Te Henga | Source
Best thing about Auckland? You are never far from the ocean.
Worst thing about Auckland? The lack of good public transport.
Favourite secret spot? A second hand store in Glen Eden. I stumbled across it one day after a trip to Piha beach. Over the years I've found some amazing stuff there. I scored a set of Royal Doulton tea cups for $11, which is just ridiculous. West Auckland has an abundance of vintage and antique stores. It really is the best place to go treasure hunting.
Favourite everyone-knows-it-but-it's-still-good spot? Te Henga (Bethells beach). We go there a lot over Winter and it's not unusual to have the whole beach to ourselves. During the summer we'll walk from Te Henga over to Lake Wainamu. It's kind of surreal, to go from the wide open coastline to massive sand dunes and lush bush. Like the desert in the middle of a forest.
Fred's | Source
six. Where is the best place for.... morning coffee/pick-me-up? meal with friends? romantic rendez-vous? late night drink? even later-night boogie? a) Little bird Unbakery in Ponsonby (and Kingsland) have pick me ups of every variety. Cold drip coffee, teecino, fresh juice, the caramel banana cashew milkshake is epic. Nothing contains gluten dairy sugar or soy so you can knock back cheesecake for breakfast like it's no big deal. These days I hardly ever drink coffee but Conch record store in Ponsonby, Goodness Gracious in Eden Terrace and Welcome Eatery in Grafton do great coffee and breakfast. Their baristas are some of the nicest people I know and have been making coffee for years. In the weekend I'll head to La Cigale french market for the best kind of pick me up - pastries and fresh flowers. b) Meal with friends - My two best friends have recently joined me in the mum club so we rarely go out for dinner but we do go out for lunch whenever we can. Ponsonby Central is our latest haunt. It’s a nice open space with loads of different eating establishments to choose from, which is ideal when you are as indecisive as we are.
seven. Where are Auckland's style spots? Where is the best shopping? All of my favourite NZ designers have retail outlets on Ponsonby Road. Karen Walker, Ruby, Miss Crabb, and Kate Sylvester are all situated within a 50 metre radius of each other. Workshop occupies the same block and carries a great range of international designers. Superette is a bit further down Ponsonby Road but definitively worth checking out. There is lots of good free parking too, which is a bonus. Driving around and around trying to find parking really kills my shopping vibe. For homeware I can’t go past Bloc in Mt Eden. Bloc is home to Father Rabbit, Douglas and Bec, Collected, Citta, and Peppin, An amazing collective of stores full of practical but beautiful products. Father Rabbit has a colour palette close to my heart, lots of white with soft greys and blues. I also love their carefully curated selection of stationary, I’m such a sucker when it comes to stationary.
Father Rabbit | Photo by Kara-Joy Rickard
eight. What is something you can get/read/experience/eat that you can only do in Auckland? Take a trip to Rangitoto Island to explore its volcanic crater and wander around the Pohutakawa Forest. Or you could walk up one tree hill and not see one tree on a hill.
ten. How would your describe Auckland to someone who has never been there before? A big, little, diverse, city, full of lush landscapes, beautiful beaches and the best food.
Pohutakawa Forrest | Source
Read more in our This Is My City series here.