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Daniel Vernon

Winter Activities to Tick Off In Auckland

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As we head towards the middle of the year and deep into the throws of winter, and after the events of lockdown we begin to explore our own backyard, you may feel the lack of stretching sunshine days may result in a lack of activities – but this is far from the case! Even if the weather packs in during your visit, there is still a multitude of activities in the city that are perfect for the whole family!

Save Ferris

Take a step back in time and experience the joys of early gaming with this arcade that will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped through a time warp right back into a classic 80s arcade—think pinball machines, vintage comics and cartoon projections.

Serving a wicked range of predominantly New Zealand craft beers, the bar has it all, from cocktails to fine whisky. For hardcore craft beer aficionados, Save Ferris is conveniently located above the beer jerk bunker who themselves carry an impressive range of international brews. 

Perfect for a date, or to show the kids your skills, save ferris is the perfect rainy day activity!

Mt Albert Aquatic Centre

Just because it ain’t summer, doesnt mean you can’t go for a dip or expericnce the thrills of wavves at the ebach – indoors!

Known affectionately by locals as the Wave Pools, Mt Albert Aquatic Centre is famous fo it’s pools that create some waves. If you’re more of a serious swimmer, there is the classic 25m rectangular pool. For everyone else there is the wave pool that mimics a beach. Relax in lazy river, best spent floating on a doughnut, or don’t, and go down the hydro slide till you’re dizzy. For the kiddies there are hours of entertainment from watching the bucket water feature fill up and guessing which one will flip next. For the adults this sight is pretty entertaining to watch from the spa.

Holey Moley

Speaking of taking summer activities indoors, one of Auckland’s latest most popular venues is Holey Moley – incredibly themed indoor mini golf with a bar to boost!

Situated on the Viaduct, there are three nine-hole courses, two downstairs and one upstairs. Firstly, have your photo taken on the Simpson’s couch or in the Flinstone’s car. Then, head to the bar and choose a cocktail that suits your mood – choose from the Caddy Classics or the House Signature!

On the bottom floor there are two nine-hole courses, with each hole more crazy than the next. Think trying to get a hole-in-one on an Operation board or on a crowd surfing stage.

Upstairs the magic continues. Here you’ll find another bar and, if you happen to be super famous and want a bit of privacy a hidden door gives you access to yet another nine-hole course. From a scene from Jaws to a sitting room with images of iconic Kiwis from your childhood like Suzy Cato, your jaw won’t leave the floor!

Auckland Favourites to Order from in Level 3

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With Level Three now days away, life under lockdown will have fewer restrictions as we slowly inch towards a sense of normalcy. But as we continue to live under lockodown, one thing that level two allows us is the option to order takeawys again, and start supporting some of the small business in the city as they start to recover.

So we have mad a list of some of our local favourites that are offering delivery in Level two.

Burger Burger
Based in Newmarket, Ponsonby and Takapuna, Burger Burger offers ome of the best burgers in the city. adapting to the conditions, Burger Burger are pulling out all the stops, with DIY burger boxes and other treats (including booze) available for delivery, plus their usual BB goodies available for pick-up – including a valet-style service at their Ponsonby store!

This Parnell institution is opening up for business on May 7th, offering a cant-miss three-course pick-up menu with dishes like West Coast whitebait omelettes and Bali duck pancakes, as well as a selection of sides and other additions. With delivery options available, be sure to check out their famous tiramisu and salted caramel pavlovas.

Coco’s Cantina
The Locally famous K-Road Italian inspired restaurant has designed a menu that is surely is to expand as they settle into life at Level 3, with plans also in place to offer family-size freezer meals (yuss). With delivery options as well as pick-up from the restaurant, there really is no excuse to miss out on the famous eats on offer.

Located in the heart of the city, if you’re in the mood for some fun and flavoursome Peruvian-style food, from acclaimed chefs Nic Watt and Darren Johnson; look no further than Inca! Available for delivery or pick-up, the pair have also put together a range of gourmet meal kits, so you can cook like a pro at home!

This city-centered establishment offers mouthwatering offerings for each main meal of the day – Get your fill of everything from beautiful breakfasts (their shakshuka is legit) through to pre-dinner mezze and mains. Like many other eateries, they’ve also put together a line-up of chilled, vaccum packed meals with chicken chasseur, beef bourguignon and a winter vegetable tagine all on the menu. Available for delivery or pick-up, this one is well worth a try!

The Pie Piper
Available for pick up, these K-Road favourites are making a name for themselves for their amazing American-style dessert pies – now they’re bringing us mouthwatering treats of the savoury variety! Their new Piper Diner menu features Philly cheesesteak and meatball pomordoro hoagies and a build-your-own breakfast biscuit. Of course, it’d be absolutely criminal not to order one of their sweet pies, or doughnuts from sister company Doornuts while you’re at it.!

Best Burgers In Auckland

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Auckland can have a reputation for its fancy eating, its healthy alternatives, and its modern lifestyle. but sometimes when you are on holiday, all you want tot do is relax, and indulge in some of your favourite guilty pleasures. We can’t think of anything better than just a good, well-made, big juicy burger, there is something just undeniably classic about a good burger that can make a holiday that much more special. Auckland is brimming with places that are perfect to grab your mitts on something good, and we have highlighted a few of our favorites!

Corner Burger

Located in Mount Eden and NEwamarket, and famous for their homemade sauces and sodas, freshly pressed patties and only the highest quality ingredients, these burgers are a piece of handmade heaven. Not much goes better with burgers than beer and here you can indulge in both, with a variety of tap craft brews to choose from. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, Corner Burger also offers a dessert burger with a choice of banoffee pie or Snickers.

Rosier Burgers

This family-run takeaway joint in Glen Eden specializes in beef smash burgers, which basically means big, juicy certified organic patties. The Double Cheeseburger is the most popular item on the menu. The masterpiece bursts at the seams with two beef patties doused in Swiss cheese, red onions, mayonnaise and a generous supply of pickles. Also on the lineup: an organic lamb burger, the fiery Hawaiian Dragon with a chili-salted pineapple ring, a daily vegetarian special and the bun-less keto version.

Big J’s Takeaways

Big J’s is a .ocally famous gourmet takeaway shop in Mount Wellington with weekly specials and burgers that have amassed a nearly 18,000-strong following on Facebook. The unassuming joint is owned and operated by a chef with 25 years experience who continues to deliver burgers you’ll want to go back for. To give you an idea, a recent weekly special was the Crummy Summer, which comprised a crumbed chicken breast with sauteed onions, streaky bacon, roasted garlic aioli, spiced plum sauce and crumbed camembert.

The Chosen Bun

Gourmet burgers, hand-cut fries, beer and creamy shakes — what more could you want? The Chosen Bun in Stonefields has also made a name for itself in the gluten-free arena for its buns and sides. From the menu you can choose from a smorgasbord of beef, chicken or fish, as well as a portobello mushroom burger for the veggie lovers. Make it a meal with fish bites and mozzarella sticks.

Best Ways To Spend Valentines In Auckland

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Going to be staying with us in Auckland this valentine with that someone special? Then you have come to the right place as Auckland is brimming with activities and events that can make the day – and whole weekend – as romantic as possible! We have got our favorite four things that are on to help inspire you this valentine’s day!

White Rabbit On The Park

There’s nothing more romantic than a nice fancy dinner, and this restaurant is catering their menu for the big day! This Drake Street eatery has certainly caught our eye. Not only do White Rabbit On The Park serve up great food and drink they have only gone the extra mile and created a three-course, Valentine’s Day menu for all the love birds out there too. Think salmon ceviche with citrus and avocado, pork belly with seared scallops, along with a citrus panna cotta to finish and you’ll be swooning over the food (and your loved one!) in no time!

Roses Are Red

How about just a simple classic romantic gesture of the gift of flowers! The OG of Auckland flower delivery and a staple of any self-respecting list for fantastic Auckland flowers comes Roses Are Red. With a local history spanning more than 30 years, these florists are the real deal boasting beautiful blooms that will last the distance. Not only do they guarantee free same day delivery, but they’ll send you a snap of the exact flower that you have ordered—how’s that for peace of mind? Oh, and did we mention that the Auckland-wide delivery is also free?!

Duck Island Ice Cream

There is something romantic and classicly cute about a date at the ice cream parlor! This unique parlor has amassed quite the following since they opened thanks to its fun, often unusual flavors, many of which are also vegan. Indulge your inner child with a cone of sprinkle-filled ‘fairy bread’—dig your way through a cup of marshmallow and chocolate-studded ‘ambrosia’—or, if you’re feeling super adventurous, check out the black sticky rice or raspberry, coconut, and coriander offerings (they’re actually surprisingly good!).

Burger Burger Matchmaking

Not everyone has someone special this valentine’s day, and that’s okay, as Burger Burger has your back!

Over the past five years, the burger joint has held the matchmaking event that invites singles to put their hearts on the line to see if they can meet their next hunk of burning love (or date for the night, at least). In past years the speed dating event has attracted singles by the hundreds for food, drink, and mingling!

Inventive Ways to Cool Off in Auckland this Summer

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Auckland is famous for its summers, you can’t beat the long days, the luscious greenery and the beautiful feeling of wearing light clothing. But Summer in the city of sails doesn’t come without that famous dry heat that sticks around all summer long. So if you’re feeling like your sticking to everything, or melting away and need some quick remedies that are local and creative, then this is the list for you!

Bethells & Pākiri Beach

Obviously, this list is going to have a couple of our favorite beaches, it could be argued that Auckland has some of the best beaches in the country, and they’d be right.

For those who are looking for a little peace and quiet as they dip and cool off in the surrounding waters look no further than Bethell’s. Less than an hour’s drive from the city, Bethell’s Beach is the place to get some much need relaxing in as you cool off as it’s more sheltered and tucked away than many other surrounding beaches.

While we are on the topic of quiet beaches, Pākiri Beach is just that and is the perfect place for a wee escape from the city life of Auckland. The isolation makes it an idyllic and peaceful place when looking for some downtime. Pākiri Beach doesn’t allow amplified music and sometimes, silence is the only thing you need to get away and cool off!

Ollies Burgers & Ice Cream

Nothing screams summer like a classic ice cream parlor, and Ollies encapsulates every essence of the word. The retro fit-out features everything you’d expect, including chequered floors, arcade games, and a shiny red countertop, Its features the New Zealand staple of summer ice creams, Tip Top, we’re talking hokey pokey, orange chocolate chip, good- goody gumdrops, gold rush and all the other fabulous flavors this iconic Kiwi brand has introduced to us over the years. Alternatively, order yourself one of the eatery’s super-nostalgic banana splits, complete with all the trimmings.

Take a Stroll, or Relax Under Native Trees

 Sometimes just sitting under a tree and reading a book is just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer’s day. If you want to get some shade, take in the view of some magnificent native trees and maybe learn a thing or two along the way, then you can’t beat the beautiful Parry Kauri Park. Take an easy stroll along one of the well-made boardwalks, through the native bush, to the lookout and kauri tree grove. Pick up a brochure from the Museum souvenir shop that describes and identifies the native trees and shrubs found along the path.

What’s On in Auckland January 2020

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After months of waiting it seems like are finally fully submerged in summer weather, the season the city comes alive! If your New Years’ resolution was to get out and do more than boy do we have the list to help you!

Here’s what’s on this January in Auckland:

2020 ASB Classic

Don your best whites, as the iconic summer sports tournament, the ASB Classic (New Zealand’s premier tennis tournament), returns! With some of the biggest names in international tennis set to take centre court, including the one and only Serena Williams—it’s one not to be missed! As well as kicking back and watching the game, you can indulge in the highest quality cuisine, made by some top-notch chefs!

Fat Freddy’s Drop

Quite possibly the kings of kiwi summer music, Fat Freddys are the dub, reggae seven-piece who don’t quit and are unmissable; live! Luckily for us the band are hitting the road this summer with their NZ Summer Record tour. This year gets a super-charged tune-up with the addition of some epic tour buddies— DJ David Rodigan, L.A.B, Avantdale Bowling Club, JessB, Chaii & Bailey Wiley. Its an incredible line up of local talent, and this one heading to Western Springs, it literally is where summer is at.

Exquisite Waiheke Pool Party

If the name doesn’t sell you alone, let me lay out the pitch: iconic Auckland landmass Waiheke, partying on a private resort minutes away from a golden sand beach, complete with pool, spa, a minigolf course, bar, and restaurant. With DJs to keep you partying long into the night, this is a pool party to end all pool parties and will cement your summer for sure!

SIlo Cinemas

No Auckland summer is complete without heading to an outdoor movie, eating snacks and cuddling up with someone you care about and watching a good flick in the fresh summer air! The Silo Cinemas are back this year with a fantastic lineup of films that make for a great date or something to take the whole family to.

Laneway Festival New Zealand

The crown Jem of Auckland summer festivals, Laneway is back in 2020 and closing off the first month of 2020 with a day of music, food and dancing that you’ll likely never forget. Some of the world’s most critically-acclaimed acts will be joining in the fun at Laneway Festival, party it up with the likes of English pop-rock band The 1975, Aussie alternative dance group RÜFÜS DU SOL and pop princess Charli XCX.

Five Must-Do Activities in Auckland to Check-Off this Summer

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We have now fully immersed ourselves into summer, the weather is warmer, the sun is out, and the holiday are quickly upon us! If you are coming up to visit for a period across summer, we have found some essential iconic summer Auckland events that will make the trip that much more worth-while!

Pop-Up Globe Final Season

If you have never had the opportunity to see some of the fantastic performances at the Pop-Up globe theatre, then you have your final chance this summer! After 1206 performances and attracting more than 350,000 Kiwi theatre-goers, the Pop-Up Globe is closing the curtain on its Auckland run before it is dismantled and the company focuses on international touring. Kicking off on December 13, the 2019/2020 season will be the Pop-Up Globe’s last appearance at Ellerslie Racecourse, The full-scale replica of the second Globe Theatre first popped up in 2016 as a one-off event to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

For those who missed out on the last four Auckland seasons, the three-storey Pop-Up Globe replica seats 700 theatergoers over three tiers and includes standing room in the ‘yard’ to recreate the experience of a night out at the 16th century theatre.

The Summer of Love, this final season will see the return of crowd favourite Much Ado About Nothing, and Romeo and Juliet.

Movies in The Park and Silo Cinema

Up with family or looking for a romantic and cheap date? Then look no further than watching a cinema classic in the beautiful summer afternoon air!

First up is Movies in Parks, hosted by Auckland Council, 26 movies set to play from January to April, this movie series gets Aucklanders into our best parks and reserves while watching a range of movies across genres for all ages. Catch classics such as Grease alongside new favorites Aquaman at all your favorite neighborhood parks and reserves.

Second, is catching movies projected on the huge Silos at Silo park! More than a movie experience, come early for great food and drink, play games or let the kids run loose at the playground!  This summer’s lineup including Rocketman, The Princess Bride, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone- and keep an eye on the People’s Choice screening in late February!


Easily Auckland, and the country’s, most popular music festival, St. Jerome’s Lane, is gearing up to put on yet another stellar show in January! Held over Auckland Anniversary weekend on 27th January, this boutique festival should be on every Aucklander’s calendar. A range of international and local acts will create an experience like no other, turning the central city into a hub of excitement. Of course, as per every year, Auckland’s best food vendors will keep tummies full and the sun will hopefully shine! Predictably the lineup this year is banging, with The 1975, Rufus Du Sol, Charli XCX, Ruel, Earl Sweatshirt and local favorites The Beths make this one not to miss!

What’s On: Auckland January

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The cold weather is well behind us, the sun is out, the holidays are booked and if you are heading to stay with us across January you are in for a bevy of shows, theatre and summer concerts!

Here’s what’s on this month:

Pop Up Globe: The Taming of the Shrew & Richard III

The Pop-Up globe 2019 season continues with two Shakespeare classics including The Taming of The Shrew which promises to transport you four hundred years into the past to tell the tale of an intelligent, outspoken, wealthy woman and a rude, misogynistic drunkard determined to secure his fortune, who are misled into a hasty marriage. Richard III is the classic Shakespeare villain tale of Richard Duke of Gloucester, who plays upon his own reputation and shamelessly manipulates, extorts and executes his way to the top.

Performed in stunning Jacobean period dress, the Somerset’s Company are Pop-up Globe’s mixed company of actors and musicians, drawn from around the world, these shows are an annual treat and tend to sell out fast, so get in quick to secure your spot!

New Year’s Day Races

See in the new year with some fancy dress and a day in the sun at the races! This annual tradition continues in 2019 with a winning trifecta of high-class thoroughbred racing, free family entertainment & tradition. The young ones will enjoy the petting zoo, pony rides, and other activities on offer, while older patrons can relax with a picnic blanket, food, and drinks.

Fomo By Night

The huge Australian summer festival finally lands on our shores this month, toting a stellar line up that includes Nicki Minaj, Lil Pump, Mura Masa, Kali Uchis, San Holo, Montell2099 and The Katayanagi Twins. This all-ages show at Spark Arena promises to mix international and local acts for an unforgettable night to start the summer off right.

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals

After winning over crowds at last year’s Laneway Festival, Anderson .Paak returns to New Zealand hot off the heels of his hugely anticipated third album .Paak will be joined by Grammy-nominated composer, instrumentalist, producer, vocalist, poet and frontwoman of neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote. .Paaks 2018 sold out, so you’ll want to get in quick if you want to catch the man in action!

Florence + The Machine

Heralded as one of the best live performers, Florence + The Machine will return to New Zealand next January for one powerhouse performance at Spark Arena. The tour is supporting the singers latest offering, High As Hope, which has been met with rave reviews, she will be performing the album along with fan favorites at what will surely be a sell-out show.

Exploring Auckland’s newest dining experience: Morningside Precinct.

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Being located in the suburbs sometimes can make it difficult to have a new and upscale dining experience, and if you aren’t up for a trip to the city, your options become limited.

That is – until now. Located just twelve minutes from the motel, a new dining precinct has opened in Morningside and is set to be one of the hottest food and drinks destinations in Auckland. Close to Eden Park, it’s simply called ‘Morningside’ and houses businesses, food hotspots, a tavern, a dessert bar, and even a stunning new event space. With both indoor and outdoor spaces in a lush environment, there’s something for everyone.

And it’s become an instant hit with locals, earning rave reviews online and on social media. If you want to know a little more, here’s what’s in store for you at this new Auckland hotspot.

Bo’s Dumplings

If you are looking for a quick snack while visiting, or just have dumplings on your mind, look no further. A collaboration between chef Bo Feng and Architect DJ Tai, feast on perfectly steamed or lightly fried classics including the chive egg prawn and juicy pork dumplings. Inspired by the flavorings of Bo’s hometown, Tianjing, give a cold dish a try for a taste of true homestyle Chinese fare.


Another perfect spot for a quick bite – and an Auckland favorite is Crave. A social enterprise, a portion of the profits are invested back into the community. With a menu that transforms from day to night, as well as an impressive drinks list, Crave is a definite on your list.

Electric Chicken

The first of many main dining experiences, the Electric Chicken will draw you in with its fit-out popping in colour. Choose between a quarter bird, half bird or whole bird then pick which one of five ways you want it cooked, add a side and you’ll be in foodie heaven. They’re also serving up chicken sandwiches, which include a vegetarian option, soda, and liquor.

Morningside Tavern

No dining precinct would be complete without some good old fashioned pub food and drinks and that’s where the Morningside Tavern steps in. Overlooking the space are cosy lounge settings perfect for catching up for a cold one or two. With a starters menu that includes small plates and an impressive mains menu, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a Kiwi classic like beer battered fish ‘n’ chips, a woodfired pizza or even a superfood salad for those on a health kick, wash it down with one of 27 beers on tap, bottled beer, a wine, cocktail or even a mocktail.


Finally, if you have room for dessert than you can indulge your sweet tooth at Miann. With a blooming mini garden at its front, you’ll find a cafe and patisserie serving fresh brews and creative bites. You can’t go wrong with their house-made gelato offering, but if you’re more of a savory person, the almond croissants are a must. You’ll also find a chocolate shop with blocks and bites that are made by the masters right before your very eyes.

Exploring St. Kevins Arcade

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The crown jewel of K Road is St. Kevin’s Arcade which is packed with some of Auckland’s most popular bars, shops, and restaurants. The Arcade started out as a large estate, occupied by the Nathan family until 1918 and then demolished in 1920. Before the Nathan family vacated their city abode, they gifted a strip of land to serve as a passage from K’ Road to Myers Park, and this strip of land is where the famous St Kevin’s Arcade sits today.

The Arcade has grown since, after being extended in 1926, and with a thriving economy, K’road became one of Auckland’s premier shopping destination, often compared to Oxford Street in London. During this time of flourishment, St Kevin’s Arcade was home to the best of Auckland’s Tailors and Dressmakers, tea rooms and photography studios.

But with the introduction of the inner-city motorway and suburban malls in the 1960’s K’ Road and the surrounding area lost its appeal. But today, with more people living central, and the inner city reclaiming its vibrancy, St. Kevin’s arcade has become a staple for entertainment, food and shopping, especially for young people.

Shops in the arcade include the vintage denim bar, Stalgic Society, where you can choose from a large selection of on-trend vintage brands such as Calvin Klein, Gas, Wrangler, Tommy Hilfiger, GUESS and more. Then become your own designer and choose how store-owner Sarah will spice up your new love-worn threads with patches, crops, cuts, frays and other distressing techniques. If you are lucky you’ll catch Stalgic during one of their host guest artist’s sessions, to further personalise your jeans.

You can also book a nice Swedish relaxation and deep-tissue massage at Nicetouch, pick up a book from the hand-picked collection of quality second-hand books at The Green Dolphin, or pick-up a bouquet of flowers to brighten up your day from rose-tinted flowers.

If all that shopping works up an appetite, you’ll be spoilt for choice for food at St. Kevins, with highlights being Lord of the Fries, an ethical, fast food friend that specialises in Burgers, hot dogs, fries, sides, shakes and more. Dive into some Lebanese food at Gemmayze St with some local décor that matches the food, if you are on the go, pick up some tasty treats from Auckland’s favourite family-owned bakery Tart. If you want to dive into some eggy goodness, try the selection on offer at Egg and Spoon, an eatery solely dedicated to the humble egg – the brekkie burger is a local favourite.

The nightlife is also alive in this tiny nook, Both Whammy Bar and The Wine Cellar offer a range of local craft beers and wine, and usually, have local and international acts gracing their stage with a wide range of music.

So if you are heading into the city, be sure to find some time to check out this local favourite and find out why some of the best-kept secrets are worth finding.