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Napier, New Zealand.
With New Zealand’s summer months spanning from December through until March, the beginning of the year is prime time for escaping the cold for an architectural pilgrimage south of the equator. After a devastating earthquake in 1931, New Zealand’s beachside town of Napier was completely rebuilt in art-deco style, making this Kiwi city the capital of sorbet hues, symmetry and sunbursts. In our opinion, it even beats out Miami in terms of its style moderne with a Maori twist – nearly every building makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the early 20th century.
Plonked right amid the expansive vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, the city also makes a perfect departure point for heading out to wine tastings. Journey 10 minutes south of downtown Napier and you’ll find yourself at the stunning Cape Kidnappers peninsula.
Skip the guided art-deco walking tour and plan one for yourself: we recommend stopping by the National Telegraph and National Tobacco Company buildings, the iconic Maori Pania of the Reef Statue, and the coral-coloured Sound Shell concert hall, which offers an array of free shows. Once you’ve explored the pastel cafés and boutiques of Napier, venture outside of the centre of town for a day. Start off with a hike or bike ride up the region’s Te Mata Peak for early morning views of the surrounding vineyards. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hit up Te Mata Estate, New Zealand’s oldest winery, for lunch involving too much Pinot Grigio. Keen to test out a few more grape varieties? Make sure to stop by the gorgeous Elephant Hill Wine Estate, which is one of the sprawling coastal wineries surrounding Napier, on your way back into the city.
For dinner back in town, Bistronomy, Pacifica and Mint are our favourites for continuing to overindulge.
Who to take with you
Your Gatsby-obsessed best friend.
When to go
November to March – these months that span from the Southern Hemisphere’s late spring to early autumn seasons are ideal for wandering around in a sundress and catching a tan while snapping pics.
Most likely to bump into
International winemakers checking out the competition.
Essentials to bring with you
A polaroid camera and your snazziest cat-eye sunnies.
How to get there
Fly into Hawkes Bay Airport via Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch.
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