NORWEGIAN JEWEL NEW ZEALAND CRUISE – THIRD PORT NAPIER
Day six of the cruise and we sailed into the port of Napier, calm seas, little wind and a bright sunny day.
Napier in Hawkes Bay is a coastal city located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Together with the nearby city of Hastings, these two are often referred to as the Twin Cities. One of the main reasons for this city’s success over the years is its seaport. Napier is the main city servicing the wine growing region of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine growing district. Today, the local activities and sights vary to suit different interests and keep visitors entertained.
Tip: Explore the Hawke’s Bay Cycleways and stop in at Bivvy Vineyard Café Now more than 200 kilometres of dedicated cycleway allows safe, scenic, fun-filled travelling at your own pace as you meander around our stunning region.
Tip: Swim with sharks at the National Aquarium of New Zealand Along Napier’s Marine Parade at the southern end sits the National Aquarium of New Zealand. As well as sea turtles, stingrays, crocodiles, piranha and all manner of other delightful aquatic life, this is the only place in the country where you can Swim With Sharks.
Napier oozes fun and adventure and a visit to the attractions of Marine Parade is a must. Marine Parade overlooks the Pacific Ocean and out towards Cape Kidnappers, home to the world’s largest mainland gannet colony. A full day can be taken visiting Ocean Spa hot pools swimming complex, the Hawke’s Bay Museum, the National Aquarium of New Zealand, or get splashed by the dolphins and seals at Marine-land of New Zealand.
There were plenty of cruisers heading out on the wineries in the region like the Craggy Range Winery, Mission Estate and Aquarium, Marine-land tours.
Tip: For extensive views of Hawke Bay, from Mahia in the north to Cape Kidnappers in the south and a close- up view of a working port visit Bluff Hill lookout.
Tip: Head up Te Mata Peak in the early morning. The view from the 399 metre high Te Mata Peak is rightfully hailed as the best in Hawke’s Bay. When you stand at the top by the trig you have 360 degrees views. If you’re in ‘the Bay’ in summer, try to get up there before 10am. The sun won’t be high in the sky yet and the heat haze, which can limit the clarity of the view later in the day, hasn’t developed
We again didn’t book any tours and jumped on the transfer bus to the central area of Napier CBD. Once we got our bearings we took a stroll up Bluff Mountain. There is no better place than Bluff Hill to get a good overview of Napier, Hawkes Bay and the surrounding coastal flatlands and shoreline. It’s possible to see from Mahia in the north to Cape Kidnappers in the south.
On our wanderings around Napier, Hawke’s Bay’s main settlement, I was delighted to see the frequent splash of colour adorning many walls.
From Bluff Mountain we checked out the city’s art deco highlights include Halsbury Chambers (1932), the T&G Buiilding (1936), Kidsons Building (1932), the Municipal Theatre (1938), Hotel Central (1932), Gaiety de Luxe Cinema, Daily Telegraph Building (1932), the Soundshell, the Hawkes Bay Chambers (1932), the Clocktower and the Masonic Hotel (1932).
Central Napier’s grid of streets means there is a walk-able range of boutique stores and larger national chains. Kim loved shopping in Hawke’s Bay which can be done either as a marathon or a sprint, with a number of shopping precincts to explore. We explored the streets either side of the railway lines within the Hastings CBD and headed to Havelock North, a village boasting diverse boutique shopping.
Once again we headed back to the ship before everyone came back from their tours to utilize the pool, bars and Kim checked out the gym. We spent the afternoon practicing our trivia. We both had a go at Last Person Standing Trivia and a bit of Goofy Golf.
Check out our time in Napier:
Night Time Entertainment was:
Showtime with Brenda Edwards in Concert.
Brenda Edwards present her own show, Soul from the West End. Having found fame on The X Factor, Brenda has carved out a hugely successful career as one of London’s most in demand leading ladies.