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Drive up to the Bluff Hill Domain Lookout to see the Port of Napier from above and take in the stunning colors and features of Hawke’s Bay.
When the British explorer Captain Cook sailed by on October 15, 1769, he marked this spot as "Bluff Head" in his logbook, a perfect marker along the Hawke’s Bay coast.
On a clear day, try to spot the Mahia Peninsula and the hills beyond Wairoa to the north and the reflective white cliffs of Cape Kidnappers to the south. Turn around and you will be able to see the towering Ruahine Range to the west.
The peaceful birdsong of fantails, bellbirds and tuis in the little park on the top conceal the fact that the Bluff Hill Domain was once where gunners for the 77 Battery 10 Coast Regiment NZA were stationed. During World War II, this strategically perfect clifftop was chosen as the spot to defend the city from possible attacks. The lookout’s enclosures were built on the concrete remnants of the battery’s two 6-inch gun emplacements. The gunners' barracks were located behind the battery.
The Port of Napier is one of New Zealand’s largest working ports by volume. The docks are always a hive of activity and it’s fascinating to watch the heavy trucks drop off full containers and one of New Zealand’s main export items: forestry harvests. A real highlight in summer is watching cruise ships enter the harbor. From this high point, the massive cruise liners resemble toy ships.
If you plan on visiting the lookout on foot, note that it’s a half-hour walk from Napier city center. Find the path up through Sturm's Gully via its Lighthouse Road entrance to make the most of the shade its tall trees offer. Sturm was a botanist from Austria who started a plant nursery here around 1865. Be prepared to climb up lots of steps before you get to the lookout.
If you are driving, you’re in for some steep roads with hair-pin bends, but it's a short drive and the views are worth the trip. At the top there is ample parking, public toilets and rain shelters.
Situated by the ocean, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from War Memorial Conference Center, Ocean Spa and Pania of the Reef. MTG Hawke's Bay Museum and Marine Parade are also within 5 minutes.
This family-friendly Napier hotel is located near the beach, within 1 mi (2 km) of National Tobacco Company Building, Napier Botanical Gardens and Pandora Pond. Marine Parade and Ocean Spa are also within 2 miles (3 km).
Located in the heart of Napier, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Marine Parade, Napier Beach and Opossum World. Napier Visitor Information Centre and Napier Soundshell are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in Napier, this beach motel is steps away from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Opossum World are also within 10 minutes.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Napier motel is in the city centre, steps away from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Opossum World are also within 10 minutes.
Situated on the waterfront, this historic bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Bluff Hill Domain Lookout, Napier Prison, and Centennial Gardens. Marine Parade and Ocean Spa are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of Napier, this luxury apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Municipal Theatre and Opossum World. Marine Parade and Napier Visitor Information Centre are also within 10 minutes.
Located in the heart of Napier, this hotel is steps away from MTG Hawke's Bay Museum, Marine Parade and Napier Soundshell. Napier Beach and Napier Visitor Information Centre are also within 5 minutes.