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Bluff Hill Domain Lookout

As one of the best vantage points in Napier, this rocky viewpoint has commanding views of the turquoise waters of Hawke’s Bay and the Port of Napier.

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.


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Top Bluff Hill Domain Lookout Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 180 properties near Bluff Hill Domain Lookout
Scenic Hotel Te Pania NZ$224
Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Scenic Hotel Te Pania

45 Marine Parade, Napier South, Napier
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the beach, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of MTG Hawke's Bay Museum and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    Shoreline Motel NZ$126
    Shoreline Motel

    Shoreline Motel

    377 Marine Parade, Napier
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      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 Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 miles (3 km).

      The Nautilus Napier NZ$125
      The Nautilus Napier

      The Nautilus Napier

      387 Marine Parade, Napier
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the beach in Napier, this aparthotel is close to Marine Parade, Nelson Park and National Aquarium of New Zealand. Also nearby are Napier Beach and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout.

        Beach Front Motel Napier NZ$161
        Beach Front Motel Napier

        Beach Front Motel Napier

        373 Marine Parade, Napier
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Napier, this beach motel is steps away from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 miles (3 km).

          Art Deco Masonic Hotel NZ$209
          Art Deco Masonic Hotel

          Art Deco Masonic Hotel

          2 Tennyson Street, Napier
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Napier, this hotel is steps away from MTG Hawke's Bay Museum and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 1 mile (2 km).

            Edgewater Motor Lodge NZ$140
            Edgewater Motor Lodge

            Edgewater Motor Lodge

            359 Marine Parade, Napier
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Offering direct access to the beach, this Napier motel is steps away from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              The Crown Hotel Napier NZ$220
              The Crown Hotel Napier

              The Crown Hotel Napier

              Cnr Bridge Street and Hardinge Road, Napier
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Napier, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within 2 mi (3 km) of National Tobacco Company Building, Napier Beach and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout. National Aquarium of New Zealand is 2.3 mi (3.8 km) away.

                expressotel NZ$159
                expressotel

                expressotel

                Corner Clive Square and Tennyson Streets, Napier
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Municipal Theatre and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 miles (3 km).