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My daughter and I will be in Napier in December and I’m wondering what the ins and outs are as it is a working port. 


I understand there is a shuttle - does anyone know how much it is and where it stops?

And has anyone done their own walking tour (self guided)?


If you have any other Napier hints and tips, I’d love to hear them!

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I don't remember about the shuttle, sorry.


We did the guided walking tour with the Napier Historical Society (or a similar name).  I enjoyed it very much.  I remember they had maps for self guided walking tours at the museum.  Well worth watching the short film about the earthquake and reconstruction.

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I'm fairly certain the shuttle was free and it stopped at the iSite Information Centre on the Esplanade, which is across the road from the main street of the town. You can get the maps for the self guided walking tours at the iSite and there will be plenty of helpers there to advise you.


BTW make sure you take original photo id ashore with you (drivers licence or passport). The Napier port authorities don't like passport photocopies. They pulled one couple off the bus at the port entrance for "further processing" when we were there last year.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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Thanks Swissmiss and OzKiwi. 

Sounds like we will be able to get ourselves into town and do our own tour without too much trouble. 

And thanks for the tip about acceptable ID, we’ll make sure we’re organised!

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There is no charge for the shuttle from ship side to the Information centre, but make sure you take government issued ID with you as security staff will check all ID's before re entering the port area. 

On several occasions we have seen folk removed from  the shuttle at the port gate for "further processing" and returned to the ship in the security van.

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I'm going to copy and paste my "notes" from my friend who lives in Napier and from another friend who's done the cruise itinerary 3x.  Some of the items on the list may be a duplicate.


See Bluff Hill lookout, Mission Winery.

Art Deco Walking or Vintage Car Tours

Port - free 3 minute shuttle drive to the city centre.  Working port, no walking from ship thru port, take cruise shuttle to iSite Info Center on the Marine Parade.

Art Deco heritage

1931 Napier was destroyed by a 7.8 mag earthquake and fire which burnt what remained.  City was rebuilt in the Spanish Mission style / Art Deco of geometric shapes, zigzag patterns, ornate plasterwork and pastel colours.

Massive weeklong celebration with loads of events in February.

Also known for Wine Production and Horticultural and Agricultural products.

Waterfront bike ride.  Along Marine Parade about halfway between iSite and Port is Fish Bike Hire for $15 an hour.  Path along seafront passing War Memorial, Sound Shell, Viewing Platform, Sunken Gardens, Pania of the Reef, Spirit of Napier Statute and Aquarium.

Wineries, biking, boat to Hawke’s Bay or just stroll off ship and find something.


Art Deco Walking Tour Options are:

Self guide tour through town.  Download app $5.99 NZ.  Walk takes 60-100 minutes depending on the pace.  (1.5km)

Guided walking tours @ 10am or 11am.  $24 NZ.  Takes 1.5 hours and starts at the Art Deco Centre (across from the iSite) beginning with 20 min film bout the Day that changed the Bay. 


Vintage Car Tour:  Mini tour of Art Deco highlights in a Vintage Car.

45 minutes $125NZ (max 4)

75 minutes $210NZ (max 4)

Hooters Vintage Car Tour:


Deco City Tour 60 mins $180NZ (max 4)

Vintage Bus Tour:

1930 Ford Model AA bus $45 NZ per adult

60 minutes City Tour Daily at 11 am from iSite


Replica Vintage Train The Hawke’s Bay Express – one hour tour.  Must be booked thru Cruise Excursion.  Check price and info.


The Art Deco Center opens at 9 am.

The Art Deco Shop

The MTG (local museum) with basic Maori settler exhibition, earthquake history etc (free entry)

Bluff Hill lookout (view over the Bay and Port)

Mission Winery (vineyard and lovely winery building) founded in 1851, NZ’s oldest winery founded by French Marist missionaries.

Clifton, Hawkes Bay

Overland (hilltop) access available to see Gannets

Cape Kidnappers, which has a gannet colony.  Has great scenery.

Beach entry via tractor/trailer is closed after recent massive landslide.

Overland entry is available but departs at 9:30 am and takes 3 hours.  Book thru the cruise to be sure to return in time.

March is when gannets start migrating.  Great scenery but a bit smelly with all the birds.

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