Local Napier Attractions & Activities near
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Wine Lovers ...
Mission Estate Winery was New Zealand's first winery,
established in the Hawke's Bay in 1851 when French Catholic missionaries planted vines at the Mission Estate. Nestled in the Taradale Hills, visitors can enjoy sweeping views of Napier city and the coast beyond.
Visit the cellar door and enjoy a taste of their award-winning wines and a tour of their historic complex. Mission Estate is one of Hawke's Bay's largest winery attractions, with a well-respected reputation as a producer of consistently high quality wine. The upgraded seminary building is a unique location for the ever-popular Mission Estate Restaurant. Beautiful by day and spectacular by night, the restaurant is unparalleled in Hawke's Bay.
Today, some 25 wineries grace this region which boasts an average of 2245 hours of sunshine annually.
Bird Watchers ...
Bird lovers love Cape Kidnappers because it contains the most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. Gannets (members of the booby family) are usually island breeders but have made an exception at Cape Kidnappers.
Adult Australasian gannets have a wing span of up to two metres and a weigh around two kilograms. Whilst ungainly on land, gannets are graceful in flight and spectacular when diving into the sea to catch fish.
To walk to the Cape, leave you car at Clifton (21km south of Napier). The dramatic 8km walk takes about two hours and, as it follows the base of spectacular stratified cliffs, should be undertaken at low tide. The sea and wind have carved interesting shapes out of the soft sands and shingles of the cliffs. Alternatives to walking to the Cape include 4WD and tractor safaris. Gerard can advise. The best time to visit is from November (hatching) until February. Guided tours from October until April.
Te Mata Peak (399m)
According to Maori legend, Te Mata Peak (left) is the body of Maori chief, Te Mata O Rongokako, who had set out to woo a rival chief's daughter.
She set him many seemingly impossible tasks, which he accomplished with ease but, when she told him to eat his way through the hill, he choked on a large rock and dropped to the ground where he still lies today.
The Te Mata Peak Walkway (30-minutes drive south of Napier) will take you to a vantage point with views of the surrounding Heretaunga Plains, Hawke Bay, the towns of Havelock North, Hastings and Napier. Mt Ruapehu is visible on a clear day.
Allow an hour for the return walk but you can cheat and drive most of the way by car.