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Pania of the Reef

Surrounded by tranquil gardens, this elegant life-size statue is symbolic of the city’s coastal location.

Admire the fine detail and bronze finish of the Pania of the Reef statue. Stroll through the pretty gardens around the statue and gaze out across the vast blue Pacific Ocean from where the mystical mermaid depicted by the statue is said to have once came.

One of Napier’s most iconic sights and a superb complement to the art deco architecture of the city’s seafront, the Pania of the Reef statue was presented to the city in 1954 by the local Thirty Thousand Club, a group of volunteers who worked to raise the population of the town to 30,000. The statue is based on a character from an old Maori legend that tells of a mermaid who, caught between the aquatic life and a romance with a human tribe leader, was transformed into a reef. The bronze was actually cast by an Italian company with the face based on that of a 15 year old girl from a nearby school.

Look closely at the resting mermaid and notice how she is depicted in her fully human form. From her waist, a flowing skirt melts into a textured rock that sits on a base of limestone, and jewellery hangs from her neck. Read the small plaque, which has more information about the famous legend.

Wander through the surrounding Marine Parade Gardens and enjoy the picturesque vistas. To the east, Hawke’s Bay sprawls out dramatically while the gardens themselves contain tall trees, grassy lawns and beds of bright flowers. Amble along the winding waterfront path for the best views of this idyllic area.

The Pania of the Reef statue in Marine Parade Gardens is located on the northeastern side of Napier. The statue is right next to the impressive Tom Parke Fountain. Parking is available along the front of the gardens. Entrance to the gardens is free.


Map

Top Pania of the Reef Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 163 properties near Pania of the Reef
Beach Front Motel Napier NZ$125
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 from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania NZ$180
    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 mi (2 km).

      Shoreline Motel NZ$108
      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 center, steps from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        The Nautilus Napier NZ$114
        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.

          Edgewater Motor Lodge NZ$138
          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 from Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Art Deco Masonic Hotel NZ$163
            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 from MTG Hawke's Bay Museum and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Quest Napier Serviced Apartment NZ$139
              Quest Napier Serviced Apartment

              Quest Napier Serviced Apartment

              176 Dickens Street, Napier
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Napier, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Municipal Theatre and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                The County Hotel NZ$185
                The County Hotel

                The County Hotel

                12 Browning Street, Napier
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Napier, this luxury hotel is within a 5-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 mi (2 km).