You often hear about Napier being compared to Mediterranean towns, especially Nice, and that comparison is without merit. Most of New Zealand cities rely on the beauty of their surroundings to draw in tourists, but Napier has the added advantage of fortuitous planning; its developers focused heavily on bringing an Art Deco feel to the city, especially after the devastating earthquake in 1931. The city look is a testament to the spirit of its people who rallied around the reconstruction magnificently and erected a city even more beautiful and charming than the one destroyed before.
That said, Napier natural retreats are any less impressive. The surrounding area, especially Taradale, has some lovely vineyards, a favourite trail for cyclists; the Mohaka River offers some terrific rafting adventures; the Cape Kidnappers headland simply astounds with its near isolated atmosphere and the hilly ranges are excellent for hiking, camping and even paragliding.