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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 218 properties near Pania of the Reef
Beach Front Motel Napier NZ$116
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 Opossum World are also within 10 minutes.

    Shoreline Motel NZ$129
    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 Opossum World are also within 10 minutes.

      Navigate Seaside Hotel NZ$161
      Navigate Seaside Hotel

      Navigate Seaside Hotel

      50 Waghorne Street, Ahuriri, Napier
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        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).

        The Nautilus Napier NZ$110
        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 Opossum World and Napier Visitor Information Centre.

          Scenic Hotel Te Pania NZ$156
          Scenic Hotel Te Pania

          Scenic Hotel Te Pania

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

            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.

            The Dome NZ$165
            The Dome

            The Dome

            101 Marine Parade, (cnr of Emerson St), Napier
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the ocean, this luxury apartment building is steps away from Marine Parade, Napier Soundshell and Napier Visitor Information Centre. Napier Beach and Opossum World are also within 5 minutes.

              Quest Napier Serviced Apartment NZ$160
              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 5-minute walk of Municipal Theatre and Opossum World. Marine Parade and Napier Visitor Information Centre are also within 10 minutes.

                The County Hotel NZ$195
                The County Hotel

                The County Hotel

                12 Browning Street, Napier
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Napier, this luxury hotel is steps away from MTG Hawke's Bay Museum, Marine Parade and Pania of the Reef. War Memorial Conference Center and Napier Beach are also within 5 minutes.