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Our Visit to Napier & Hawke’s Bay – New Zealand Travel Diary

While our stay in Napier was brief, it certainly left its mark on me. 
The quaint, beach side, Art Deco towns charm is unprecedented. Not to mention, it is situated in one of the most prestigious wine regions in New Zealand (or the world, if we are talking Sauvignon Blanc). 
Wine, waves and whimsical appeal – I could’ve stayed there forever.

We arrived in Napier after our hike along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. We started early and hiked 20 kilometers, so we were exhausted. Having a ocean view room with balcony was just what the doctor ordered, as I had zero energy left or muscle use in my legs 🙂 I wanted to stay at this hotel but it was full, so we opted for this one. At more than 1/3 of a price discount, it was not decorated as lux as the Art Deco, but simple decor, a comfortable bed, and that balcony – winner winner chicken dinner!


We walked along the beach and enjoyed dinner at Mint. One of the best meals we had in New Zealand! We passed by the Six Sister’s Houses (cute row houses on the water front) and admired the adorable 1920’s architecture.

The next morning, we ventured out for breakfast and found Mister D’s on Tennyson St. Oh yeah, did I mention all the streets are named after famous authors and poets? Adorable.
Mister D’s was so delicious! Great coffee, approachable but creative menu. Also right in the thick of downtown Napier if you’re in the area. I believe they do lunch and dinner as well, and the atmosphere was so cute, we loved it.

We spent some time wandering around the area and admiring the architecture. Napier suffered from a massive earthquake in 1931 (which is New Zealand’s most destructive and deadly natural disaster to date), and so all of the buildings were re-built in the Art Deco style. They’re beautiful and have been so well kept – we really loved all the cool buildings and statues in our favorite era of architecture.

Since we had reservations for the ferry, we had to get on the road. On our way out, we wanted to sample this world famous Sauvignon Blanc! We certainly not disappointed. Our favorite was Mission Estate Winery – the oldest winery in New Zealand (established in 1851). This BEAUTIFUL 150 year old mansion that ALSO happens to be a winery… it was heaven! Can I turn back time and get married here pleeeeeaaasssseeeee? You can also stay on the property if you desire. We almost did, but I knew we’d never make it to downtown Napier (about 15 minutes away) in our one night stay.

We truly loved Napier! 1 night was not nearly long enough. It might not be a glacier, mountain or volcano… but it’s truly a beautiful, charming place! Put it on your list if you have the chance 🙂

Have you ever been to Napier or Hawke’s Bay? Am I the only one obsessed?