We’ve spent a lot of time in the van the past few days – seven hours to Picton one day then four hours on the ferry and four hours driving the next. This morning we just wanted not to be in the car. So we got up and drove three hours. Haha.
But we ended up in the beautiful town of Napier on the Pacific Ocean side of the North Island. Gorgeous little spot.
Normally we aren’t really attracted to cities. But this one is cool. Apparently in 1931 Napier was leveled by a devastating earthquake. When the townspeople rebuilt, the purposefully rebuilt the town in an Art Deco style. Today the draw to the town is this unique architectural style.
We skipped the historic architecture tour and instead opted for a self guided walk up to the beautiful residential area high above the city overlooking the ocean. The town has a similar feeling to San Fransisco, but also to Seattle’s Alki Beach or Queen Ann Hill.
We stumbled onto a lovely botanical gardens, a historic cemetery and a vintage girls high school – not to mention all the lovely houses. We walked back along the beach and enjoyed watching the locals out soaking up what is likely one of the final summer days here.
Weather looks good for tomorrow but then the forecast calls for rain for a week. We are following the forecast closely as we have options of what order we see things on the North Island, and some are more weather dependent than others.
So our North Island adventure is really just beginning. And what a beautiful place. I’m so glad we stopped to check out Napier.