The pride of Napier is Marine Parade, a beautiful stretch of waterfront lined with stately Norfolk pines. Kennedy Road, the main thoroughfare, diagonally bisects the town. The fishing wharf suburb of Ahuriri, around Bluff Hill, is home to nice shops and restaurants. The best beach is Westshore Beach in Westshore Domain, part of the new-land legacy of the 1931 disaster.
Hastings lies 20 minutes south of Napier, and Havelock North is 5 minutes southeast of Hastings.
The Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre, 100 Marine Parade, Napier (tel. 0800/847-488 in NZ, or 06/834-1911; fax 06/835-7219; www.visitus.co.nz), is open daily 9am to 5pm (closed Dec 25), with extended hours from December 26 to March 31.
The Hastings i-SITE Visitor Centre, Russell Street South & Heretaunga Street East, Hastings (tel. 0800/427-846 in NZ, or 06/873-0080; fax 06/873-5529; www.visithastings.co.nz), is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm, with extended summer hours (closed Dec 25).
For a calendar of events in the area, check www.hawkesbaynz.com.
The Harvest Hawke's Bay Wine and Food Festival (tel. 0508/946-326; www.harvesthawkesbay.co.nz), during the first week of February, provides an opportunity to sample a wealth of food and wine in one location. The Art Deco Weekend, on the third weekend in February, draws up to 18,000 people for wining, dining, dancing, jazz, vintage cars, and special walks and tours. Most participants dress in 1920s and 1930s fashions. For details, contact the Art Deco Trust in Napier (tel. 06/835-0022; www.artdeconapier.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.