The 'breathtaking' way to start your day in Napier

Sharon Stephenson from STUFF talks to Jeremy Smith, the heritage/general manager of Art Deco Trust Napier.

Jeremy Smith of Art Deco Trust Napier photograph from 600x400
Jeremy Smith of Art Deco Trust Napier, photograph from

What's one place you'd take every visitor to in NZ and why?

My new hometown of Napier – the Art Deco capital of New Zealand to do an Art Deco Trust walking or vintage car tour of the city. These tours are a great way to get your bearings and the guides are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the city.

Plus, there is no better way to soak up the style and grace of the Art Deco era than in the back seat of a 1930s Packard Sedan. A shameless plug – but it really is a great way to explore Napier.

Art Deco Trust Vintage Car Tours, photograph by Michael Farr

Art Deco Trust Vintage Car Tours, photograph by Michael Farr

What's your secret backyard favourite spot?

Definitely the seaside benches at the Veronica Sunbay (pictured above article) on Marine Parade. There is no better way to start your day than to sit, bathed in sunshine, enjoying the vast views of the bay – from Cape Kidnappers to Mahia. It’s breathtaking.

What's your favourite place for a pie/coffee?

Café Tennyson, Napier – really friendly staff, great atmosphere, the food is amazing and they serve really good coffee.

Art Deco Trust Napier photograph by Michael Farr 600x400 1

Café Tennyson Napier, photograph supplied

What's one NZ spot on the top of your bucket list?

I moved to Napier at the end of 2020 and have spent time exploring Hawke’s Bay. But my bucket list trip would be the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Napier via Wairoa to Tairāwhiti Gisborne.

From there I’m keen to drive State Highway 35 around the coast to Tauranga. I’ve heard great things about this road trip and am keen to explore the East Cape for myself.

Hawke’s Bay’s Winter Art Deco Festival runs from July 15-17, 2022.


Words & images by
Sharon Stephenson

Published by
Stuff Travel
April 2022




Air New Zealand operates daily non-stop flights to Napier from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with connections across the domestic network.