Self Drive Napier & Hastings | Avis Car Rental

Napier & Hastings Self Drive Holiday

Napier is famous as an Art Deco city and holds world heritage status for the beautifully preserved buildings that were built there following the devastating 1931 Napier Earthquake. But that is not to say that this is a city held in the past. Napier and her 'twin' Bay City, Hastings, are the centre for thriving wine, pip- and stone-fruit and cultural industries. Come for the architecture, the wine, the sunshine and the sheltered East Coast climate, but stay for the people, food and fun to be had.





Milk & Honey Café

Ahuriri was Napier's historic seaside port right up to the 1931 quake. Often overlooked, it's now bustling with new cafes, quirky shops, its own heritage trail and local artists selling their wares. Milk and Honey is one of the superb cafes to start a daytrip in Napier at. Only five minutes north of the CBD with plentiful parking.

Crown Hotel Website


Art Deco Guided Walking Tour

256 people died in the 1931 earthquake, many due to falling debris from architecture. The 7.8 Richter event and following fire meant that Napier had to rebuild nearly the entire city centre. In the depths of the depression and on the back of tragedy, the inexpensive and optimistic Art Deco style was enthusiastically embraced. Take a tour put on by the Art Deco trust. They will walk you through the Maori motifs, international influences and significant examples that abound.

Art Deco Website


Drive to Hastings & Havelock North

The next stop must be a trip to the Bay Twin, Hastings. 18km inland from Napier, it is actually the larger of the two cities, with thriving shopping, eating and retail. Head to one of the many boutiques serving the affluent visitors and wine growers, and pick up a special cheese or chutney as a culinary reminder of your visit.


Craggy Range Winery / Dinner at Terroir Restaurant

Havelock North is a great staging post for the vineyards of Hawkes Bay. Perhaps the best to start with is Craggy Range. They are in a prime location - right against landmark Mountain Te Mata - and have vineyards at the significant Hawkes Bay regions of Gimblett Gravels and Cape Kidnappers. Their restaurant, Terroir, consistently wins awards and fans and all it comes together to offer an experience unsurpassed in New Zealand wine.

Craggy Range Website



Winery Bike Tours

Hawkes Bay wineries are amongst the best in the world. The combination of scenery, skill and quality means that you may wish to stop at quite a few and it may be an idea to organise accommodation and alternate travel methods. Time to get on 'yer bike! The On 'Yer Bike winery tours are a local institution. You can set your own path and pace to the pick of the producers and in a fun afternoon sample a few different drops. You can purchase wines as you go and have them delivered to you at the end. Recommended as a lovely way to get out amongst the vines and under the sky, all levels of fitness are accommodated for in this flat terrain area. Definitely a trip that you'd best set the better part of a day away for.

On Yer Bike Website


The National Aquarium

Here, just handily on Marine Parade, you can see the largest collection of marine animals and native wildlife in the country. There's Kiwi and Tuatara so you can get acquainted with New Zealand's unique emblems - reason enough to visit before we even get to the aquatic side of things! This is an immersive experience. Visitors get to go on travelators beneath the aquarium so as to feel as if inside the ocean. If that isn't real enough for you they have another special attraction, the chance to actually swim with the sharks. While you don't have to be a diver to take this offer up, you will have to be rather brave.

National Aquarium Website


Golf at Cape Kidnappers

If you are interested in the luxurious side of life a stay at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers may be in order. This is a property owned by the wealthy American businessman and philanthropist Julian Robertson. It boasts a world-class golf course - one of the Top 50 in the world according to Golf Magazine - a spa, fine dining and the kind of facilities that a billionaire might appreciate. While there, be sure to visit the Gannet Colony, the largest accessible mainland colony in the world and a fitting, yet different kind of spectacular. Located approximately half an hour's, slightly southeast, drive from Napier.

Cape Kidnappers Website



Mission Estate Winery

In what is fast becoming a New Zealand institution that has spawned many imitators, the Mission concerts have seen international stars such as Sting, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton come and play to large crowds. Around 25,000 people head to this summer staple. It's the perfect day out for people that enjoyed the greats the first time round, and while still wanting to rock n' roll now enjoy to do so in a vineyard rather than a bar.

Mission Estate Website


The World's Longest Place Name

Here's one place you might like to visit simply for the photo you can get in front of the longest place name in the world: Taumata-whakatangi-hangakoauau-o-tamatea-turi-pukakapiki-maunga-horo-nuku-pokai-whenua-kitanatahu. This tells the story of a revered ancestor of local Maori, Taumata Pokai Whenua. The legend runs that he was a large man that lost his brother during a battle nearby. He stayed in the region after to play his lament upon his flute. And so the hill was named thus in his memory: "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as 'land-eater', played his flute to his loved one." If you're wondering how the locals pronounce it the answer is they usually don't. They know it as Taumata Hill. Travel roughly one hour from the centre of Napier. Take State Highway 2 to Waipukurau and about 5km down Wimbledon Road you can find the sign for your photo opportunity.


Splash Planet

This is one for family fun that is open over summer. The park offers an array of slides to suit every level, from fearless teenager to sedate parent. With names like the Master Blaster, Sky Castle Screamer and Sky Tunnel you can be sure the kids will be happily entertained, and perhaps you might get to enjoy a quiet dip at the indoor heated pools. If you would prefer to stay dry they also offer mini golf, a sightseeing railway ride, formula fun racers and even beach volleyball. Located on Grove Road, Hastings.

Splash Planet Website



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