Adventures New Zealand Travel

Gatsby Picnic – Napier Art Deco Weekend

Step into the Gatsby Picnic, one of the highlights of Napier’s Art Deco Weekend.

We’ve got you covered for the best accommodation options, which will put you within an easy walking distance of this fantastic event.

The town of Napier in the Hawkes Bay of New Zealand is one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. In 1931 a devastating earthquake rocked the city, destroying the majority of public buildings and Napier was rebuilt in the modern, fashionable style of the time – Art Deco.

Twice a year the city of Napier celebrates this rebirth with Art Deco Weekend, once in summer (February) and again in mid-winter (July). One of the highlights of Art Deco Weekend is the Gatsby Picnic, the perfect excuse to put on your glad rags and pull out the best china; with prizes for the best displays, participants go all out to win – with fabulous results! Tents start being erected at 6am with judging at 1.30pm.

lets get dressed up for the occasion

too cute


Marine Parade along the ocean front is the perfect place to promenade


the setting for the picnic is a series of park lawns, surrounded by trees, along the ocean front

Everyone wants to be friends with those who have gazebo

with the best baking on display – delicious!

Everyone makes such an effort with their outfits

and its never too hot for a cup of tea.


even the Art Deco baby doesn’t seem perturbed that he is slightly too big for his pram.

A green glass extravaganza

Everyone is welcome to compete, get in early to grab your preferred spot. Competition for best in show is fierce, so bring out your best tea set,

all your wonderful silver must come out

and glassware

and of course the picnic basket

the chaps will serenade you

whilst the ladies look fabulous

and everything is low key in the ‘Out of Africa’ tent

If you have the chance to visit Napier for Art Deco weekend, I highly recommend it. There is such a happy buzz in the air and the town puts on such a great show with so many wonderful events, you can’t help but have an amazing time.

To see more of my Art Deco weekend experience, click here


Top Tip: It can be very hot in Napier in Summer, the New Zealand sun is very strong. Chaps wear a hat and leave the tweeds at home, ladies wear a fabulous hat or fascinator and top it off with a parasol, save your furs till the evening!


If you are interested in being part of the Art Deco Weekend, I recommend you book your preferred events and accommodation well ahead of time, as the town books out quickly.

Where to stay:

The following accommodation options will put you within easy walking distance of the action.

The County Hotel  a gorgeous historic building, in classical style


The Art Deco Masonic Hotel – the perfect place to embrace all things Art Deco!


The Crown with its mix of traditional & modern architecture


Penthouse living at The Dome with its art deco exterior and cool modern interior

The striking streamlined Te Pania with its epic views of the bay, will have you feeling as if you stepped onto an ocean liner

Prefer to self cater, the very pretty Historic Colenso Cottage hits all the right notes!


Hope you enjoyed our walk through the Gatsby Picnic, if you have attended the Art Deco Festival and have any top tips, do let me know.

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  • Reply donna baker February 27, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Wow! That looks like a fabulous event. What wonderful pics.

  • Reply Carolyn February 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    That looks like so much fun! thank you for sharing such wonderful photos.


  • Reply Amanda March 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Such an amazing event isn’t it! That art deco teaset is very cool. Did you sneak that one home under your fur coat? xx

  • Reply caroline @ patagonia gifts March 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    wow amazing event. loved the photos. especially those pretty cups. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Charlotta Ward March 18, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I wish I could have been there too!

    What a place!


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