Originally a town, then a borough in its own right, Taradale officially merged with Napier in 1968. Now one of the city's largest suburbs, located only 8 kilometres from the downtown CBD, it is increasingly proving to be a magnet for families — many of whom are selling up elsewhere in Hawke's Bay to move there.

At the moment, more than 70 new dwellings are being constructed in the Guppy Road subdivision and practically all have been pre-sold. New streets are being laid and landscaped and Sotheby's International Realty's Bill Tawhai says that while this, along with other new developments, are helping relieve pressure, it's not going to be nearly enough.

Professionals make up the biggest group of Taradale home-owners, in terms of occupation, and cultural diversity is increasing. The median sale price has risen from $430,000 in 2017 to $522,000.

There are many reasons for its recent surge in popularity. Tawhai says a lot of it is down to its reputation as a pleasant, safe and secure neighbourhood.

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"And that's quite true. Once it was regarded as an old people's place but that's certainly not the case now. It's attracting lots of younger people, although first-home-buyers might find it a bit tough."

He says that while there are certainly Aucklanders looking for a lifestyle change in the market, the majority of potential purchasers in Taradale are local.

At Taradale's heart is Napier's biggest suburban shopping centre, recently upgraded and boasting around 140 businesses.

The suburb is spoilt for amenities with a number of public reserves: Otatara Pa is a major archaeological site that still bears the remains of terraces and food pits, while Dolbel Reserve has been developed into a tree park.

Sugar Loaf is the highest hill in Taradale with spectacular views across the suburb and beyond, while Anderson Park was formerly a racecourse and served as a triage area following the devastating Napier earthquake of February 1931.

Pettigrew Green Arena, an indoor sporting complex, also hosts local events such as home and garden shows, and Napier Council recently added to the Taipo Stream walkway with a new leg starting in Balmoral Road and coming out on to Church Road. Local cycle routes are also being embraced enthusiastically by fitness lovers.

Of course, Taradale is — most famously — home to the celebrated Church Road Winery, and the Mission Estate Winery, where grapes were first planted in the mid-eighteenth century to make altar wine for colonial worshippers.

Mission Estate is the scene of regular summer music concerts with big-name international stars dropping by. Both of these wineries enjoy high public profiles and attract thousands of visitors to the area each year.

A Sunday market at Taradale RSA showcases the Hawke's Bay region's food producers, dog owners can enjoy exercising their canine friends at Ruff Ruff Woof dog park, and on one of Taradale's main streets you'll find what locals believe to be the only Art Deco McDonalds burger outlet in the world.