Discover the heritage of the truly unique New Zealand city of Napier on the Art Deco Guided Walk, which takes you through this city’s splendid architecture and how it came to be an Art Deco city. An optional excursion as part of our tours of New Zealand departing from the UK, this walking tour offers a glimpse into the history of Art Deco Napier and goes inside some of the city’s most architecturally stunning buildings.
Following a devastating earthquake and fire in 1931, Napier was rebuilt in just two years, despite the Great Depression going on at the time. The result of an entire city being built during that period is a huge concentration of beautiful 1930s buildings, constructed in Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical styles. Since 1985, the Napier Art Deco Guided Walk has educated thousands each year on how this city prospered after a huge disaster.
The two-hour Napier tour begins at the Art Deco Centre with an audio-visual introduction from your local guide, telling the dramatic story of the 1931 earthquake and how the city would never be the same again. Each of the tour guides is a local volunteer, highly passionate and knowledge about their city. They will also introduce you to the world of Art Deco and how it came to be the quintessential style of the 1930s. Accompanied by your tour guide, you’ll then embark on the Art Deco guided walk to some of the most spectacular buildings in the city, and will even have access to some of the interiors of the city’s most impressive buildings. The walking tour is approximately three kilometres long, over largely flat surfaces, though there may be some steps.
After your fascinating tour and insights into the world of Art Deco, you’ll arrive back at the Art Deco Centre, where you can end your experience in the boutique theatre. Here you can relax after your walk around the city with a tea or coffee and learn even more about the city, watching a short film about Napier’s world-famous Art Deco Weekend celebrations. Over 40,000 people from around the globe flock to this event annually, taking part in vintage car parades, fashion shows, outdoor concerts and much more in a huge celebration of the 1930s.