Saturday, 15 October 2011

NZ: Napier - Art Deco Capital

Art Deco in New Zealand?  Yes, thanks to a massive earthquake which destroyed most of the buildings in 1931, central Napier was almost completely rebuilt in the style of the day, Art Deco.  We took a detour to Napier just to see this - of course, the famous wineries in the Hawkes' Bay area were additional enticements.  We arrived in time for the afternoon guided walking tour from the Art Deco Centre and was introduced by a knowledgeable docent to a dozen of the 140 buildings from the period.  Most of the art deco architecture we had seen before were in northern climes, Cuba being the exception.  We found this "Art Deco Capital" quite unusual against the backdrop of palm trees and a Mediterranean climate.

The renovated Devon House foyer
One of the most important buildings:  the Napier Municipal Theatre

Fixtures and art inside the Theatre

A number of shops had kept the art glass above their display windows

An Art  Deco church is also uncommon

And finally, wrapping up the day at the Mission Estate Winery restaurant, we had one of the best meals on the trip!

The juiciest, tastiest lamb ever!

Melt-in-your mouth truffle cake

Stunning view of the vineyard and Napier in the distance


  1. Thanks so much for this, Catherine. I love the Art Deco style and dream of visiting Napier one day. Your photos are great. The Art Deco church is particularly interesting - never seen that before. Sounds like it was a perfect day.


  2. Thanks, Sandra. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes, it was a perfect sort of day, it's funny how a good meal at the end really helped wrap it up. You can probably tell I'm an Art Deco fan too - should show you my other photos of the Art Deco style some day.