New Zealand Cruise- Napier Winery Bike Ride

Napier has been one cruise port that I have been looking forward to since I researched the Art Deco city. The city of Napier was destroyed by an earthquake back in 1931. They rebuilt the city in the new up and coming style Art Deco architecture. I love a well designed city and it was especially fun to walk in the down town area. It almost seemed like we were on a movie set. They even have a Napier Art Deco festival every year where everyone dresses up in 1930 style. Definitely a bucket list return visit. This is a photographer’s dream city and everywhere you look there is a tiny detail of the Art Deco Style.

Vintage Cars drive around the city giving visitors tours

Napier- Art Deco City

The downtown area is a mix of Art Deco buildings and modern storefronts. We loved taking pictures of the upper original portion of the buildings. We found the Art Deco theater and a small coffee shop with amazing fireplace and details features on the ceiling. Then we return the Marine Parade to see the band shelter.

Downtown Area in Napier- It looks like a movie set.
Art Deco Downtown building in Napier
Details
Municipal Theatre in Naper in the Art Deco Style
Interior of coffee shop also had amazing details.
Napier Art Deco building
Stain Glass detail
Band Shelter near the Marine Parade
Ready to Roll on the Bike tour
Napier City Bike Tour

We had book the Country to Coast tour with Napier City Bike Tour for $85 NZD each. This tour transports you to the country where you can bike to six  wineries and a cheese cafe. They give you a bike, helmet and a map for all the wineries for this self guided tour. The lady that help us was very nice and suggested that we tour the downtown area and come back for our tour which started at 10:30am.

Transport Van

After our downtown self guided Art Deco tour we returned Napier City Bikes for the start of our tour. Our bikes were ready and waiting for us. We had already given them our heights in the reservation and they were properly sized. They had us try the bikes before they loaded them on the van. There was a short drive out towards the Tuki Tuki River.

First Stop- Black Barn Winery

We were drop off with 2 other couples at a Black Barn Winery. Before we started with the bike tour we stopped into the Black Barn wine tasting room for a couple of free samples. We sampled the wine and explore the amazing restaurant with a view. Our favorite part was the grapevine patio where you eat and drink under the grapevines. They even had a small gift shop. After our visit we started our bike ride to the next winery.

Tasting room at Black Barn
Courtyard at Black Barn in front of the gift shop
The landscaping at Black Barn is a A+
The modern restaurant at Black Barn
Grapevine Patio with the view from the restaurant
Grapevine Patio
Second Stop- Te Mata

So we might have gotten lost a little try to find the path between these wineries but it was only 5 mins before we realized our mistake. It is almost across the street but we still got lost.  We arrived at Te Mata winery for the wine tasting. There was a small fee for the tasting.  They had a nice wine tasting room and the host was very knowledgeable about wine.

Getting Lost on the bikes
Outside Te Mata
Tasting room at Te Mata
Cases
Wine list at Te Mata

Third Stop- Chalk n Cheese Cafe

This was our favorite stop. All the people in our group arrived together so did the tasting together. The lady that did the tasting was a gem and was very knowledgeable about cheese. Who knew there was so much info about cow cheese vs goat cheese. Not this Wisconsin girl. There was some smelly cheese but there was some delightfully good cheese. There was a small fee for the cheese tasting. But well worth it.

Cheese Tasting. The host was a gem!
Feed me cheese!
Chalk n Cheese
Our group of bike riders bonding over cheese.
The Drunken Nanny Cheese
Checking the map so we don’t get lost, again
Riverbank towards the Coast

Our group continued on to Akarangi but being the slow biker we skipped that winery to stay on track. Of course the winery we skipped was the only winery with sweet wine. (my favorite) agh! The next stretch of the bike ride was along a riverbank. The path was easy and straight and flat all the things I like but I am still slow. There were several gates for cows that you had to go through which was a challenge with a bike. Then we crossed over a big bridge and soon arrived at the coast. The coast was windy but so beautiful.

Biking along the Riverbank
The views were amazing from the bike path
Working Wineries of Hawk’s Bay along the bike path
The straight flat path along the riverbank
Who knew Cows could be Frisky?
The view from the Coast
Fourth Stop- Elephant Hill

We continued biking up the coast towards Cape Kidnappers. The next winery Beach House was closed so we skipped it. There was a delightful fruit stand selling fresh fruit along the path which included free peach samples. The next stop Elephant Hill winery. We just got inside when the others in our group arrived. We all had another flight of wine and enjoyed the amazing scenery of the Elephant Hill. There was a fee for the wine tasting at this winery. By the time we were done the van was there to pick us up at 4pm and take us back to Napier.

At the entry to Elephant Hill
So many bikes make this journey
Well you must have an Elephant in front of Elephant Hill
Tasting room at Elephant Hill
Check out this view from Elephant Hill
Wine list at Elephant Hill
Elephant Hill

There were two more wineries past Elephant Hill- Clearview Estates and Te Awanga Estates that we didn’t have time to visit. The time seemed to fly by but when you are drinking and biking I guess that is what happens.

Back in Napier

The van loaded our bikes and transported us back to Napier where we had a little more time to explore the downtown area before our cruise left. I highly recommend the Napier City Bike Tours They have several self guided tours and guided tours. Everyone we interacted with at the company was very friendly. This is a logistic heavy tour but they seem to manage it with ease and a smile.

Six Sisters- Six Victorian houses that survived the earthquake supposedly built by a father for his six daughters.-Three houses not in picture
City park along the Marine Parade
I guess we did the bike ride all wrong? Or maybe not.

This is part of a larger trip report, Please read more at the following links.

New Zealand- Take Two- Planning Stage

New Zealand- Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach

Hobbiton, Waitamo Glow Worm Cave and Tongariro NP

Tongariro Alpine Crossing & Taupo

Rotorua Adventure Day- Kaituna Whitewater rafting

Wine tasting on Waiheke Island from Auckland

Cruise New Zealand- Auckland

New Zealand Cruise- Tauranga- Mount Maunganui

New Zealand Cruise- Napier Winery Bike Ride

Cruise New Zealand- Wellington- coming soon!

 

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