Hawke's Bay Tourism

Napier's West Quay - Ahuriri


Ahuriri – an exciting destination!

Just five minutes drive from Napier’s central business district you can discover an area steeped in history, but with a contemporary edge. New apartments sit alongside tiny old fishermen’s cottages, industrial warehouses and woolstores with distinctive saw-tooth rooflines.

Enjoy the area’s rich cultural heritage, walk the heritage trail and check out world class examples of Art Deco architecture along the way. You’ll discover a unique mix of places where you can buy artwork, indulge in some beauty therapy, buy ingredients for an Italian feast, post a letter and consult a lawyer, an accountant or other professional services now based in Ahuriri.

If you just want to relax, stroll around the estuary and enjoy the birdlife then wander along the seaside boardwalk, taking in the panoramic view of the the Pacific Ocean. Along the way you’ll see kids fishing, boats unloading their catch, walkers enjoying the invigorating sea air and plenty of smiling people simply enjoying the area. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Ahuriri Guide available now!

The 2013 Ahuriri Guide is hot off the press. Pick up your copy from Napier i-SITE, Hawke’s Bay Airport or at a local Ahuriri business. You can also click here to download a PDF of the guide.

Stories from the past

If you’d like to discover more about Ahuriri’s history, check out www.portstories.co.nz and listen to Ahuriri residents past and present share their stories about our special seaside village. You can also see historic photos, including people, buildings and objects from days gone by. Take a walk down memory lane now.


There’s so much to do in Ahuriri, whether you want to indulge in some retail therapy, a walk along the boardwalk or visit the historic Old Customhouse, you’ll find plenty of attractions to keep you entertained.

Globe Theatrette

A unique and opulent theatre located next to Milk & Honey Restaurant, Ahuriri. A modern and vibrant interior, the 45 seater boutique theatre …READ MORE…

The Old Customhouse

Built in 1895, this was the third Customhouse at Port Ahuriri, Napier. It was purchased and restored by the Napier Harbour Board in 1988. The Old …READ MORE…

Classic Sheepskins

Classic Sheepskins is a manufacturing Sheepskin tannery providing luxury practical sheepskin products to local and international markets. One of the …READ MORE…

Art Deco Trust

Established to encourage the retention, preservation and use of buildings in the Art Deco and related styles, the Art Deco Trust offers guided walks …READ MORE…

Tabard Theatre Costume Hire

Tabard Theatre Costume Hire offers a huge range of clothing for hire. As well as expansive Art Deco and medieval sections, costumes range from novelty …READ MORE…

Napier i-SITE

Our knowledgeable friendly consultants can help you with your travel, accommodation, tour and activity bookings – so all you need to do is relax and …READ MORE…

Art Deco Buses

Veronica and Belle are ready to invite their first passengers on board the new Deco City Discoverer service.

The two art deco styled buses have …READ MORE…

Takaro Trails Cycle Tours

Takaro Trails operate self-guided cycle tours, mountain biking packages and bike hire from their Ahuriri base.  Tours range in duration from a few …READ MORE…

Ahuriri Walks

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to wonderful walks in Ahuriri. Stroll along the waterfront boardwalk, take in the local heritage buildings, or …READ MORE…

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Napier's Marine Parade

Marine Parade Gardens

The story of these gardens began with the need to keep the sea from overtopping the beach and running down into the town.

A permanent sea wall was built in 1887-88 to replace an unsatisfactory wooden structure. The 'new' wall is still there - the low round-topped wall dividing the gardens from the Marine Parade footpath and roadway. Before the 1931 earthquake, the shingle beach came right up to this wall.

The tectonic plate movement which caused the earthquake raised the beachfront by two metres, resulting in a greatly enlarged area of shingle above high tide level.

Buried City

Appointed Government Commissioner to oversee Napier's restoration following the destructive earthquake, J S Barton asked Charles Corner, the superintendent of the city's parks and reserves, if rubble from downtown's shattered buildings could be used in beach reclamation. When Corner replied that it could, the commissioner said: "Get on with the job. If I am not satisfied, I will let you know." He must have be satisfied, because the stretch of beach from the Ocean Spa swimming complex to the Marine Parade children's playground south of Marineland was levelled using horse-drawn scoops and the rubble unloaded there covered with clay and soil.

Development 1932-39

Promoters of Napier as a seaside resort had a long-held vision for a European-style line of 'promenade gardens'. The way was now open to realise of these dreams. Although it was the time of the Great Depression and money was scarce, Government subsidised work relief provided labour for the venture.

Retaining walls along the beach enabled the gardens and lawns to occupy a long raised terrace that ran south to the Soundshell.

In 1936, a substantial concrete sea wall with a walkway on the top was built from the Soundshell south to Raffles Street. The beach build-up can be best seen by standing alongside the 'Tui' anchor, mounted on the Rotary Pathway near the Sunken Garden. In 1938, a flight of eleven concrete steps linked the walkway to the beach.

Originally the gardens were a long expanse of unbroken lawn, stretching from a children's playground beside a swimming pool at the foot of Bluff Hill south to the skating rink site. The Kirk Sundial was the first feature to grace the gardens. It was donated by the mayor Gisborne and designed by Louis Hay.

Thirty Thousand Club

The Thirty Thousand Club was formed in 1913 to promote the population of Napier up to 30,000. Over 62 years, this group of volunteers ran promotional events, raised funds and financially supported improvements to the township. They played an important role in the development of the Soundshell, Skating Ring and Colonnade (later known as the Veronica Sun Bay). A Thirty Thousand Club member, Tom Parker donated the Tom Parker Fountain, celebrated for its synchronised play of water jets and changing display of coloured lights. Also a member, A B Hurst and his wife donated the Floral Clock.

In 1954, the club donated the Pania of the Reef sculpture. Sited just south of the Tom Parker Fountain, it too has become a Napier icon. The statue made national headlines when, in 2005, it was stolen from its limestone rock base. It was recovered a fortnight later and re-set, in a much more secure fashion, onto the original base.

Gatsby Picnic

One of the biggest events to be staged in the gardens is the annual Great Gatsby Picnic. Held as part of Napier's Art Deco Weekend celebrations, the picnic attracts enthusiastic locals and visitors who dress in 1930s style to picnic, play, posture and parade on the long stretch of lawn.


Two hour parking is available along the garden frontage. Long stay car parks are located at the north of Marine Parade and south of the Sunken Garden.

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Te Mata Peak


Te Mata Peak

Te Mata Peak is at the western boundary of the wine-producing Heretaunga Plains and stands nearly 400 metres above sea level. From the summit of the peak you can enjoy panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru Ranges and Cape Kidnappers. The volcano Ruapehu, in the centre of Tongariro National Park, is also visible on a clear day.

The nature trails on Te Mata Peak are great for hikers and mountain bikers. It's an excellent cardio workout going up, but the huge views make the exertion totally worthwhile. Other hiking and biking trails in the Te Mata Trust Park lead through forest and along limestone valleys.

The Te Mata hillscape has an amazing story to tell: Many centuries ago the people living in pa (fortified villages) on the Heretaunga Plains were under constant threat of war from the coastal tribes of Waimarama. At a gathering in Pakipaki (near Hastings), a wise old woman (kuia) suggested that the leader of the Waimarama tribes, a giant named Te Mata, could be made to fall in love with Hinerakau - the daughter of a Pakipaki chief - and turn his thoughts from war to peace. This mission was quickly accomplished, and Te Mata fell under the spell of the beautifully Hinerakau.

However the people of Heretaunga had not forgotten the past and wanted revenge. They demanded that Hinerakau make Te Mata prove his devotion by accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks. His last task was to bite through the hills between the coast and the plains, so that people could come and go with greater ease.

Te Mata died while eating his way through the hills. His half-accomplished work can be seen in what is known as The Gap or Pari Karangaranga (echoing cliffs) and his prostrate body forms Te Mata Peak.

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