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How to Spend 3 Days in Napier

How to Spend 3 Days in Napier

Famous for its art deco architecture and surrounded by some of New Zealand’s best wine-producing land, Napier attracts travelers with wide-ranging interests. With three days, not only can you see all its highlights, you can also take in the wildlife of this coastal North Island town. Here’s how to spend three days in and around Napier. 

Day 1: Culture and History

In 1931, Napier was all but destroyed by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, and in the years that followed, the city was rebuilt largely in the art deco style fashionable at the time. Today this artistic heritage draws art and culture lovers to Napier, and a guided art deco–themed tour is the best way to cover the finest examples and learn about the city’s architectural heritage. Options include a walking tour led by an art historian, an e-bike tour that allows you to cover more ground quickly, or a private guided or self-guided tour in a vintage car, which will make you feel as though you’ve been transported back to the 1930s.

Day 2: Hawke’s Bay Wineries

New Zealand’s oldest wine-producing region, Hawke’s Bay has been cultivating grapes since the 1850s and now produces some of the best wine in the country. While the dozens of wineries here are most famous for merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah blends, the region also produces rich chardonnays. Explore Hawke’s Bay wineries on a guided tour for maximum convenience, or rent bicycles and cycle your way between the wineries for a more active day out. Be sure to stop for lunch at one of the many winery restaurants, which serve food that’s well-matched to the wines, for a full culinary experience.

Day 3: Go Bird-Watching

Located in a remote and sparsely populated part of New Zealand’s North Island, Napier is near epic coastal views and undisturbed birdlife. South of the city, Cape Kidnappers is the southern headland of Hawke’s Bay and site of the world’s largest Australasian gannet colony, breeding site of thousands of pairs of gannets. Access to the site, best visited between November and May, can require crossing private land, so many travelers opt to view the gannets as part of a guided tour. Cape Kidnappers also has a golf course with spectacular coastal views. 

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5 Tours and Activities

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Napier Gourmet Luncheon including Afternoon Wine Tour

Napier Gourmet Luncheon including Afternoon Wine Tour

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36
Travel with a small group to three or four separate wineries in Napier. This 6-hour tour introduces you to a range of varietals including a glass of wine and chef's platter lunch at the Mission Estate Winery, followed by Church Road Winery (during the winter season), Urban Winery including optional craft beer tasting. Finish with wine, cheese, and crackers out amongst the vines.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$131.47
From
$131.47

Full Day Small-Group Hawke's Bay Wine Tour

Full Day Small-Group Hawke's Bay Wine Tour

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57
Take a break from sightseeing and escape the city crowds on this small-group tour around a handful of Hawkes Bay wineries. Instead of going into each tasting blind and struggling through the jargon, get guidance and recommendations from your guide so you can get the most out of your day. You don’t need to worry about drawing the short straw and being your group’s sober driver, either—instead, get around Hawkes Bay in an air-conditioned minivan driven by your guide.
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  • 6 hours to 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$94.17
From
$94.17

Cape Winery Cycle Tour - 6 wineries, self-guided

Cape Winery Cycle Tour - 6 wineries, self-guided

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28
Biking is a great way to visit wineries and explore Hawke’s Bay. With this tour, explore more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) of scenic, bike-friendly paths at your own pace, stopping at some of the region’s finest wine producers along the way. Opt for an available wine purchase pick-up service, so you won’t have to lug bottles around on a bicycle.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$77.12
From
$77.12

Napier Half-Day Wine Beer and Cider Tour

Napier Half-Day Wine Beer and Cider Tour

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16
The Hawke's Bay wine region produces some of New Zealand’s most renowned wines, but it is also becoming known for its beers and ciders. This half-day tour lets you sample all three—visit New Zealand’s oldest winery and a boutique winery, sample a selection of red and white wines during guided tastings, then visit an ale house and cider house where you can taste the many different varieties.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$105.47
From
$105.47

Private Art Deco Guided Walks from Napier Art Deco Trust

Private Art Deco Guided Walks from Napier Art Deco Trust

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13
Ditch all the brochures telling you where to go and what to see – this walking tour is a great way to familiarize yourself with Napier city centre, while also hearing the stories behind some of the city’s iconic art deco architecture. Pick a time and a tour that best suits your interests and stroll around the city’s Art Deco Quarter with your guide on this private tour – if you’ve got questions, you won’t struggle to get them heard!
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.14
From
$30.14