Day 6 – Napier

Sorry this post is late, but we experienced some internet maintenance when I was ready to upload.

We spent today in Napier, New Zealand.  This quaint little town was destroyed by a 7.9 earthquake in 1931, in which the epic center was shallow and right under the town.  There was no building code for earthquakes back in 1930’s, so most of the town was leveled.  There were fires after the quake as well, which finished whatever the earthquake didn’t take.  More than 250 people were killed, many struck by falling building ornaments and gargoyles.  When they rebuild, the two styles being used were Spanish Mission and Art Deco.  You can see each being used in the buildings.   This coming weekend, they are having an art deco celebration. Napier - art deco just a small section of Gladstone street.

It looked to me like they had already started, with people dressing the part. Napier - dress up

Napier art deco sign

Napier plate in sidewalk

A placque in the street.

Our ship was created with a number of antique cars and the drivers all dressed in period garb. Napier Antigue Cars at pier

Napier antigue cars-2

What you are seeing behind them is lumber before it is shipped out.  New Zealand is a great place for growing trees.  California Monterey Pine reaches maturity in about 25 years so it can be harvested in a relatively short time.

Napier - antique car

This gentleman and his car seemed to be everywhere.

Carol walked around the town checking into the various gardens, fountains and statues.

Napier Pania - of the reef

Pania Of the Reef.

One thing we have noticed is the number of gardens in New Zealand.  There are botanical gardens in every town we have visited and most of the homes have wonderful  flower gardens, which are all kept up very well.  It makes for a very colorful view.

Napier flower Napier Flower-3

Carol also spotted this train which took people from our ship to a Train Ride Tour.  Napier Hawkes Bay Express

I took a tour to Cape Kidnapper to see the largest Garnett nesting on  mainland.  There are other large Gannet nesting sites but they are on islands.  There are over 20,000 gannets on a couple of flat-topped areas, of which I saw about 5 of them.   Gannets are members of the Booby family.

Napier - Gannett and baby parent and baby.Napier - Gannett Napier - Gannett landing-2

A landing……Gannets like the Boobies do not do it very well, They raise their feet up so to land on their heels, and then fall forward, smacking their chest and face into the ground.  Too bad none landing right in front of us.  I had the colony between them and me so I could not capture the landing.

It was a lovely drive through the countryside to Cape Kidnapper and I saw more antique cars.

Napier - driving down the road  This location was named by Captain Cook after the local tribes tried and failed to kidnap his trusted Tahitian interpreter.  Hawks Bay is next to Cape Kidnappers.  The location of the Gannet colony is on private lands, owned by an American billionaire.  There is a resort and golf course built back on the property, that we drove by on our way back to site.  Our driver Pete, of the Gannet Safari Overland LTD, was providing us with information regarding New Zealand, as well as the Napier area.  He treated it as a conversation, so we could ask questions so it was not a lecture. Napier - Cape Kidnapper – the scene from the Gannet colony.

As we returned towards the ship, he allowed some of the people in our bus off by the I-site (New Zealand’s information center) and then he was so helpful, he drove us on a couple of the main streets so we could see the art deco buildings, before taking us back to our ship.

For those people who like wineries – Napier has about 20 wineries within a short distance.

Since this is an art deco town – here is a display on our ship – done up a bit.   Music on ship

Now, I was asked if I would put up a map of our itinerary – I just pulled this down – hope it helps..

nz cruise itin