On the run from the law? Assuage your guilt with a tour of the grim 1862 Napier Prison (the oldest in NZ) on the hill behind the town. There's a self-guided audio set-up, available in 16 languages, plus occasional guided tours ($25 per person) and spooky adults-only night tours ($25).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Napier attractions

1. Centennial Gardens

0.05 MILES

Whoa! A massive waterfall right in the middle of Napier! There may be an artificial pump system in play, but we don't mind – it's still an impressive…

2. Tom Parker Fountain


A 1936 art-deco fountain named after a local gentlemen's outfitter of the day. Best viewed at night when it's flamboyantly lit.

3. Pania of the Reef


A bronze statue of the sea-dwelling Pania, whose tale is long and heartbreaking – ask a local to regale you with her story or read the statue's plaque.

4. Marine Parade

0.34 MILES

Napier's elegant seaside avenue is lined with huge Norfolk Island pines, and dotted with motels and charming timber villas. Along its length are parks,…

5. Bluff Hill Lookout

0.35 MILES

The convoluted route to the top of Bluff Hill (102m) goes up and down like an elevator on speed (best to drive), but rewards intrepid mountaineers with…

6. MTG Hawke’s Bay

0.37 MILES

The beating cultural heart of Napier is the smart-looking MTG – a gleaming-white museum-theatre-gallery space by the water. The MTG showcases live…

7. Daily Telegraph Building

0.41 MILES

The Daily Telegraph is one of the stars of Napier's art-deco show, with superb zigzags, fountain shapes and a symmetrically patterned facade. If the front…

8. Sunken Gardens

0.55 MILES

An interesting historic curio (1969) along Napier's waterfront promenade with tidy floral arrangements set into the ground below street level. A pretty…