• Hastings, New Zealand is an art deco time capsule

    2010-05-27

    If a tourist is looking for art in most cities, tourism agencies or travel guides will point them to museums. That's not the case in Hastings, New Zealand, where the city itself is a work of art.

    In 1931, most of Hastings and the nearby city of Napier were destroyed in an earthquake. When officials rebuilt the city, they chose to construct most of the affected cities in the architecturally significant art deco style that was popular at the time. Unlike other cities, where art deco eventually fell out of fashion, much of this influence still exists in Hastings.

    The iconic clock tower in the center of the city is an example of this, as is the popular shopping area around Heretaunga Street. Visitors to the clock tower might notice the sheep sculptures around the tower. These sculptures are actually movable, and migrate around the city. Locals and tourists alike have fun spotting the sheep and taking pictures with them.

    Hastings is also a great base for exploring the surrounding Hawke's Bay Area and the rest of the Northern Island of New Zealand. Nearby Te Mata peak offers a great view of the region.

    Cape Kidnappers, also in Hawke's Bay, is the largest gannet (bird) colony in the world. The area is also home to Splash Planet, the only water park in New Zealand.
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