Napier, New Zealand – A Deco Time Capsule

A nippy cool breeze cuts through the blue cardigan and caresses the skin as I stepped out of the vehicle in this town.

You may have to rug up a little bit when visiting this coastal town in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.  Having suffered New Zealand’s most deadliest earthquake of a magnitude of 7.8 on the 3rd February, 1931, Napier was the focus of a ‘depression era’ rebuild. Practically and necessity  did not rule the design altogether and many intricate Art Deco features of the time are captured in the buildings in the centre of town.

The Tobacco Company building was a combination of Art Deco with some Art Nouveau ornamentation

The Tobacco Company building is  a combination of Art Deco with some Art Nouveau ornamentation

Boutique shopping is plentiful in this captivating town and the locals have plenty of curiosities to share with their visitors. They really do cater for buyers of stylish decor.

Gaze upon the dome feature in the entrance to the National Tobacco Building. No wonder this is called the masterpiece of the town's jewels.

Gaze upon the dome feature in the entrance to the National Tobacco Building. No wonder this is called the masterpiece of the town’s jewels.

What I found interesting with the vibe of this town was that the spirits and energies weren’t about the horror of the death and destruction of the earthquake but about the energy and the positive attitudes in the rebuild. You can feel an undertone of sadness, or perhaps I should say respect and remembrance, but mainly the vibe is of a proud town.

The old fire station is beautiful with its arches and Art Deco features

The old fire station is beautiful with its arches and Art Deco features

Many of the old buildings have a story and these can be found out through a guided walking tour. In February each year they have a weekend of celebrations where everyone gets into the full swing of the Art Deco era.

Boutiques and major brand shops are housed in exquisite and sometimes such pleasant buildings

Boutiques and major brand shops are housed in exquisite and sometimes such pleasant buildings