Introduction

The Napier of today – a charismatic, sunny, composed city with the air of an affluent English seaside resort – is the silver lining of the dark cloud that was the deadly 1931 earthquake. Rebuilt in the popular architectural styles of the time, the city retains a unique concentration of art-deco buildings. Don’t expect the Chrysler Building – Napier is resolutely low-rise – but you will find amazingly intact 1930s facades and streetscapes, which can provoke a Great Gatsby-esque swagger in the least romantic soul. Linger a while to discover some of regional New Zealand's best restaurants and also a few excellent wineries less visited than the bigger names around nearby Hastings and Havelock North.