are the first Cathedral in the world to greet each new day!”

28 Browning Street, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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18 Former Ministry of Works Building in Napier, New Zealand

The New Zealand Department of Public Works was formed in 1876. This cabinet-level government agency built, managed and maintained the country’s infrastructure such as roads, rails and power. One of seven district offices was in Napier and housed in this 1938 building on Browning Street. The design by architect J.T. Mair is called Stripped Classical. This was a modified and less expensive version of the more decorative Art Deco. After New Zealand’s Ministry of Works was privatized in 1966, this became an office complex.

21 Browning S, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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19 The Daily Telegraph Building in Napier, New Zealand

In 1871, the Daily Telegraph was founded by London-born Richard Halkett Lord and published its first edition in Napier. Their first building was destroyed by fire in 1886 and the second collapsed in the 1931 earthquake. Architect Ernest Arthur Williams created this Art Deco design in 1932 and the presses started rolling inside the following year. The building’s two-story foyer was considered exceptionally grand for a country in the throes of the Depression. Despite several mergers, the newspaper kept printing from this site until 1999 when it was absorbed by the Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune.

49 Tennyson Street, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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20 Ross & Glendining Building in Napier, New Zealand

John Ross and Robert Glendinning opened a worsted wool mill near Dunedin in 1871. Their enterprise expanded into several New Zealand cities including Napier. In 1933, the Roslyn Worsted & Woollen Mills built this local office. Architect Ernest Arthur Williams incorporated a Māori motif on the facade. Since 1995, the Art Deco structure has been the Napier Antique & Jewelry Centre. Two sisters – Keri & Raewyn – invite you to shop among their collectables plus Art Deco clothing and accessories. The pictured woman seemed surprised to be greeted by a similarly dressed mannequin.

65 Tennyson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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21 A Wave of Time Statue in Napier, New Zealand

Nearly two years after the devastating 1931 earthquake, the residents of Napier had reason to celebrate their arduous recovery and rebuilding. In January of 1933, Miss Sheila Williams organized the New Napier Week Carnival. This bronze sculpture of the event’s Carnival Queen waving during a parade was created by Mark Whyte in 2010. By her side is a greyhound named Raven.

134 Emerson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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22 Art Deco Architecture in Napier, New Zealand

Napier is called the “Art Deco Capital of the World.” Most of its 100 plus Art Deco buildings were constructed within the decade following the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake. The magnitude 7.8 Napier Earthquake is still considered New Zealand’s largest natural disaster. While struggling to recover, a co-op was formed called the Associated Architects of Napier. Dominated by three firms, they designed a new, uniform layout for the city. They choose Art Deco (also called Art Moderne) because it was popular after being introduced during the1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris. The style was also colorful and decorative (a visual treat for citizens surrounded by destruction) and inexpensive (a major consideration during the height of the Great Depression). This façade of the former Hotel Central, originally owned by the Napier Brewery Co Ltd., is a stunning example. It was built in 1932 using the design of Ernest Arthur Williams. Williams was the most prolific architect in Hawke’s Bay during the 1930s. He is credited with 30 historic structures in Napier.

53 Dalton St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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23 History of Clive Square in Napier, New Zealand

During the first half of the 19th century, the British Crown negotiated with the Māori people to buy land for settlement across New Zealand. The most significant transaction was the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The territory called the Ahuriri block (today’s Hawke’s Bay) was purchased in 1851. The new British acquisition was called Napier in honor of Charles James Napier, a major general of the British Bombay Army. During the settlement’s fledging years in the second half of the 19th century, this tract of land on the outskirts of town was a sports ground for cricket and football. In 1884, it was redesigned as a village green with gardens. This Edwardian water fountain was added in 1904. After the earthquake, it became Tin Town, a refuge and market for displaced citizens. As Napier recovered, Phoenix palms were planted and this lily pond was built in 1934. Today, the picturesque Clive square is encircled with five species of palm trees.

35 Clive Square, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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24 Napier Carillon at Clive Square in Napier, New Zealand

Three years after Napier was founded in 1851, Alfred Domett was appointed as secretary of the New Zealand colony and located in Ahuriri as its magistrate. He was instrumental in designating Napier as a borough (self-governing town) in 1874. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the event, the harp-shaped Napier Carillon was erected in Clive Square in 1974. It was a gift of Rothmans Tobacco Company. Rothmans of Pall Mall purchased the local National Tobacco Company in 1956. Every day from 11:30 a. m. until 2:00 p. m., the 19 bells ring out with engaging music on the half hour. Originally, the songs were played using a manual keyboard. Since 1997, a computer generates the four tunes heard during each segment. The musical selections rotate frequently.

Clive Square, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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25 Fiordland Crested Penguins Mural by Byers in Napier, New Zealand

Fiordland crested penguins once thrived on New Zealand promontories and islets. Their population has plummeted because of fishing nets, oil spills and other human disturbances. They are now listed as vulnerable to extinction. Celeste Byers chose this topic for her mural in the 2016 Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans festival. In the corner of the painting she wrote, “Dedicated to the Fiordland crested penguins and all of New Zealand’s 17 penguin species. Long may you live.”

195 Dickens St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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26 You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone Mural in Napier, New Zealand

The mural titled, “You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone” was a collaborative effort between Amanda Lynn and Dirty Bandits. The elegant painting of fashionable women wearing bird hats measures 30 by 40 feet. The goal was to raise awareness of two endangered species of New Zealand seabirds. The fairy tern was once widespread yet only 40 remain. The Chatham Island taiko was hunted to near extinction with only 200 survivors. This mural was painted in 2016 during the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans festival.

164 Dickens St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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27 Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay Earthquake leveled central Napier within 2.5 minutes on February 3, 1931. Near the anniversary of this devastation, Napier hosts The Art Deco Festival celebrating its rebirth. Sponsored by the Art Deco Trust, the five-day annual event features theme parties like flappers, prohibition, Charleston, Great Gatsby plus a masquerade ball. For food, you can sign up for a beach banquet, candlelight prison dinner or a Great Depression meal. Always sold out is Death by Chocolate. The visual treat on the sidewalks is seeing people in 1930s clothing plus watching impeccable era autos driving in the streets.

67 Emerson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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28 Former Criterion Hotel in Napier, New Zealand

The former Criterion Hotel was again the work of Ernest Arthur Williams. This time, the architect selected a Spanish Mission exterior with a Scottish Baronial foyer and lounge. This was a luxury hotel when built in 1932 by a consortium of local investors. The Category 1 Historic Places Trust building suffered two fires: one in 1984 and the second about six years later. It is now a hostel named Criterion Art Deco Backpackers.

48 Emerson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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29 Sunken Gardens in Napier, New Zealand

Being a seaside town is frequently a double-edge sword: the scenery is gorgeous yet a challenge to control flooding. Napier’s first seawall was constructed in 1888. During the 1931 earthquake, the shoreline was violently raised over 6.5 feet. A new concrete breakwater was built in 1936 with a pathway on top. The Sunken Gardens were created in 1969 on a wedge of land between the seawall and Marine Parade. Below a short flight of stairs is an oasis of flowerbeds sculpted among the manicured lawn.

152 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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30 Six Sisters in Napier, New Zealand

Similar to San Francisco’s famous Painted Ladies, these row houses will delight fans of Victorian homes. The Six Sisters were built along Marine Parade in the late 19th century. Architect Robert Lamb was hired by a prominent businessman to design near-identical, two-story residences for his six daughters. Surprisingly, the wooden structures suffered little damage during the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake. They are now mix-use of apartments, boutique shops plus a bar and grill. You will find their image on T-shirts, posters and other souvenirs throughout Napier.

201 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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31 Marine Parade Foreshore Reserve in Napier, New Zealand

This waterfront was created from natural beach accretion plus filled in with rubble after the 1931 earthquake. It stretches from the National Aquarium to the Gilray Fountain. The area was significantly enhanced thanks to the design of Paris Magdalinos Architects. Now included are walking and cycling paths. The former Marineland – originally a marine mammal park – was converted into a skate park (Bay Skate). Plus there are artworks representing Māori mythology such as this whalebone sculpture by Jacob Scott.

350 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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32 Millennium Arch in Napier, New Zealand

Artist David Trubridge was invited to create a sculpture to celebrate the arrival of the year 2000, the start of the third millennium. His 62 foot long, steel artwork with two reflective disks portrays ecliptic. This is the annual path of the sun. Millennium Arch is located in the Marine Parade Foreshore Reserve.

350 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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33 National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, New Zealand

Trawlermen depicts two commercial fishermen struggling to haul in their net. The life-size bronze statuary by Alan Strathern is appropriately adjacent to the National Aquarium of New Zealand. The Napier Aquarium opened along Marine Parade in 1976. The first floor features marine life from Hawke’s Bay. The main feature is the 78 by 99 foot Oceanarium with a 164 foot observation tunnel. On the second floor are fish and aquatic animals from other countries. Extremely popular are their close encounters. The favorite attraction is swimming with the sharks.

546 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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34 Marine Protected Areas Mural by Cinzah and Botkin in Napier, New Zealand

Artist Cinzah Merkins is a resident of Napier. In 2016, he co-produced the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans festival organized by the PangeaSeed Foundation. 29 worldwide artists participated in this campaign to raise awareness of critical ocean issues. Cinzah worked alongside Jason Botkin to create a 427 foot mural on the bay-facing side of the National Aquarium of New Zealand. The painting is a blend of Māori legends and huge endemic sea creatures. The goal was to address the importance of Marine Protected Areas.

546 Marine Parade, Napier South, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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35 Gilray Fountain in Napier, New Zealand

The last attraction worth visiting along your southern walk on Marine Parade is Gilray Fountain. On top of a 12 foot slender column is a bronze female reaching towards the heavens. The statue symbolizes Napier’s rebirth after the 1931 earthquake. Spirit of Napier was created in 1971 by Frank Szirmay. The water fountain’s namesake is Dr. Thomas Gilray, the former Superintendent of Napier Hospital and the project’s benefactor. In 1994, a lovely garden was planted around the base.

555 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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36 Napier Sailing Club at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

Ahuriri is a short drive from central Napier. During the late-19th century colonial era, this was the main commercial port serving the Hawke’s Bay Region. After Port Ahuriri was heavily damaged during the 1931 earthquake, large sea vessels began docking closer to Napier. These sheltered waters continued mooring sailboats. Napier Sailing Club was founded in 1891, making it New Zealand’s oldest.

63 West Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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37 Former Warehouses at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

At the peak of Port Ahuriri’s operation, the wharf was lined with warehouses. Goods were transported here by rail and temporarily stored until loaded on commercial vessels by men called wharfies. After the port was relocated in the early 1930s, the harborside buildings on West Quay were gradually abandoned. In recent years, the area has become a hotbed of residential, industrial and entertainment redevelopment. The Gin Trap incorporated its bar and grill inside an old corrugated steel façade and converted the loading platform into outside seating.

64 West Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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38 Lonely Whale Mural at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

There are several wall murals on former warehouses along West Quay at Ahuriri. The most poignant is titled “Ingested Plastic Pollutions/Lonely Whale.” The blue whale averages 98 feet in length. This painting by New Zealand artist Dside is at full scale. Although this giant marine mammal has no natural predators, they are severely impacted by the ten million tons of plastic dumped annually into the world’s oceans. The sponsor for his mural was Resene Paints Ltd., New Zealand’s largest privately-owned paint manufacturer and distributor.

Customs Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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39 Old Customshouse at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

The first custom office to serve Port Ahuriri was built in 1855, four years after the British Crown purchased the harbor and surrounding land from the Māori in 1851. It was replaced in 1856 and again in 1895 with this current structure. The Old Customhouse remained operational until 1953. In 1988, the historic building was given a reprieve from demolition when it was purchased by the Hawke’s Bay Harbour Board. The following year, it was completely renovated and is now rentable as a special event venue. Notice the black cauldron near the entrance. The Iron Pot was used by European settlers in the early 19th century to cook whale blubber and convert it into oil.

1 Customs Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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40 National Tobacco Company Building at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

In 1915, German-born Johann Gerhard Husheer established the New Zealand Tobacco Company in Ahuriri. When he was forced out in 1921, he moved to Auckland and founded the National Tobacco Company. Three years later, he returned to Ahuriri, reacquired his old business and built a large factory. After it was partially destroyed during the 1931 earthquake, Husheer commissioned this stunning Art Nouveau façade. This Napier icon was created by James Augustus Louis Hay, one of the founders of the Associated Architects of Napier. Also called the Napier Reconstruction Committee, this consortium of architects rebuilt most of Napier’s buildings during the 1930’s. The National Tobacco Company became one of the largest local employers and made Husheer very wealthy. When he died in 1954, the business was purchased by U. K. based Rothmans of Pall Mall. This is why it is also called the Rothman’s Building. Rothmans International was acquired in 1999 by British American Tobacco. Since late 2017, this has been the home of Urban Winery.

1 Ossian St, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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41 Perfume Point at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

Perfume Point is a small headland at the mouth of Inner Harbor at Ahuriri. Along one side is this black sand beach ending at Spriggs Park. On the other side is a boardwalk running parallel to the Ahuriri Estuary. This pathway leads to retailers and restaurants along West Quay. During colonial times, this area was called Town Split. Locals sarcastically labeled this promontory Perfume Point because it used to be a sewer outlet.

46 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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42 Starter Box Mural at Ahuriri in Napier, New Zealand

Perfume Point gets crowded during regattas. At the tip is this starter box for the Napier Sailing Club. In 2017, it was decorated by New Zealander Aaron Glasson as part of the Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans project. The event is sponsored by PangeaSeed where Glasson is the creative director. Glasson specializes in murals about environmental issues plus indigenous people. This artwork is titled Pania of the Reef. This ancient Māori legend is also immortalized in a famous statue in central Napier.

46 Nelson Quay, Ahuriri, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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Donning 1930s Attire at Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

Nearly 45,000 people took part in the Tremains Art Deco Festival in 2018. Most were residents of Napier and the surrounding Hawke’s Bay Region. Others – such as Janice M. Chandler and her husband from Auckland – travel to the event annually to enjoy the fun. Most of these folks wear 1930s clothing. The entire city is crowded with costumed people strolling between events, enjoying being seen and people watching.

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43 Vintage Car Tour at Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

A very popular attraction in Napier is the Vintage Car Tour. They are available throughout the year and almost hourly during the Art Deco Festival. Let the 1930s costumed driver open the door of a beautifully maintained classic auto like this 1936 Packard 120B Convertible. Then sit back and relax for 75 minutes while you motor around Napier and the suburbs of Ahuriri and Marewa. Along the way you will hear about the earthquake, the rebuilding, the Art Deco architecture, the homes from the 1930s and all of the reasons why Napier is such an amazing city.

105 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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City Ambassador at Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

Since it was established in 1985, the Art Deco Trust has done a fabulous job promoting Napier, protecting its Art Deco heritage and welcoming visitors to its city. Throughout the year, they train about 80 volunteers to give walking tours plus greet and assist tourists. During the annual Art Deco Festival, the entire team is there to guarantee you have a memorable experience. Gotta question? Then just ask the dapper-looking Jimmy Middleton, one of many friendly faces there to help you.

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