All-weather and Indoor Activities in Napier
Despite being one of the driest cities in New Zealand, Napier is, well, still in New Zealand so it does get its fair share of wet weather. Nevertheless, a rainy day doesn’t have to put a halt to your holiday plans, as we have 10 amazing things to do in Napier on a rainy day right here!
We have listed a variety of indoor and all-weather activities in Napier to suit a range of travellers, from foodies to families, from budget travellers to honeymooners, so you’re sure to find something to suit. Dive in with this list of rainy day activities in Napier.
For more Napier advice, check out The Complete Guide to Napier.
1. Learn Something New at MTG Hawke’s Bay
All great rainy day lists start with the obligatory museum! MTG Hawke’s Bay is the regional museum for Hawke’s Bay and a great place to learn about the region’s European and Maori history. See some of the ongoing exhibitions like Maori taonga (treasures) and that on the 1931 earthquake in Napier. There are also temporary exhibitions worth browsing, often reflecting nature, heirlooms and artwork. What’s more, entry into MTG Hawke’s Bay is free. See more like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Napier.
Location: 1 Tennyson Street, Napier city centre.
2. Do a Tour of the Hawke’s Bay Wineries
Let’s waste no more time diving into the winery experiences of Napier and Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region! Tours like Prinsy’s Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), Vines and Views Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor), Hawkes Bay Scenic Tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor), Bay Tours and Charters (on Viator and Tripadvisor) and more will handle the driving and the cellar door tasting fees, while you just sit back, relax and enjoy a gastronomical journey. You’ll travel from winery to winery under the cover of the tour van and sip on wines indoors if it’s raining, among historic and contemporary-style cellar doors. For more like this, see the 10 Things to Do in Napier for Foodies.
Location: Most tours offer accommodation pick-ups from the Napier area.
3. Take a Guided Winery Tour
If you just want a taste of Napier’s wine side, head to Church Road Winery which offers wine tours of its winery and “wine cave” museum. With a glass in hand, you’ll tour the winery, tasting wine throughout its various stages of production and get an in-depth look into the wine-making process. You’ll also learn about the history in the winery’s unique museum contained within old wine vats. This Versatility of the Grape tour concludes with a guided wine tasting experience. There’s also the shorter and cheaper experience, the Legacy and Winery Tour. Find out more about winery tours of the Church Road Winery on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 150 Church Road, approximately 9km (6 miles) from Napier city centre.
4. Check out the Historic Technology and Transport of The Faraday Centre
An excellent option if you’re travelling with kids, The Faraday Centre is Hawke’s Bay’s Museum of Technology. Discover the technology and transport that shaped New Zealand where you are encouraged to touch, play with, drive, press buttons and pull levers to learn about the items at this interactive museum. See more activities like this in the 10 Things to Do in Napier with Kids.
Location: 2b Faraday Street, Napier city centre.
5. Experience All Things “Honey” at the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre
Just outside of Napier is a visitor centre to one of New Zealand’s top honey brands, Arataki Honey. Learn about the honeybee, their role in the food chain and how they make honey at this interactive mini-museum with hive displays where you can feel the heat the bees generate and also, of course, taste the wide variety of honey the company makes. What’s more, the attraction is free!
Location: 66 Arataki Road, Havelock North, approximately 22km (14 miles) from Napier city centre.
6. Tour Napier in a Vintage Vehicle
If you’re new to town, make sure you not only see the sights but see them in style. To complement the art deco architecture of the city, Napier Classic Cars (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Hooters Vintage & Classic Vehicle Hire (on Viator and Tripadvisor) both offer sightseeing tours in vintage vehicles. Your group has the opportunity to customise your trip to see the sights you want to see. Otherwise, your driver-guide will show you the sights. Hooters will even take you to their exclusive classic car showroom. Check out more experiences like this in the 10 Luxury Activities in Napier.
Location: Tours offer pick-ups from local accommodations.
7. Tackle the Rapids of the Mohaka River
With the idea that you’re going to get wet anyway, why not use a rainy day to try out white water rafting?! Join Mohaka Rafting for a scenic river journey mixed with some awesome rapids on the Mohaka River. Choose your adventure, a six-hour river journey experience on grade three rapids or a full-day hardcore rafting excursion with grades four and five rapids. See Mohaka Rafting’s range of tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 3408 State Highway 5, approximately 48km (30 miles) from Napier city centre.
8. Admire the Art at Creative Arts Napier
While there’s often great art to be admired at MTG Hawke’s Bay (see point #1) if you want more of an art fix, we recommend Creative Arts Napier. Commonly known as CAN, the community art gallery is usually free unless they’re hosting a special event. Check out the latest exhibition in their art space. Or, if you have some extra free time in Napier, why not join them for a workshop?
Location: 16 Byron Street, Napier city centre.
9. Take a Tour of a Chocolate Factory
If you didn’t think Napier had enough foodie experiences, the city is also home to Silky Oaks Chocolate who have a chocolate museum and tours. There is a range of options to experience Silky Oaks Chocolate, with tours including a mix and match of a factory tour, museum entry, a guided talk on the chocolate-making process, but all of them include the all-important chocolate tastings! There’s also a cafe on-site should you want to stick around longer.
Location: 1131 Links Road, approximately 12km (7 miles) from Napier city centre.
10. Grab a Bite to Eat
And if all else fails, you can always wait out the rain in a restaurant or cafe. Luckily, in such a foodie hub as Hawke’s Bay, Napier has many fabulous eateries and fantastic wineries serving platters alongside world-class wines! Although there are too many good ones to list here, you can explore recommendations in The Foodie Guide to Napier. If you’re looking for a certain vibe, we also list the best fine dining restaurants in The Luxury Guide to Napier and even some romantic restaurants in The Honeymoon Guide to Napier. For affordable food, check out The Guide to Napier on a Budget.
11. Watch New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year
If all else fails, you can always get some inspiration for your next epic New Zealand activity by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube. Watch as the team behind NZ Pocket Guide take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure to subscribe.