Napier, built in a distinctive art deco style, adjoins Hastings, the region’s agricultural service hub.
Hawke’s Bay is a large area surrounding a bay around 100 km / 60 miles long on the south-eastern side of the North Island. About 73,000 people live in the Hastings district, and 57,000 in the ‘twin’ city of Napier about 18 km / 11 miles away.
It’s about 5½ hours’ drive from Auckland to Napier or 4½ hours from Wellington.
For years, Hawke’s Bay (particularly the Hastings District) was known as ‘New Zealand’s fruit bowl’ for its stone and pip fruit production. More recently, land use has diversified, especially into viticulture.
A strong earthquake in 1931 destroyed many buildings in Hastings and particularly Napier. Rebuilt in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission architectural styles in vogue at that time, their unique character still draws enthusiasts from around the world.