The drive from Rotorua to Napier is interrupted by a compulsory stop in Lake Taupo. This huge beautiful lake has a lovely but touristy town centre with lots of chain style restaurants along the waterfront. We didn’t explore much as we wanted to get to Napier early afternoon.
We had a stop at the Huka Falls. Beautiful.
Napier is a mix of wharves and port and industrial and then the most lovely town centre by the sea.
It suffered a terrible earthquake in 1933 which devastated the city. Despite lack of money from insurance companies, the local people with the help and foresight of several business men, rebuilt the whole city – during the depression, and it was done in the most amazing Art Deco style. Power lines were even put underground to allow the street to show off the building design. It’s done in the distinct Art Deco styles. Classical revival, Stripped style, Spanish Mission and Prairie style. It also incorporates Maori Deco style motifs. To read more follow the links. https://www.artdeconapier.com/site/artdeconapier/ARCHITECTURAL%20STYLES.pdf
We arrived in Napier and it was in full flapper swing. The Art Deco long weekend was on. It was the last day and the Great Gatsby picnic had attracted a huge number of people. It was like walking into a movie set. Everyone dressed in the Art Deco , flapper Gatsby style. There were tents all through the park along the foreshore. As we walked along taking photos we passed magnificent cars – Bentley’s, Ford’s “Tin Lizzie”, Rolls, sedans and convertibles. Money on wheels. Some over 100years old. A large number of cars had been brought by their owners from England for the festival. They were in immaculate condition and the owners dressed to the nines.
We walked along the promenade and admired the high teas going on in the tents. We listened to the jazz bands then the navy band, the swing singer and the barber shop quartet. It was so much fun.
By 6 pm we were ready for a small wine and sat at the Art Deco style Masonic Hotel – and wished we were staying there. No wonder it was hard to book accomodation here. We hadn’t realised until recently it was their Art Deco Festival. It’s definitely worth visiting during this time. There are multiple parties, balls and functions to attend, vintage cars rides and everyone – young and old dress up.
The city was alive with colour, action and very friendly people.
And so out to dinner after a long walk along the waterfront. The sunset said it all …………. Magnificent.