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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 290 properties near Pania of the Reef
Scenic Hotel Te Pania NZ$212
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).

    Beach Front Motel Napier NZ$152
    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).

      Shoreline Motel NZ$152
      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$140
        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.

          Art Deco Masonic Hotel NZ$199
          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).

              Quality Inn Napier NZ$149
              Quality Inn Napier

              Quality Inn Napier

              311 Marine Parade, Napier
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Napier, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Marine Parade and Napier Beach. National Aquarium of New Zealand and Bluff Hill Domain Lookout are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                Quest Napier Serviced Apartment NZ$164
                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 miles (3 km).