Napier, a charming coastal town located on the North Island of New Zealand, is known for its staggering natural beauty and Art Deco architecture. Even after surviving a massive earthquake, the place has not lost its charm a single bit. Sprawling with verdant vineyards, Napier is also a popular wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay. Apart from this, it is one of the prominent sites in New Zealand where you can find the existence of Maori culture. See all the prominent places to visit in Napier that you can add to your itinerary.
Top 12 Places To Visit In Napier
Visiting Napier? Here are 10 best places and attractions you should put on your list for a fun sightseeing around.
- Botanical Gardens
- National Aquarium Of New Zealand
- Bluff Hill
- Otatara Pa
- Cape Kidnappers
- Marine Parade
- MTG Hawke’s Bay
- Napier Prison
- Te Mata Peak
- St. John’s Anglican Cathedral
- Pania Of The Reef
1. Botanical Gardens
Start your trip in the Kiwi city with a trip to the beautiful Botanical Gardens. It is one of the best places to visit in Napier. Sprawling on an area of 18 acres, Botanical Gardens has got duck pond, aviary, and an old Napier cemetery. You will also find the remnants of two historic wells inside this 19th-century park that were used 100 years ago for irrigation and maintaining the place. Take a walk over the bridge lies in the middle of the park and watch the ducks quacking away.
Location: 19 Spencer Rd, Hospital Hill, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Timings: Open 24 hours
2. National Aquarium Of New Zealand
Love marine life? If yes, then you should definitely check out National Aquarium of New Zealand. The place has got a diverse range of aquatic species making it one of the best places to visit in Napier New Zealand. You will also find New Zealand’s three of the endemic species which includes kiwi, tuatara, and little blue penguin. It is a great place to visit if you are traveling along with kids.
Location: Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
3. Bluff Hill
Literally, the gem of Napier, Bluff Hill is known for the picturesque views you get to enjoy from the top. If you want to enjoy the panoramic views of the coastal town, then get up to the Bluff Hill. It is one of the most amazing places to visit in Napier. It is just a 30-minute walk from the Napier City Centre where you are rewarded with enthralling views of the Hawke’s Bay. You can also spot exotic birds on top.
Location: Napier, New Zealand
4. Otatara Pa
Lo and behold one of the largest and breathtaking Maori sites in New Zealand. Stumble upon some mind-boggling site at this fortified village in Napier. The archaeological site is preserved for excavation so you may find a few pits here and there. But, oh! The views from the stop are absolutely staggering. The site and the views from the top are the two things why you should absolutely visit this place. It is one of the best places to visit in Napier NZ.
Location: Unnamed Rd, Taradale, Napier 4112, New Zealand
5. Cape Kidnappers
The vie at the Cape Kidnappers will put you in awe when you see a huge number of gannet birds just meandering around. Located to the south of Napier, Cape Kidnappers lies to close to the ocean and offer you raw views of the Pacific Ocean, which undoubtedly makes it one of the best places to go out in Napier. It is where you will find the largest colony of gannets in New Zealand. Bring your camera along as you will get some amazing shots to capture in your camera. This place is a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. Why the name you ask though? It was named by Captain Cook when a local Maori kidnapped his cabin boy.
Location: southeastern extremity of Hawke’s Bay
6. Marine Parade
If you have not been to this place in Napier, you have not been to Napier at all. Sitting on the edge, Marine Parade is the pride of Hawke’s Bay and offers alluring views of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the best places to visit in Napier and witness its coastal beauty. Originally, there was a wall constructed to save the area from the floods that have now been replaced by Marine Parade. It is a famous site among locals and tourists and you may see a lot of families taking a stroll around. It is a great place to hang around in the evenings. Also, lay your eyes on the beautiful Sunken Garden while taking a refreshing walk here.
Location: Napier 4110, New Zealand
7. MTG Hawke’s Bay
Did you know Napier survived a massive earthquake? If no, then you should visit MTG Hawke’s Bay, a memorial dedicated to the earthquake. The art gallery and the museum explaining the devastating effect of the natural calamity on the area through pictures. You will also find artifacts like jewelry, carving, and clothing that depict the rich and vibrant Maori culture. Also find a collection of Moa, New Zealand’s extinct giant bird. It is one of the most interesting places to visit in Napier and a must for the history buffs.
Location: 1 Tennyson St, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Timings: 9:30 AM – 5 PM
8. Napier Prison
Prison might sound an unusual place to you but this Napier prison is not only unusual but fun. The place was founded in 1892 and housed some of the most notorious criminals at that time. If you love ghost stories, then you should definitely sign up for a tour here. The history of incarceration, a visit to the quarry, hanging yard, and cemetery, everything is up on offer here. The ghost walks begin in the evening to make it all the more haunting. Isn’t it one of the most bizarre places to visit in Napier? Do not miss out if you like such experiences.
Location: 55 Coote Rd, Bluff Hill, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
9. Te Mata Peak
If you love nature walks and climbing, then Te Mata Peak should definitely be on your list on your NZ vacation. The peak stands 399 m above the sea level and offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Bring along your camera because you might want to take some pictures. The trail to the peak is perfect for hiking and even biking. This is one of the most recommended places to visit in Napier for adventure lovers.
Location: south of Hastings
While you are in Napier, you should also make a visit to the neighboring town of Hastings. It is equally fun and charming. What sets it apart from Napier is its farmlands and orchards. Enjoy visiting Farmer’s market on Sunday where you can taste fresh local produce and enjoy live music entertainment. It is also home to Art Deco architecture and some other popular attractions that you may visit in your free time. It’s definitely among the best places to go in Napier with friends and family.
Location: New Zealand
11. St. John’s Anglican Cathedral
Remodeled between 1946 and 1965, the St John’s Anglican Cathedral presents an absolutely modernist-style church architecture. The cathedral draws its fame mostly from its stained-glass ambulatory windows that portray major scenes from the life of Christ in an intricate abstract-design style. While you’re here, don’t miss out on the Stations of the Cross paintings by artist Phyllis Simmonds of New Zealand, as well as the 48 wooden plaques etched with prominent Christian symbols that embellish the cathedral’s walls. The cathedral offers visitors detailed brochures upon their entry into the premises so that they can get an insight into the church’s architecture and history and self-guide themselves around the building.
Location: 28 Browning Street, Napier
Timings: Open on all days of the week
12. Pania Of The Reef
This imposing statue makes up for one of the most fun places to go in Napier for architecture lovers and history geeks. Marine Parade’s waterfront promenade may be lined with tall Norfolk Pines and houses attractions like the tranquil Marine Parade Gardens as well as the Sunken Gardens, but this overwhelmingly beautiful statue still is hard to miss in their midst. Standing amidst its fellow monuments and art installations along this stretch, this bronze statue called the Pania of the Reef is among the most popular and significant establishments in Napier.
Shaped to mimic a mermaid, the figure of Pania has been derived from the Maori mythology who, as folklore suggests, was lured away from her lover by the sea people and couldn’t return to dry land. Apart from Pania, you must also check out the Marine Parade Arch whose ship’s bell has been taken from the HMS Veronica, the very first source of help that arrived post the earthquake in 1931.
Location: Marine Parade, Napier
Don’t these places make you want to take a trip to New Zealand? The place has got the best of nature, adventure, and interesting Maori culture. Whether you are planning a honeymoon or an adventurous vacation with your family or friends, New Zealand is a great place to visit.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Places To Visit In Napier
Still confused? See if the following common questions help solve your doubts:
A. Napier is known for its world-class architecture that includes the popular Art Deco architecture of the 1930s as well as Pania of the Reef statue at Marine Parade. The city gained fame after it was successfully rebuilt after the devastating Hawke’s Bay earthquake of 1931.
A. The town was named after Sir Charles Napier, the military leader from the ‘Battle of Meeanee’ who had fought in the province of Sindh in India.
A. There are precisely 62,800 people residing in Napier currently.
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