Topics include Things to Do, Dining Scene & more!
Te Pania Hotel is very handy, especially for short stays. It’s right on Marine Parade, a short walk from town and across the road from the beach and the Ocean Spa pool complex. Enjoy a nice evening or early morning stroll along the boardwalk that takes you for miles along the Parade past all the sights and attractions. Another place, among many others, is McHardy Lodge on Napier Hill - it is pure luxury - an 1890s villa now beautifully restored with great character. If you want to stay a little outside the town Esk Valley Lodge is in a valley about 10 minutes north. It is a vineyard and orchard area with great views and fantastic organic breakfasts. The Old Church Villa down in Meeanee Road is a great place to visit. The Old Presbytry was transformed into a luxury accommodation that will pamper you and your guest.
oh boy, there are many good restaurants in the Napier/Hastings area, one of the best places to check out is West Quay in Ahuriri (otherwise known as the Iron Pot to locals- used to be a whaling station many moons ago) Check out the eateries along this strip, some of them are also the “in” bars at the moment so you can stay ‘til late and enjoy yourself. Ahuriri is located around Bluff Hill from town maybe 5 min taxi ride from the hotel, a bit far to walk though. McHardy Lodge looks out over this side of the hill and is also about a 5 min ride away. If you're looking for a find dining restaurant, visit The Old Church Restaurant and Bar. You'll find beautiful ambience, great food, friendly and chatty staffs.
again there are dozens and dozens of wineries all over the Bay - good close ones to visit are in the Taradale area, about 10-15mins away. The Mission Estate & Church Road Winery (has a good restaurant for lunch) They are both in Church Road. Sacred Hill is just out the back of Taradale, a nice country drive following the river back into the hills.
If you want to go further afield (outskirts of Hastings) these two are fab up market wineries; Craggy Range & Sileni Estates. There are lots more very nice wineries, you would need a month of Sundays to visit and enjoy every one!
Napier is the art deco capital of the world - there are guided and self-guided walks and drives around town showing you examples of the beautiful architecture. If you will be there in mid-February, check out Art Deco Weekend - a wonderful week of art deco celebrations. Everyone dresses up in 1930s styles and there are many functions and events. You really will feel out of place if you are not dressed up, even just walking the streets, everyone gets into the swing of things and the atmosphere is amazing. If anyone is thinking about this or will be there around this time, book accommodations well in advance.
The National Aquarium along Marine Parade is a good place to visit. If you’re visiting between Oct & May the Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers is a wonderful fun trip to do. A tractor ride along the beach and a very steep climb at the end takes you to the world’s largest accessible mainland colony. This trip is an iconic Kiwi adventure, great fun for everyone! Nearby is Te Mata peak. You can drive right to the top and the view over valleys and the plains is amazing.
Every Saturday morning from November to April the Village Growers Market is held in Black Barn Road in Havelock North. A lovely setting in a vineyard with lots of local produce, fresh baked bread, honey, pickles, olives, meat, flowers. A ”must do” for locals and visitors alike! Also a favorite of locals is Rush Munroe Icecreams in Hastings.