When you have spent a few days in the wilderness (even when van glamping like we do), it is nice to head into civilization for a bit. So, we made our way over to Napier and Hastings. On the way, we spotted the Mohaka Viaduct, the highest rail viaduct (97m) in Australasia.
We made it to Napier after lunch. Both Napier and Hastings were flattened by a deadly 1931 earthquake. The silver lining to this is that there are now lots of art-deco buildings adding quite the flair to the town. Since we entered from the north, we visited the crown jewel of the style first: the National Tobacco Company’s building.
The beauty of art-deco: both simple and elaborate at the same time. Isn’t it a beaut?
The park along Marine Parade was also very intriguing.
A floral clock! Can I get one of those?
Even some of the stores have embraced the 1930s vibe. Love that headband!
Can’t forget the manhole covers.
Not everything was art-deco. This was the side of the Museum Theatre Gallery.
The next day we tried a drive up Te Mata Peak, but as I mentioned previously, rainy season has started. Couldn’t see much through the clouds.
The clouds make the hang-gliding launch a little spooky…
Back in Hastings, we noticed that even the street lights had an art-deco flair.
Apparently this is the Spanish Mission style.
From Hastings, we ventured into Kaweka Forest Park to Mangatutu Hot Springs. The springs are channeled into 2 large tubs, where you can sit and enjoy the naturally-heated water while looking out over the beautiful Mohaka River. Sadly, 3/5 pictures that I took failed to save properly and we were too busy enjoying ourselves to get any more good pictures. It was one of those activities that you could enjoy even if it was raining.
The temperature of the water was about 97°F. You could see the steam wisping up from the water through plants.
Fun Fact: There are only 11 species of ant here in New Zealand. And, they seem to be pretty rare! In all the time we have been here, we seen maybe 3-4 occurrences of ants. It is really bizarre being in a place that has so few ants! Seems like in the US, if you drop some food on the ground, the ants will be all over it in a manner of seconds or minutes. Here, unless the birds like it, it is rarely bothered.