When the city was rebuilt, Art Deco was all the fashion and the inhabitants set about making their home a showcase of architectural design. Today, Napier boasts one of the finest concentrations of Art Deco style anywhere in the world.
David and I spent a week this year in a holiday cottage not far from Napier. We came to explore the Hawke's Bay cycle paths. Purely by chance our visit coincided with Napier's annual Art Deco Festival where the whole population dresses up and celebrates 1930's style. There are vintage car parades, fashion shows, street theatre, outdoor concerts and a Great Gatsby picnic. Next week, or maybe the week after, I will tell you about the cycling, but this week I'm going to let my camera do the talking and give you a glimpse of Art Deco in Napier.
|Napier has more than its fair share of vintage cars even outside the week of the festival.|
|It wasn't only the women who got into the spirit of dressing up. Men sporting boaters, braces and checks were everywhere.|
The next three photos are all from Hastings, a short drive from Napier. Hastings was destroyed by the same earthquake and also rebuilt predominantly in Art Deco style. There are more Art Deco buildings in Hastings than its famous neighbour, but Napier's Art Deco is concentrated in a small central area while the style is much more spread out in Hastings.
Don't you just love the fake sheep in the second photo. The third photo is a mural not far from the centre of Hastings. It makes me think of the rebuilding of the city - as if the structures were carried away and then just popped back into place once the danger had passed.
- The Art Deco Festival is on each year. Catch it in 2018 between 14 and 18 February.
- Don't worry if you aren't in Napier for the festival. While seeing the locals dressed up as though it is the 1930s is fun, the buildings are there all year round.
- There is also an Art Deco Celebration each winter. This year it is on from 14 to 16 July.
- You don't need a special tour to see the Art Deco, just walk around - you can't miss it.
- Hawke's Bay has some great leisure cycling trails. Hire a bicycle while you are there and cycle along the shorefront.
Other blog posts from our two weeks in New Zealand:
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