Marine Parade Gardens
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This stretch of pristine lawn on Napier’s Marine Parade emulates the European-style line of ‘promenade gardens’, and acts as a divider between the waterfront and the city. Connecting the enormous fountain and iconic Soundshell, the lawn is lined with colourful flowerbeds and is well used by locals and visitors alike.
Originally constructed as a buffer to stop the ocean from flowing over the beach into the city, the purpose of this lawn has since changed. The Hawke’s Bay Earthquake lifted the shingle on the shoreline by 2meters, meaning the shoreline itself now acted as a barrier to the tides. Nowadays, the long lawn serves as inner-city green space. In 1954 the Thirty Thousand Club donated Pania of the Reef, a striking bronze statue of a Maori Maiden looking out to see at the North end of the lawn. She stares out to sea as legend says she would come to the shore every night, and return to her family in the sea every morning.
To access, two-hour parking is available along the garden frontage. Cross the road to the MTG to discover the story behind this garden and Napier city.
Every February the lawn on Marine Parade is transformed into a 1930's wonderland as it takes centre stage hosting multiple Art Deco Festival events including the iconic Gatsby Picnic.