Blue skies, lily ponds, towering palm trees – at first glance you probably wouldn’t immediately pick this photo to be from New Zealand, and yet, of course, it is.
Napier, on the far east coast of the North Island, is a fascinating place that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It’s a bit out of the way, off the main tourist routes that run down the middle of the island. Almost levelled by an earthquake in 1931, the subsequent rebuild has left Napier with a vast Art Deco legacy – it’s considered to be one of the best-preserved art deco towns in the world.
It’s not just the buildings that make Napier a great place to hang out, though. A long stretch of beach and so-called Mediterranean climate make the town a very agreeable place to live – and hey, anywhere with palm trees growing in the central city is always going to get my vote.