After our ferry crossing, we picked up our new rental car in Wellington (after much confusion with terminals). We did not get away as quickly as hoped and combined with a wet rainy day, the drive to Havelock North was not very exciting or pleasant.
We arrived at Warren and Debbies place no problems, and found nice treats for us in the fridge even! The next morning we had a leisurely rise and a nice breakfast before heading to Napier.
Napier is a fascinating town since it was almost 100% rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and subsequent fires. The 7.9 richter scale earthquake was horrendous and 249 (if memory serves me correct) people died. But the city made very smart decisions on their design. The organization for everything from
immediate care of the wounded to the long term decisions on financing during the
depression were impressive.
We enjoyed the afternoon touring around the town checking out the many varieties of Art Deco. Some of the buildings had Egyptian influence, some American Spanish, others had Maori designs worked into them, some were classical art deco and others were Art Nouveau.
The Pagani sign at left is included for Suzanne’s benefit – her not so common maiden name.
We also visited the museum
where the works of artist Roland Hipkins were on display. He was an English painter who came to Napier as an artist teacher. He is mostly known for his painting ‘Renaissance’ (at right) which is based on the rebuilding of Napier. He returned to England for a while to
establish his ‘name’ as he was not getting much exposure in Napier, but returned to New Zealand.
One of his major influencing pieces is the one at left (Mike only remembers the name as ………Backyard).
There were also exhibits on the earthquake disaster including interviews with several of the survivors. Other exhibits included Art Deco artifacts and 20th
We ended the day with a trip to the top of Te Mata Peak overlooking Havelock North, Hastings and Napier as well as many miles beyond.
The limestone cliffs were all angled due to the plate activity around here (source of the earthquakes also of course). Mike had fun roaming around the hills and valleys amoungst the sheep.