Sunday, February 4, 2018

2018 Grand World Voyage, Day 31, Napier, New Zealand (Part 1 of 2)

We arrived in Napier with no firm plans on what we would do for the day...  One thing is certain about traveling around New Zealand, no matter where you go the scenery is magnificent!  Ann, Cathy and I played it by ear and took the shuttle to the Tourist Information Center...we booked a 4 hour private car and tour with Executive Wheels. Our first stop was just outside of Napier, at Waitangi Park to see the Star Compass, a celestial navigation technique. Following the Hawkes Bay coastline, we passed Clive and arrived at Clifton Station on our way to towards Cape Kidnappers...unfortunately the road to Cape Kidnappers was closed to traffic and we were unable to go to the Gannet Colony. From Clifton Bay, we drove through the countryside of the beautiful Tuki Tuki Valley and drove to the summit of Te Mata Peak where we had a magnificent panoramic view over the Heretaunga Plains and Hawkes Bay...the region’s rivers, coast, towns, orchards, gardens and vineyards are stunning from this viewing position. Making our way back to downtown Napier we stopped at the Otatara Pa Maori Historic Reserve, beautiful Mission Winery, Western Hills Earthquake Cemetery, Ahuriri Fishing Village and Estuary...the wall art was incredible, Bluff Hill Lookout overlooking Hawkes Bay, Old Napier Prison, the most photographed Art Deco building in Napier, the National Tobacco Company Limited. After the devastating earth quake of 1931, Napier was reconstructed...being the Art Deco period, the buildings were completed in the period style and hence Napier is known as the Art Deco Capitol of world...Ben, our driver, returned us to the center of Napier and we strolled through the downtown core directing our attention at the period architecture. It was a picture perfect weather and we had a great day exploring despite our disappointment at missing the Gannet Colony...on our return to the ship we were greeted by a Dixieland band and local residents in period costumes along with their classic cars...Napier certainly knows how to accommodate visitors!...  The scenery in New Zealand is just breathtaking!  Looking forward to our sea day tomorrow.



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