We may have been to the Hawkes Bay area many times, but there is always somewhere new to explore. We decided to drive through to Napier, travelling along Marine Parade which is lined both sides with tall Norfolk Pines. The first trees were planted in 1888, and added to over many years. Noted for tolerating salt-laden winds, these hardy trees have thrived, and a fair few have been struck by vehicles at some time – guess the cars came off second best.
Norfolk Pines along Marine Parade, Napier
Bay View, a little further on, was where we were heading. Just because we had only ever whizzed by, and didn’t really know what there was in this little village.
There was not a great deal to see, as we discovered. Except for the huge number of quad bikes lined up outside a Honda franchise. What they were all doing in sleepy little Bay View we will never know. But if you want one, this is the place to come to.
Honda quad bikes everywhere
By far the most interesting thing we saw in Bay View was the lovely old King George’s Hall. Designed by world-renowned Art Deco architect, Louis Hay, the King George Hall has been an important part of the Bay View community since 1911. Still used as a community hall for local groups, it is also available for hire for birthdays, weddings, and reunions.
King George’s Hall, Bay View
Looking for a light lunch, we came across Snapper Café, part of the Napier Beach Holiday Park – which was known previously as Snapper Point. We enjoyed a nice lunch in the café, good food, and nice friendly service. Plus we got to read all about the USA election news in the newspaper, left on our table. Plastered on the front page over a photo of the incoming President were the initials WTF, which had to be explained to me. If you don’t know either, ask a texting savvy youngster what they stand for!
Permission was granted for us to walk around the camp to check it out, so off we went. Plenty of sites available, and we particularly liked the ones up the top of the plateau with lovely views. Great views looking over the camp one way, or looking down across the shingle beach the other way.
Views from the top of the hill
Next stop was to track down Robin’s friend and NZ Motor Home Forum Administrator Chris who was camping at Clifton Road Reserve, Haumoana – available for self contained vehicles. Another new place for us, we had never been there before either. Chris welcomed us inside, put the coffee machine on, and the pair of them happily talked about cars and camping experiences for some time. Then it was time to head back to camp, before venturing out again - we were invited to have dinner with the rellies.