The east coast of the North Island is not somewhere we had been before, so I was excited to visit somewhere totally new, somewhere that was famous for embracing it’s vintage style, thanks to the Art Deco rebuild following the 1931 earthquake, and for the amazing weather that helped make it one of the top wine regions in the world.
We stayed in the Stables Lodge, a cute converted stables (what a surprise) where each room opened out onto a sweet little courtyard with picnic tables. It was so nice to be able to eat outside, and it was just a block from the long beach.
With only a weekend to explore, we booked ourselves straight onto a wine tour. We went with Prinsy’s half day tour, which included visiting four wineries and Te Mata peak (and also happened to be the cheapest one – we’re still backpackers after all!). We were picked up from our hostel by the friendliest driver and tour guide (wish I had made a note of his name!) and were then joined by a rowdy group of expats and Aucklanders. Luckily they were as clueless about wine as we were and we had a fun afternoon trying out lots of new wines and finding some new favourites.
After far too much (not really, it was great!) wine, we headed up to the top of Te Mata peak to get some fresh air and admire the view. Rob did his weird little photo shuffle to get a photoshere at the top, and I just admired the crazy views, rippled hills one side, the Pacific ocean on the other.
Back in Napier, we spent our other day exploring the city’s quirky architecture, and wandering around the Aquarium – we do like a good fish zoo!
Spring in New Zealand is just a glorious time, and Napier is somewhere that we’d love to come back and enjoy a longer holiday at. For this trip though, it was time to head onwards to our final stop – our new home Wellington!