Napier is a city located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand and is one of its most charming cities. It is a popular tourist destination and is one of New Zealand's most attractive cities. The city is known for its unique collection of Art Deco inspired architecture, seen in buildings that were built after the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake and is therefore known as the Art Deco city. Napier has a tiny population of Muslims, making it relatively difficult for Muslim visitors to find Muslim-friendly facilities such as mosques and Halal restaurants in Napier.
Napier’s architecture is what draws in tourists. The buildings, including the Art Deco ones, are quite noticeably different from the ones found in any other city. Tourists should definitely make it a point to walk around Napier and take in the sights. A must-visit when with kids is the National Aquarium of New Zealand which is also known as the Napier Aquarium. It is one of Hawke’s Bay’s premier tourist attractions and is the largest display of aquatic life and unique local wildlife, in New Zealand. The aquarium boasts a 50 metre long acrylic tunnel as well as numerous exhibits that include sharks, different fish species, stingrays, living coral and much more.
Some other things tourists can do is visit the Napier Prison which is New Zealand's oldest prison, relax and unwind on one of Hawke's Bay’s beaches; which are located outside Napier but not too far away. And, a trip to Napier is not complete without a visit to Cape Kidnappers. This is a headland that sits at the end of an 8 kilometre peninsula which juts out into the Pacific Ocean. Cape Kidnappers is an extremely popular destination among tourists and is a breeding site for a large number of Australasian Gannets and was therefore identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
For those looking to buy a few odds and ends in Napier, Emerson Street and Dickens Street have a couple of shops that may interest tourists, including ones that sell souvenirs.
Located in the Napier suburb of Westshore, is the Hawke's Bay Airport which is also sometimes referred to as the Napier Airport. It is Hawke's Bay's main commercial airport from which domestic planes fly to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Gisborne, Tauranga, Hamilton and Rotorua. This airport is also allowed to permit a limited amount of international flights carrying a small number of passengers. The Hawke's Bay Airport is located in an area which was affected by the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake and was subsequently raised above sea level.
There are a couple of Halal-friendly restaurants in the Hawke’s Bay-Napier region that Muslim tourists can dine at. These include Kilim, Thien Thai Restaurant and Hot Chick Restaurant. Muslim travelers should stick to vegetarian options when dining at local, non-Halal restaurants after ensuring that the vegetarian dishes served do not include any non-halal items. When sight-seeing, Muslim tourists are advised to pack up some food and take it with them as it is quite difficult to find Halal food outside the city.
There are no mosques or prayer facilities in Napier. However, the closest mosque is located about 18 kilometres south of Napier in a place called Hastings. This Masjid is known as the Hawke’s Bay Baitul Mokarram Masjid and Islamic Centre Trust and is located about 20 minutes away from Napier City. Muslims visiting Napier are therefore urged to perform their prayers in the hotel room if possible.