Marine Parade, Napier New Zealand

A beautiful beachside location

The Marine Parade is the stretch of road that, as the name suggests, runs along the coastal part of Napier. It had been destroyed in the 1931 earthquake and rebuilt in the Art Deco style popular at the time. The Memorial Arch has the ship's bell from the Veronica which was the first ship to come to the city's aid. It's the only public memorial in Napier commemorating the earthquake.

The Marine Parade gardens and the Colonnades, which I thought were wonderful, they had such an English seaside appearance about them.

The Colonnades, loved the wooden benches for gazing out to see or inwardly to the town.

The Napier Sound Shell (with young girl on the stage with Dad taking her photo!) the Colonnade and the Memorial Arch, all built on the rubble left after the earthquake.

The beach with its black sand.

Beach path and small jetty.

The Sunken gardens with the Pania of the Reef statue.
The Pania of the Reef statue was presented in 1954 and it's become one of the most well-known and photographed statues in New Zealand. It is believed that it's the first statue to perpetuate a Maori story.

Just nearby is the Tom Parker fountain.
It was open on Christmas eve in 1936 and it continues to light up each night. Another popular photographic site for vintage photos.

Looking inland from the beach and up the mountainside with the Conservation building behind the fountain.

Conservation House, it had been built as the Court House in the 1870s and survived the earthquake. Was used as a court building until 1988 and then restored as Conservation House and it holds the Hawkes Bay area office of the Department of Conservation.

The Napier South African War Memorial (1899-1901), opposite the Memorial Arch. The memorial was unveiled in 1906. I was surprised to see that it commemorated the South African war as the statue of the soldier on the top is common for World War I memorials in Australia. It seems the soldier resting on his rifle was used for previous war memorials. The soldier had lost his head in the earthquake and after much discussion on a new location for the memorial it was restored and placed in its original position in 1947.

The Dome, an iconic Napier building. Originally built for an insurance company and has since been converted into luxury holiday apartments.

Further down Marine Parade is the National Aquarium and the area was undergoing redevelopment during my visit to Napier. 

There were guesthouses and cafes along the road and more holiday accomodation for those coming to the town for a beach holiday.

Napier ended up being my favourite place in New Zealand, and the Marine Parade area shows why it's such a lovely place to visit.