Where We Be
|Napier & Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Napier. We spent several hours walking Napier's main
streets, enjoying the symmetrical buildings and the
confectionery colors constructed in the Art Deco style.
The eye-catching buildings were built back in the 1930s
after a severe earthquake leveled most of the existing
structures. Now the downtown is filled with pastel trim,
rectangular windows with half-moon tops, pink high-
lights, and the like. If it were just one building it might
not amount to much, but when the whole downtown is
done up in Art Deco style, it’s something worth seeing.
Honey Tasting. At the Arataki Honey Store, we tried a
dozen different types of honey. Now we know we
particularly love borage honey. We learned that New
Zealanders are the biggest honey eaters in the world
(88% of Kiwis eat honey at least once a week).
Wine Tasting. Mission Estate Winery in Napier is the
oldest in New Zealand (1850). The friars who planted the
first vines had some pretty significant setbacks to
overcome. the friars’ boat drifted off course and they
mistakenly planted their first vines in Poverty Bay (near
Gisborne), only to be told they were in the wrong locale
and that they would have to uproot themselves to
Hawkes Bay. Later on, a series of disasters, including a
flood, a fire, and two earthquakes, broke nearly every
cask and bottle of wine stored by the friars. It makes
you wonder if Someone was trying to tell them
something! But they persisted and are now one of the
largest and most successful wineries in New Zealand.
Possums. We couldn’t resist popping into a kitschy
store in Napier called Opossum World, which carries
virtually every kind of product you can make out of
possum fur—hats, gloves, slippers, sweaters, rugs,
stuffed animals. Robin tried on a Fargo-like possum hat
that will undoubtedly be the next big fashion statement.
Hawkes Bay. After three days in Napier, we drove to the
small town of Morere further up the coast of Hawkes
Bay and spent three quiet days relaxing, enjoying the
hot springs, and taking local scenic drives. Morere is
really out there in the middle of nowhere; I think we
found the most isolated spot on the North Island.
|Classic Art Deco hotel in Napier
|Art Deco buildings abound in Napier
|We enjoyed wine tasting at this stable turned wine cellar
|Mission Estate Winery, oldest in New Zealand
|Elegant grounds at the Mission Estate Winery
|We bought sweets at this old-fashioned candy shop in Napier
|Thinking of trading up from the White Wizard!
|Kiwi made of possum fur (ironic since possums destroy kiwi habitat)
|We loved seeing this wild hedgehog up close
|We bought several gourmet items from this
woman's store and she threw in a free eggplant!
|Our first honey tasting at Arataki Honey Store
|The rugged coastline of Hawkes Bay
|Our self-contained little cabin in Morere
|Scenic drive near the town of Morere in Hawkes Bay
|Feathery grass grows wild on the hillsides here
|Lovely view along the Mahia Peninsula
|Possum pate warmers, the next big thing in fashion