By Lee Slater and Sarah Bennett courtesy of HAPNZ
At the 2010 New Zealand Tourism Industry Awards,Napiers Kennedy Park Top 10 Resort took out the gong for the nations best holiday park. Considering the high quality of holiday parks across New Zealand this is no mean feat, so we set off to Hawkes Bay to see what all the fuss is about.
This is reasonably priced accommodation. Peak season, tent-power sites cost about (May-June) $41 per night.
For a proper roof over your head, prices for two people, depending on season, range around $83 to $90 for a standard cabin (weekday-weekend, sleeps up to seven) through to $205-214 for the fully-equipped, still sparkling two-bedroom villas (weekday-weekend, sleeps up to six). Current rate (May 26 to June 2) $141.
Off-season you can expect special rates and some promotions and family packages, but during the Rugby World Cup in September prices will rise.
Editor's Note: Child prices are for children aged 3-14 years inclusive. Prices are reviewed yearly. Prices may change from July 1. Check before booking.
Napier in the Hawke's Bay region will host two international rugby teams during Rugby World Cup 2011 in September. On Sunday, September 18 France will play Canada and on Tuesday, September 27 Canada meets Japan in Pool A matches of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
McLean Park in Napier is one of the smaller venues to host games at the 2011 Rugby World Cup but nonetheless it is still an excellent stadium with a capacity of 22,000 for the tournament.
Our weekend break got off to a great start when we left Wellington and the clouds parted, and by the time we got to the Bay it was baking hot and blue sky all over. Arriving in Napier and pulling up at the holiday park gates, Kennedy Park Top 10 basked in the rosy glow of late afternoon sun.
Less than two kilometres from the centre of Napier, Kennedy Park started life as a municipal camping ground, established in 1937. It has remained publicly owned ever since. Nearly 75 years on, the park has matured into a graceful but modern complex, spread over seven acres and holding almost 1600 people at full capacity.
A small village of cabins and communal buildings sits close to the entrance, but beyond this the park opens up into green and spacious park-style grounds, enhanced by a wealth of facilities. Max greets us at reception.
Jumping Pillow - a bounce compulsory. (Bennett and Slater)
Toyota Hiace campervan. (Bennett and Slater).
Charming motel units. (Bennett and Slater).
Kennedy Park Rose Garden an ocean of blooms. (Bennett and Slater).
Napier, New Zealand's Art Deco City, sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It is situated in the centre of Hawke's Bay just 18 km from its sister city Hastings. It has a population of about 60,000 and is 332 km north east of the NZ capital Wellington.
In 1931 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed 256 (the figures varies according to source) people and changed Napier forever. Napier rebuilt in a grand style. The latest look of the 1930's came to life with Art Deco the design flavour.
Palm trees and Norfolk pines underline the ambience of stripped classical and Spanish Mission buildings.
Art Deco Trust in step with Rugby World Cup
Every February, Napier hosts an Art Deco Weekend, featuring a vintage car cruise, jazz bands, a bi-plane swoop, balls, dinners, exhibitions and entertainment with a 1930s theme. Dates for Art Deco Weekend 2012 are Feb. 14 to 19.
Numerous events will be held during the Rugby World Cup.
For 2011 the Art DecoTrust has moved Bluewater Hotel Deco Decanted Weekend to amalgamate with the Rugby World Cup Events the Trust is holding between mid Sept - mid Oct. More details regarding the dates and events will be available soon on www.artdeconapier.com
Art Deco Trust Walks and Tours in Napier run several types of tours and an art deco shop.
Art Deco originated in Europe in the early years of the 20th Century, and its heyday was from 1920 to 1940. It became widely known following the great Exposition des Arts Modernes Decoratifs et Industriels, held in Paris in 1925 and from which its name was ultimately derived.
Hawke's Bay is considered one of New Zealand's leading food and wine destinations. With its Mediterranean climate visitors come to the area to sample vintages from more than 70 wineries, fresh produce at the Farmers Markets, epicurean delights and gourmet experiences at a great variety of restaurants, cafes and bars.
National Aquarium of New Zealand, Te Whare Tangaroa O Aotearoa
New Zealand's largest display of aquatic life and unique New Zealand wildlife, including sharks, stingrays, living coral, kiwi, tuatara and a huge range of fish species can be seen at the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
It is a fun and educational place to visit for all the family. Open 9am-5pm every day of the week (except Christmas Day).
Located in Napier, the National Aquarium is one of the premier Hawke's Bay Tourist Attractions.
The National Aquarium, on Napiers foreshore, stretches like a huge stingray on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It is designed to be a centre of education, entertainment and cultural experience. No part of New Zealand is more than 130 kilometers from the sea, making marine education and curiosity natural amongst New Zealand's four million population.
Thousands of strange and wonderful creatures live in the National Aquarium of New Zealand.The National Aquarium of New Zealand is involved in many conservation programs, both national and international.
Some are historic while others have only come online since the Aquarium was opened early in 2002. National Aquarium visitors see many rare species. Swim with the sharks in Napier it is the only place in New Zealand where this experience is available. It is not necessary to be a qualified diver and the activity is fully supervised.
At 10am everyday at the National Aquarium of New Zealand in the Pania Reef tank Daring Dan the diver takes to the water in a feeding frenzy with his fishy friends.The National Aquarium of New Zealand is in Marine Parade Napier only 10 minutes walk from Napier CBD. http://www.nationalaquarium.co.nz/
Napier and Hawks Bay attractions and things to see and do while staying include:
Hot Air Balloon rides
Helicopter scenic flights
Cycling and Tramping
Napier Aquatic Centre
Art Deco Walks Tours
The Faraday Centre - learn about technology of everyday items
Napier Municipal Theatre
National Aquarium of New Zealand
Ocean Spa- Napiers premier heated pools and health and fitness complex
Gannet Beach Adventures
Dive Centre Napier
Hawkes Bay Farmyard Zoo
Wool World at Clifton Station
Cape Kidnappers Golf Course,
Te Mata Peak for stunning views
Ocean Beach Wildlife Reserve
Editors Note: GoSee thanks Fergus Brown CEO of Holiday Accommodation Parks Association of New Zealand (HAPNZ) for providing the basis of this free Information Article for the benefit of GoSeers.