For our Easter holiday, we decided to visit Napier. “Napier’s lovely” they said. “It’s full of Art deco buildings”. So we popped down to our friendly neighbourhood car rental shop and got ourselves a RAV4.
There are two ways to get to Napier: go round the Rimutakas on State Highway 1, or go over the Rimutakas on State Highway 2. I was advised to take the latter route as SH1 would be packed with people going off to the West coast for their holiday break. Whilst I find the concept of Bank Holiday traffic jams in NZ somewhat laughable – I don’t think they have the concept of 20-mile tailbacks on the M4 – we nevertheless took their advice and went over the mountains – similar to the route we took out to Castlepoint and Martinborough. It’s about twice the distance at 325 km from
, and what with stops for lunch and coffee, it took us over 5 hours to get there. Wellington
We arrived in Napier in the late afternoon and, after checking in to our accommodation, immediately set off into the centre of town to look around in the remaining sunlight. “It’s quiet, Sarge”, I remarked. “Yeah…too quiet. It’s a trap!” Well, it wasn’t, but all the shops were shut for Good Friday. They take their religious observance seriously here…at least, the law forces retailers to do so. We had a quick look around and took some pictures of the Art Deco buildings.
We found somewhere for dinner at Estuarys Restaurant, and then headed back to our hut for an early night.