Four days ago I ran away. In the best sense possible. Packed up the car with a loose idea of a plan and drove with an idea that I’d like my first stop to be Napier.

This is a cunning plan. The Napier-Taupo road is one of my favourite roads. There are enough windy, interesting bits to keep me happy and arriving in Napier is like coming home. The bach where I stay when I want to “get away from it all” is a rudimentary little place about 45 minutes drive from the city. Only just having electricity, basic cooking facilities and a shower that is ‘interesting’ at best is compensated by room to roam and no cell phone coverage or wifi access. Its peaceful, quiet and I can actually relax without the world catching up with me. 

Then there is Napier city. Full of ramshackle Art Deco buildings, boutique shops and a coastline that would make anyone envious. On the impossible hunt for a pair of perfect shoes I covered Hastings and Napier (to no avail) and then recovered my senses going for a walk along the beach front at Ahuriri.

Seriously there is nothing better than an ice-cream too big to eat dripping down your fingers while you walk along the board walk looking out across the ocean while absolutely basking in the summer sun. 

A wander along the marine parade is another must do while visiting Napier and a great break from shopping. Visit the fountain, the statue of Pania as she looks out to the reef and walk through the gardens to the sound shell. There is also the Ocean Spa and the aquarium to visit. 

I didn’t dine out on this trip but I highly recommend “Off the Track” in Havelock North if you’re looking for a yummy dinner.


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