The Top Places to Visit Near Napier
More than just a stylish Art Deco town, Napier is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding Hawke’s Bay region. Wineries, New Zealand’s largest gannet colony, mountain hikes, secluded hot pools and much more are within an easy day trip from the city. Plan your excursion with this guide to the best day trips from Napier. We also include some day tours from Napier, should you be visiting the city without a vehicle.
For more trip-planning success, head on over to The Complete Guide to Napier.
5 Best Day Tours from Napier
Before we get into the self-drive day trips from Napier, here are some Napier day tour alternative for travellers who decide to ditch the car.
- A Grand Day Out Tour with Tour Napier (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Full-day Hawke’s Bay Wine Tour with Prinsy’s Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Mangatutu Hot Springs Tour with Afoot – Guided Walks and Treks (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Mohaka Scenic Rafting Trip with Raft Fish NZ (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Napier City & Scenic Hawke’s Bay Tour with Tailored Travel Hawkes Bay (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
The Best Day Trip from Napier for Couples
Definitely considered a day trip if you choose to hike to the famous gannet colony of Cape Kidnappers, this area of Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its active nature. Get close-up to New Zealand’s largest gannet colony to watch these majestic seabirds and admire the grand cliffs awash in fossils and fault lines. Alternatively, driving tours can turn the 5-hour return hike into a shorter and easier trip.
Learn more about the hike to Cape Kidnappers on the Department of Conservation website.
Kaweka Forest Park
The Best Day Trip from Napier for Budget Travellers
Get off the beaten track and experience the alpine shrublands, tussock valleys and beech forests of the Kaweka Forest Park. You’ll find an array of half-day and full-day walks in this wilderness area, as well as humble yet utterly relaxing hot pool set-ups at the Mangatutu and Mangatainoke Hot Springs.
Find out more about the walks of the Kaweka Forest Park on the Department of Conservation website.
The Best Day Trip from Napier for Foodies
Travel time by car: 1h30mins one-way
Travel on the winding and scenic State Highway 2 north and you’ll eventually come across the charming town of Wairoa with some quirky attractions and rich cultural heritage. Get an obligatory photo with the Wairoa Lighthouse in the middle of town, discover the intriguing Maori artefacts at the Wairoa Museum, and enjoy the town’s quirky cafes and art galleries.
For more ideas to add to this Napier day trip, take a look at the 10 Unmissable Things to Do in Wairoa.
Ruahine Forest Park
The Best Day Trip from Napier for Families
Travel time by car: 1h10mins to 1h20mins one-way
Another wilderness area to completely lose yourself in (metaphorically; not literally, we hope), the Ruahine Forest Park not only makes a stunning backdrop to the Central Hawke’s Bay area but is a stunning place to hike. A popular day walk is the Sunrise Hut Track, a well-graded track gradually taking you up to a stunning viewpoint across Hawke’s Bay.
Check out more walks in the Ruahine Forest Park on the Department of Conservation website.
The Best Day Trip from Napier for Luxury Travellers
Travel time by car: 40 minutes one-way
Head south to the gorgeous beach setting of Waimarama. Learn about the settlement’s historical and cultural significance with Waimarama Maori Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Additionally, walk the Maraetotara Historic Walk and check out the popular swimming spot of Maraetotara Falls.
Learn more about hidden gems like Waimarama in the Top 10 Natural Attractions in Hawke’s Bay.