It may be synonymous with adventure sports, epic scenery from the Lord of the Rings films and the spine-tingling haka of the All Blacks rugby team, but New Zealand has plenty of unique but lesser-known experiences for travellers. That isn't so surprising, really â this far-flung country adrift in the South Pacific has a long history of invention and innovation.
Napierâs beachfront Art Deco Sound Shell opposite the boutique Dome Hotel Â© Amos Chapple / Lonely Planet Images
Art deco fans with eyes on Miami and Mumbaiâs architectural heritage should also set their sights on Napier on New Zealandâs North Island. Rebuilt in the 1930s after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the city centre bursts with pastel colours, graceful buildings and geometric designs. In February each year, usually around Valentineâs Day, Napier townsfolk pull out the stops for a weekend-long celebration of all things â30s â vintage cars, flapper fashions, speakeasies and brass bands. Any other time of the year, stop by the Art Deco Centre on the beachfront and book a walking tour to appreciate the detail you would otherwise overlook.