Art Deco

Napier is world famous for its Art Deco heritage, the jewel in our city’s crown. After being levelled by an earthquake in February 1931, Napier was rebuilt in just two years and is now the home to a unique collection of buildings in the contemporary styles of the times: Art Deco and Spanish Mission.

Our top 5 Art Deco must-dos:

Let your feet do the walking: stroll the city and discover Art Deco delights.

  • The beautiful salmon-hued Soundshell on Marine Parade.
  • The Tom Parker Fountain, also on Marine Parade has been showing off its colourful light display since it first burst into life in 1936.
  • A place where Maori design meets Art Deco – the ASB Bank in Hastings Street.
  • The Daily Telegraph building and Municipal Theatre on Tennyson Street – fine examples of 1930s architecture.

Film time

If all that walking is a bit much and you need a sit down, why not take in the 20-minute film ‘The Day that Changed the Bay’. Screening all day at the Art Deco Trust store in Tennyson Street.

Play dress ups

Take a little bit of Deco home with you – shops like Charleston Chic in the Masonic Hotel building in Tennyson Street have a great range of vintage clothing and accessories. Or visit the Art Deco Centre across the road for gifts and souvenirs.

Vintage car tours and guided walks

Jump inside an and cruise the streets the Art Deco sights of Napier with a guided tour. Tours can be booked here.

If you prefer foot power, guided walks are held every day. For times and bookings click here. You can also download a self-guide brochure here.

Tremains Art Deco Festival

No trip to Napier in February would be complete without taking part in the Art Deco Festival. Running each February for five days, there are hundreds of events and free activities. The Art Deco Festival programme can be found online here. Be prepared to feel very left out if you don’t dress up!


Words by Sarah Cameron – www.sarahcameron.co.nz
Photos by Alice Lee