Things to do in
Napier

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Our most recommended things to do in Napier

Napier: Cape Kidnappers Gannet, Nature & Sightseeing Tour

1. Napier: Cape Kidnappers Gannet, Nature & Sightseeing Tour

Discover Cape Kidnappers, the largest most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. Witness the 20,000 gannets at the cape which are members of the Booby family, with distinctive black eye markings and a pale gold crown. Visitors to the colony will see adults and young nesting in serried rows carrying out their daily routine. In the air above your heads, these amazing birds with their 6-foot wingspan (2 m) swoop and dive as they bring back fish. On the ground, just a few feet away, the pairs preen and perform the dance of the gannets’ recognition ritual. The birds can be seen from September to early April. In September they return from their winter escape to build their nests ready for the arrival of the chicks during December and January. The chicks are then fattened up ready for their first and departing flight in late April when they go off on their annual ritual to warmer climates. After being driven to the Cape in an air-conditioned 4 x 4 coach there will be absolutely no walking required. You are taken right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. Along the way, take in the breathtaking scenery of the geological landscapes and remarkable nature that this part of the country has to offer. Visit a production forest, view a predator-proof reserve and be accompanied by an experienced driver/guide who will provide a knowledgeable and insightful commentary throughout the tour.

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Napier: Gourmet Lunch and Wine Tour

2. Napier: Gourmet Lunch and Wine Tour

Mission Estate is one of New Zealand's largest wineries, producing 3,600,000 bottles of wine. You will be offered at least 3 red and 3 white wines throughout this experience, with chardonnay being the leading white wine and Merlot and associate Bordeaux blends the leading reds. The Mission restaurant has a wonderful reputation, and the setting is world class. Your luncheon will be a platter made up of cold meats, cheese, bread, fruit, and a small selection of hot seafood. You will be offered a tasting of 3 local craft beers or 4 local wines at the Urban Winery. You will then drive out to the picturesque Esk Valley for the final tasting at Linden Estate. Linden Estate is a boutique winery producing about 60,000 bottles of wine. Linden often has up to 10 wines to taste at once, and this experience offers tour participants great insight into the wines this region can produce. Your tour concludes with a drive out into the vineyard of a private quiet location where you will be provided with a selection of New Zealand cheese and biscuits accompanied by a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. At this point in the tour, your guide will provide you with a brief description of grape-growing techniques.

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Napier: Afternoon Wine Tour with Optional Craft Beer Tasting

3. Napier: Afternoon Wine Tour with Optional Craft Beer Tasting

Each winery will offer between 4-7 wines for a tasting split between reds and whites. Chardonnay is the dominant white wine variety produced in Hawkes Bay, but lovers of Sauvignon Blanc should not worry, as you'll also be tasting that at Mission Estate. Shiraz and Bordeaux blends are some of the dominant red varieties. The first estate winery you'll visit is Mission Estate, which was established in 1851. The tasting hall and associated restaurant are located in a two-story Victorian mansion that offers magnificent views over the vineyards. The next stop is the Urban Winery, located in the National Tobacco building, which is famous for it's art nouveau architecture. This is a seated tasting followed by a guided tour of their barrel hall and their amazing 'Golden Egg'. An explanation of the principals of wine fermentation will be included. Then, take a 15-minute drive past the orchards and vineyards of Esk Valley, arriving at Linden Estate. Linden produces only 60,000 bottles of wine split between 13 different varietals. This will be a seated tasting with a complimentary cheese board of New Zealand cheeses. Afterwards, you'll travel back to Napier, arriving back at your lodgings or pick-up point around 5:30 PM.

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Napier Prison Self-Guided Audio Tour

4. Napier Prison Self-Guided Audio Tour

Download an exciting MP3 Self-Guided Audio Tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area. This fascinating and raw tour of New Zealand's oldest prison will take you on a historic journey through the undulating corridors which survived the 1931 Napier Earthquake. The corridors are twisted and walls misshapen. You will learn about some of the most terrifying prisoners, including Drug Barons and Mass murderers, and an infamous "Eye Eater". Check out the graffiti on the prisoner's bed bases and hear how toothpaste had multiple uses for incarcerated criminals. This tour shows how they lived behind the huge Kauri doors and how some of them died. You will hear tales about villains, victims and heroes, and wander around the old complex while viewing the Pound (solitary and padded cell area), Mess Hall, Remand Hallway, Cell 6, Key Men and Trustees, Cages, The Dome, Women's Wing, Te Kooti, John Yalash, Ghosts, Garden, Terry Clark, Teresa Cormack, Graveyard, and the Hanging Yard with replica kitset gallows. Hear of the few escapes and view the open Shower Block which was not for the fainthearted. Only closed in 1993, the prison complex has been the site of many TV shows such as a 10 part brat camp, "Redemption Hill", and was featured on "Off the Rails", "Epitaph" and several news and documentary shows. Please note this is a downloadable self-guided audio tour, therefore you will have no physical tour guide leading you through your travels.

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Napier: Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting

5. Napier: Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting

Discover the best of Napier's culture and food scene on this full-day tour. Cruise through the world-famous Art Deco City and hear the tragic story of its destruction by earthquake in 1931 and the subsequent rebuilding of the city as the Art Deco Capital of the world. After pickup, visit Bluff Hill Lookout and admire spectacular views of the surrounding area. Later, drive through the historic fishing port of Ahuriri and see the famous National Tobacco Company building. Continue past the breathtaking Art Deco houses in Napier's Marewa suburb before enjoying a wine tasting at New Zealand's oldest working winery. You will also have the opportunity to sample other regional specialties during your tour, such as fine chocolates at the Silky Oak Chocolate Company and manuka honey at the largest beekeeping business in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, watch live bees at work and learn all about the honey production process at the visitor center. Stop for lunch at Birdwoods Gallery where you can sample local wines and beers, admire artworks in the gallery, visit a traditional-style sweet shop or wander through a beautiful sculpture garden. Complete your tour with a visit to the iconic Te Mata Peak before getting dropped off back at your starting point.

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Napier: Cruise Ship Shore Excursion

6. Napier: Cruise Ship Shore Excursion

After meeting with your local guide at the Napier Aquarium on Marine Parade, your guided shore excursion will begin. Throughout your tour, you will view Napier's Art-Deco city center from a high-roof, tall and windowed mini bus. You will first stop and photograph your ship from the Bluff Hill lookout, before viewing the 14 square kilometers of land reclaimed after the 1931 earthquake from the terrace of your guide's house. You will then visit the Grand Mission complex, which was established in 1851. Afterwards, there will be time to buy chocolates at Silky Oak Chocolates, before you view the historic and picturesque Esk Valley Memorial Church. You will then take in the grand panorama from the top of the Seafield Farms private road, before finally enjoying a complimentary cheese board with a glass of wine amongst the vines at your guide's private vineyard venue. Your tour will then conclude as you return to the cruise ship transfer station.

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From Napier: Cape Coast Winery Bike Ride

7. From Napier: Cape Coast Winery Bike Ride

Start off with pickup from your accommodation in Napier City or Havelock North, or make your own way to meet at your host at the shop in Ahuriri, Napier to pick up with your bikes. Then, take a shuttle to the start of your cycling adventure at the Black Barn winery. Te Mata Estate and Akarangi are very close by, so you can start your wine tasting early. With your first winery visits under your belt, cycle for another 3 kilometers to reach Craggy vineyard and see for yourself why the winery was voted Best Winery in Australia. From here, enjoy a 16-kilometer bike ride on the limestone cycle trail following the Tuki Tuki River, to the coastal communities of Haumoana and Te Awanga. Admire stunning views as you cycle the raised stop-bank trail and look out over orchards, vineyards and farmlands. Reaching the coast, be ready to taste some more fine wine at Elephant Hill, Clearview Estate, and Te Awanga Estate. If a local lunch is on your wish-list, your host will also be happy to assist with reservations at Clearview Estate. Te Awanga also offer the best pizzas in Hawke’s Bay and you can sit outside on their green lawn. At the end of the day, you will be collected and transferred back to Ahuriri or your accommodation.

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Hawke's Bay Half-Day Food and Drink Tour by Vintage Car

8. Hawke's Bay Half-Day Food and Drink Tour by Vintage Car

Escape the Art Deco city of Napier and embark on a scenic drive through the countryside of the Hawke's Bay Region by vintage car. Recreate a more decadent age for travel as you are chauffeured to some of the best wineries in the area.  Turn heads in your elegant vehicle as you enjoy a private tour tailored for you. See and do what you like, and relax safe in the knowledge that your itinerary was customized especially to suit your interests and desires. Take in the breathtaking views as you drive through the countryside and visit local vineyards to sample fantastic wines, ales and ciders. Indulge your sweet tooth with some freshly made chocolates, and enjoy a platter of the finest local produce available along the way.

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Napier Art Deco Guided Walk

9. Napier Art Deco Guided Walk

Enjoy the beautiful Art Deco architecture that Napier has to offer and learn about the devastating earthquake that destroyed the city. Your tour will be taken by a volunteer guide, who is professionally trained and will tell you stories of life that was, as well as life as it is now. Watch a 20-minute film about the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake and gain a historical perspective on Napier before and after the earthquake.

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Napier: Self-Guided Earthquake Audio Tour

10. Napier: Self-Guided Earthquake Audio Tour

Learn about Napier’s worst earthquake, the worst in New Zealand in the past 100 years. The earthquake struck in February 1931 and destroyed and leveled most of the city’s buildings. As interesting as it is tragic, this is a memorable story. With a self-guided audio tour have more flexibility to experience it as you wish. Discover why the city is famous for its Art Deco style and learn about the functions of some of the buildings before and after the disaster. Learn about the fire which took hold shortly after the earthquake and ran rampant throughout the city, devastating the buildings that were still standing. Hear all about the temporary accommodation set up in Clive Square to accommodate those displaced by this disastrous event. Included in the tour are the stories of Napier Banks, the tram network, the Municipal Theatre, the Public Trust Building, the reporting of the quake, and the rebuilding and new land. Hear accounts from earthquake survivors Edward Waaka and Theresa Foley. See the Market Reserve Building, St John's Cathedral, the County Hotel, the Conservation Building with the Marine Parade Buildings, the iconic Masonic Hotel, and the HMS Veronica. 

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What people are saying about Napier

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 167 reviews

My husband and I had a lot of fun on the wine tour. We got to see a bit of Napier as we toured around to each winery, and a good choice of wineries and the hosts at each stop were very informative. Also a great group of people on the tour as well and our tour guide Ross was excellent.

Must visit place in Napier. Good choice and excellent guidance by David. A very safe drive throughout. Nice site seings.

Amazing experience. The guide Tony was knowledgeable and entertaining. The gannets were majestic and hypnotic.

Ross was very informative and both my husband and I had a great afternoon.

Loved it. Loved we could go at our own pace and self guide’s