I have spent 3 days in Napier aka the Art Deco city of New Zealand. The verdict– I am afraid this wasn’t one for me, but it could be for you!
Napier is beautiful because of man, as opposed to the rest of New Zealand I have seen which is due to nature. Devastated by an earthquake in the 1930’s the city was rebuilt in 1930’s reflecting the Art Deco movement.
The town feels like it has come straight out of a 1930’s beach postcard; with its white docks, black beaches and Art Deco beach front.
Why go? because you are into beautiful architecture, wine tours and/or the Art Deco movement. There are a number of tours that operate, wining tasting at vineyards and lovely restaurants on the beach front (try the Mint).
Why not go? If you want activities and nature Napier isn’t for you. I have loved hiking, rafting, kayaking and mountain biking in New Zealand, this city has none of it. I tell a small lie the city has great paths for cycling, however the views are mixed between ugly factories etc but also some picturesque vineyards.
A final thought–if you are staying in hostels avoid the YHA the atmosphere is dead, try Kiwi Keith’s they were having a great time.