"It's beaut," was how seaside Napier was summed up by Brisbane couple Greg and Caroline Graham who were among the more than 1000 passengers who stepped ashore from the cruise liner Sun Princess yesterday.
"It's fascinating," Mrs Graham said.
"These buildings - there's nothing like this in Brisbane," her husband said.
"And the one thing we've noticed is how clean it is. There's not even a leaflet or anything fluttering around. And no graffiti."
While many had taken up tour and sightseeing options they had been happy just to stroll the sunny streets.
"We started out at the Art Deco place to do a self-guided walk but couldn't leave - we spent a lot of time in there," Mrs Graham said.
For Neville and Paula Atkinson from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, who were on their second cruise visit to Napier, it was the same.
"We went in there to start off on the tour and ended up half-an-hour late because there was so much to see in there - it's a great spot," Mr Atkinson said.
Mrs Atkinson said as it had been when they spent a few hours here two years ago, everyone they came across was "really friendly".
"We've just been having a look around and Nev stopped for a beer."
The sunshine, without too much heat, was "spot on - couldn't be nicer," Mr Atkinson said.
Another second-time caller who gave his name as Tom from "just out of Brisbane" said the Marine Parade seafront, and the "clean and fresh" sea was "stunning".
"You've got a good little spot here," he said.
All spoken to said they would have liked a little more time in Hawke's Bay to see even more of it.
The Sun Princess arrived just after 10.30am and departed at 7pm for Wellington, with passengers farewelled by a line-up of vintage cars and a jazz band.
Its sister ship Dawn Princess, was scheduled to arrive in port at 6 this morning from Tauranga and depart at 2pm.