From Coromandel, we head down to Taupo and spent time between there and Rotorua. I’ve done a whole series on my Bay Of Plenty road trip, so click >> HERE << to see Part 1 of that, which will take you through all the best bits of Taupo.
From Taupo, we head south and made our way to Napier. In all honestly, Napier was just a stopover to break up the journey all the way down to Wellington. I’d heard of Napier before but never knew what was there or what it was about, so thought we’d use this as a stop gap on the route. Boy, what a stop gap it was. When people talk of Napier, two words always follow: Art deco. I was blown away by just how stunning Napier is. From the incredible architecture, the pristine clean pavements and the stunning beach walkways. Napier was definitely a bit of a wind tunnel, forcing me to hit the shops to buy a jumper for protection (who am I kidding, I needed no excuse to shop).
// Napier – Art Deco \\
Firstly we must discuss the Art Deco aspect of Napier. The back story to it becoming the Art Deco capital is: Years ago there was an earthquake that completely flattened Napier. At the time, Art Deco was the trend so they rebuilt it, specific to the times. Since then, it’s remained. It’s grown a reputation for it’s Art Deco style and from then on, they’ve kept it how it is. Each and every building unique and in it’s original form. Due to the entire town being flattened and then built again, every building is built of the same style. I must admit, when I first arrived there, I thought it was going to be 1 or 2 buildings, or 1 road that was in the art deco style… But NO! The. Entire. Town. Like the whole place! It’s like being on a film set, even down to the road signs being in the same style! Such a cool experience!
// Napier – What To Do \\
Apart from wondering the streets and taking in the spectacular buildings, there’s plenty to occupy your time in Napier. Dart in and out of the countless cafes, find your way around the different food options or wander down the beach walkway, Napier really does have it all. Our favourite thing to do with our time there was to take a walk along the beach front. Stopping at the weird and wonderful pier, mooching through the gardens and gazing at the over-the-top waterfalls, we were definitely not short of things to do in Napier. If you do take a walk along the beach front, make sure you head to the sunken gardens. A gardens built underground, with thousands of flowers, water features and peaceful pathways… for someone not at all interested in flowers, this really was a slice of heaven in the middle of Napier.
// Napier – Where To Stay \\
Now when it comes to accomodation in Napier, we struggled. I think this was for a few different reasons. One of them being there were 4 of us, needing 4 beds and ideally 3-4 rooms. Not many Airbnb’s accomodate this. Secondly we were booking just 1 day in advance, meaning most places were already full up. This forced us to look outside of Napier in surrounding towns and settlements, taking us to the eery town of Waimarama. About 45 minutes south of Napier, Waimarama was the best bet for our situation. Not a town I’d recommend you stay on your own, but perfect for us, Waimarama was like something you see in a horror film. A quiet town, with just one shop and plenty of twitching curtains, Waimarama certainly isn’t full of hustle and bustle. However it made sense for us to set up base here for the night. We were just staying for the one night, it was 45 minutes south which meant less of a drive the next morning before we made our way down to Wellington and staying out of Napier meant it kept the cost down. If you’re heading to Napier and fancy giving this quirky town a go, then click >> HERE << for our specific Airbnb.
Well it’s safe to say, throughout the entire road trip, Napier was by far the biggest surprise for us. It’s hard to put into words just how fascinating it is, like I said it’s like being on a film set. Next up on the road trip, we head down to Wellington in preparation for the ferry crossing over to the South Island. Check back here on Monday to hear all about the capital of New Zealand, Wellington.
| By Harrison |