Top Spots for Solo Travelers

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Visiting us in Auckland for business, or travelling around solo this summer? Although there is plenty to do for those travelling in groups, sometimes it’s hard to find those spots that are suitable for one, so if you are looking to relax and look after yourself, we have done the work and found some top spots for one!

Barista Cat Cafe

Grab a coffee, get acquainted with the resident kitties and get ready for a whole lotta patting, talking to cats in baby voices and leaving probably wanting to adopt your own! It’s a great way to add a spin to your morning coffee and have some unique company, and its all for a good cause!

Try A Float

For one of the most out-there and alternative ways to relieve stress and feel good, why not de-robe and slide on into one of Auckland’s top floatation tanks? A one-hour session is the equivalent to four hours quality rest and with no temptation of electronic devices to distract you, you can completely unwind and switch off – perfect for those on business!

Auckland Botanical Gardens

Take a stroll through the greenery, immerse yourself in all the stunning foliage and breathe in all of the incredible scents. There are plenty of short walks around the gardens as well as the Auckland museum, both also perfect for those travelling solo!

The Classic

For a quick and guaranteed pick me up, head on over to The Classic for belly laughs galore. With something going on every night and hosting some of the best local and international acts, you are sure to leave with a side stitch and a grin from ear to ear

Mt Eden

Sometimes we need reminding of the fact that we live in such a beautiful and bountiful city. Where better to remember this than at the top of Mount Eden. With some of the most stellar, panoramic views of Auckland, and with ample space to have some alone time, this may be one of the more predictable spots, but boy, it’s one of the best. Being located pretty much around the corner (and a few more) this is perfect for those wanting to go for a morning jog, or to just get away from the noise of the city.

Save Ferris Arcade Bar

There’s just something so comforting about a blast from the past, and there’s nothing that makes us feel more like children than playing some old school arcade games. Forget your playstation, because pinball is back—this time with beer (or cider if that’s your jam). You can end up here for hours reliving the classics and getting hypnotized by the colorful lights and bells!

 

What’s On Auckland – October Edition

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It’s the first month of spring which mean we have more daylight to burn! And what better place to be than the big city! And October is not letting up! It is jam-packed with activities that are outdoors, indoors, that go late, require early starts and are perfect for foodies, art fans and anyone with a sense of adventure!

Chelsea Handler

Returning for another hilarious stand-up show, US comedian Chelsea Handler is back with her ‘Life Will Be The Death of Me’ comedy tour – Disarmingly honest and riotously funny than ever, it will showcase the brash and self-deprecating humour that’ she made her name on. Here for one night only at the Auckland Town Hall, don’t miss the opportunity to catch this comedy queen live.

Artweek Auckland

See the quirky and talented side of the city as Artweek Auckland takes over ten suburbs across the city. Showcasing art of the talented artists in our city, you can get amongst free walking tours, workshops, exhibitions, tattooing and so much more across this ten-day festival. From the first-ever outdoor art market to the return of Late Night Art, and creating your own masterpiece, it’s time to get artsy in Auckland.

Festival Italiano 2019

The largest Italian festival in New Zealand is back, bringing more pasta, art, pizza, wine and cars you can poke a stick at. Festival Italiano takes over the streets of Newmarket once again, with al fresco lunches from leading Italian eateries, a pop-up Italian bar, and a market with more than 40 stalls.

ASB Auckland Marathon

Get that summer body ready, or just put it to the test with the famous Auckland Marathon! It’s time to sign up for your race of choice, start training and hit those fitness goals. With no rules how to run the five distances on offer, It sprawls across our beautiful city, with views of the harbour and ports to inspire you for the last push of the race.

Taste of Auckland

One of Auckland’s most delicious events of the year is set to transform Queens Wharf into a foodie playground. Taste of Auckland returns with some old favourites like Culprit, Lowbrow and Xoong showcasing delicious bites, and new additions like modern Indian cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Manjunath Mural of Epicer. Headlining the foodie festival is Marco Pierre White, considered the ‘godfather of modern cooking, heading to the event for an exclusive multi-course dinner for charity.

Five Great Vegan Eateries in Auckland

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Vegans get a bad rap, and sometimes it can feel like you are a little excluded in where you can go to eat, but that certainly is not the case in Auckland! We are packed with so many vegan choice that you could almost be hard-pressed to find the perfect location! Well, don’t fear my friends as we have whittled down our top five choice, that are perfect even for your herbivore friends!

Wise Boys

Just because you’ve gone vegan, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on greasy, mouth-watering classic American burgers, and Wise Boys have you covered! This take-out style, hole-in-the-wall joint has two tables should you want to devour on the spot. The selection is where it is at though, you will find the traditional style burgers like The Classic Cheese and The Spicy Mex or explore a more creative flare with the “fancy boys” list feature treats such as The Dirty Boy.

Tart Bakery

There’s nothing more kiwi than a good pie in the morning, and in all honesty, no matter your diet, Tart hands down has the best pies in Auckland. The fully stocked pie cabinet has all of the classic flavours—only made from plants. We’re talking ‘mince and cheese’, ‘creamy chicken’ and the classic ‘sausage rolls’. If you have a sweet tooth then one look at the sweets and pastries will have you drooling—beautiful berry danishes, chocolate croissants, iced donuts and daily cakes galore.

Mondays

Although not fully vegan, the mostly plant-based eatery has a courtyard decorated with lush green vines, comfy couch style seating and plenty of tables to fit larger groups. Its perfect for brunch – the citrus waffles with lemony coconut ambrosia, fresh citrus, vegan meringue and chocolate sauce make for a sensational breakfast. If you’re feeling more savoury then the barbeque jackfruit sliders are a real win—slow braised barbeque jackfruit with coleslaw, smoked paprika aioli and alfalfa sprouts!

Lord of the Fries

This one has etched out a name for itself in Auckland and New Zealand, offering classic fast-food that features all the classics—cheese-burgers, chicken burgers, fish burgers—except all free of animal products of course. The take-away style makes for a quick and easy meal to pick up on your way home to devour on the couch for maximum treat yo’self vibes.

The Butcher’s Son

Our final eatery comes with a motto i’m sure we can all get behind:  “delicious on your tastebuds, easy on your conscience, and better for the environment”. Their entire menu is made without any animal products, their takeaway packaging is biodegradable, and they proudly support local produce suppliers. The food is just as fantastic as they advertise! Mozzarella sticks, shitake mushroom and crispy pork bao buns, tacos and nachos, beet burgers, and sunfed chicken miso slaw burgers too.

What’s On In Epsom: September 2019

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We have jumped into September and with that brings some good news: Its Spring! Which means Summer is just around the corner. Being located so centrally gives us an added advantage if you want to take in those longer days and slightly warmer weather – we’re close to the showgrounds and the spark arena – and with some great events and gigs happening this month, it’s no better time to stay!

Here’s some of our favorite events happening this September:

Auckland Home Show

There’s nothing like a good spring clean to get the home ready for summer and feeling fresh, but what if the spring clean turns into a little bit of D.I.Y? well, head over to the Home Show and speak to leading renovation, building and design experts and pick up the right advice, ideas and inspiration in the free Design, Renovate, Decorate seminar series! Running over five show days at the ASB Showgrounds, over 500 exhibitors will showcase the latest products, services and trends in renovations, building, furnishing, home improvements and outdoor living. So, before you get swinging the hammer of slap on a lick of paint come along and get some inspiration!

Troye Sivan – The Bloom Tour

Returning to New Zealand for his highly-anticipated first national headline concert since his last sell-out 2016 show, Global popstar and LGBTQI icon Troye Sivan brings his sophomore album support tour, “The Bloom Tour” back to Auckland! Sivan has been a growing artist in the last few years, and it seems his rise is only growing faster! Bloom has spawned such hits as the New Zealand platinum smash hit ‘My My My!’, ‘Bloom’ and ‘Dance To This’ featuring Ariana Grande. Sivan has also recently announced that $1.00 from every ticket sold will be donated in support of RainbowYOUTH in New Zealand – if you needed an extra wholesome reason to attend!

NZ Motorcycle Show

Garb your leather, put on your helmet and lick start your way down to ASB showgrounds for Ride Forever Motorcycle Show 2019 – the largest motorcycle show in New Zealand. There’s something for every motorcycle lover, whether you own one for yourself or simply have a soft spot for them. The show covers over 10,000 square metres of indoor display space featuring New Bikes – Classics – Dirt Bikes and Custom! With all profits from the show going to charity (the 2018 event raised $140,000) there no reason to miss this one!

Stan Walker – Springboard Tour 2019

New Zealand’s favorite son returns this month, taking the stage to perform songs from his impressive catalogue plus his brand new pop smash single ‘Give’. Sam has become a local and international icon for his stint as a contestant on Australian Idol, as a judge on XFactor and  more importantly for his hits such as expect to hear some of his biggest hits including ‘Black Box’, ‘Unbroken’, ‘Take It Easy’, ‘Bulletproof’ – all of which you can expect to hear as he takes the stage at Town hall.

Making a Day trip in Grey Lynn

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Over the past decade, Grey Lynn has emerged as one of Auckland’s most emerging suburbs, full of life and character and with secret little spots of pure New Zealand scenery, this little city nook has become a must-visit for those adventuring to Auckland. Grey Lynn and the surrounding area has the perfect small city-within a city feel to it, it’s packed with boutique shopping destinations, some of the best parks Auckland has to offer and is minutes away from some of the top swimming spots in the inner city.

Starting your day off in Grey Lynn right you need to head to Ponsonby, this suburb has gained a reputation as being the ‘high-end’ of Auckland, but really it’s a suburb priming with youthful energy and a great creative flare. If you are a shopping fiend then Ponsonby will be heaven-on-earth for you: you can find everything from high-end fashion brands, some of New Zealand’s best up-and-coming boutique brands and the hole-in-the-wall small business with the most unique designs. If you like shopping second hand then you can’t miss Tattys this boutique second hand store carries some of the best brands at bargain prices, as well as funky pieces to really give your wardrobe an extra little flare.

Once shopping has taken out of you you’re in the right location to refuel to see out the rest of your day. Ponsonby has almost every food favorite available, the street is littered with flavors from across the world and award-winning restaurants. Ponsonby central is a go-to hub if you are with a group of people who have different tastes, this food all is packed with a food-lovers paradise, suitable for all dietary needs and tastes. If you are on a bit of a budget then head to freeman and grey and nab a few of their $5 pan-fried gourmet pizzas, and pair it with a beer or wine and sit outside in the sun!

If you want to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing, you won’t have to go far, Ponsonby features some of the best parks for relaxing in, including the famous Western park, and if you are travelling with kids, Grey Lynn park has one the best playgrounds in the entire city. But if you want to cool of or just work on the tan then head over to Herne bay and down the stairs to Sentinel Beach – a popular spot with locals, it’s the perfect place to take some fish and chips, a cool beverage and soak in the afternoon sun.

If you want to finish off the night with some drinks and a boogie, then head back into Ponsonby to their many bars, our favorites being grand central and revelry.

Top Five Best Dessert Spots In Auckland

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The whole idea of going on holiday is to treat yourself – to relax, kick back, and take in life’s pleasures and when you are visiting the big city, or even the country for the first time its always a must to take in the best food and treats the city has to offer. Luckily for us, living in Auckland you are spoilt for choice when it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth! And we have made a small list of our five favorite spots to dive into a delicious dessert.

The Dairy

Come with us now to our first delicious location, located in the hub for good food, Ponsonby. Located in Ponsonby Central, The Dairy are known for their mouth-watering toasted sandwiches and other cheesy creations, but when the day turns into night, it’s the desserts that’ll have your attention. Grab a scoop from their ice cream counter or, better yet, get on the ice cream sandwich amalgamations. The Dairy’s most famous menu item is the toasted brioche s’mores, which come with an incredible selection of flavors: dark chocolate, salted popcorn, banana, homemade marshmallow and mascarpone between toasted brioche.

Giapo

Located in the city center, this this  must-visit dessert hub has made a reputation for it’s mouth watering ice creams that are matched with out-of-this-world toppings including: doughnuts, hand-torched meringue and other mind-blowing bits and bobs. This is the kind of place that gets creative with their food, including replacing the cones with such food items as Yorkshire pudding. So if you are looking for a little invention with your food, make sure you have Giapo on your list!

Chocolate Boutique

Alright everyone, this is the crown-jewel of Parnell, it’s the little shop that’s had many international presidents and celebrities visit it of course, is the Chocolate Boutique. This dessert location takes its title seriously, when they say they are a chocolate boutique – they mean it. This little shop on the main street of Parnell is   home to hundreds of decadent chocolates, old school lollies and the kinda desserts that hit the spot and makes for the perfect date location, or a great way to spoil the kids. Beyond the chocolate theme, they also have sticky date pudding, berry waffles, chocolate fondue, banana spilt and Death by Chocolate—a chocolate dessert to rule them all.

OKO Dessert Kitchen

If you have spent the day walking around the main city, locking in some shopping on queen street and now just want to relax, then head over to OKO Dessert Kitchen for a taste of the good life. Located conveniently in Aotea Square, this delicious spot takes dessert seriously which can only benefit us all! There’s a selection of waffles, cabinet desserts, freakshakes and Chef’s Desserts. Their signature steaming volcano is also worth trying for the experience of chocolate lava alone!

What’s On in Auckland August 2019

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August is a great month for live events, as bands and festivals begin to gain hype and traction for summer, August is a month filled with cute smaller festivals that showcase local talent! August also brings with it some international acts and attractions that can appeal to the whole family!

Here’s what’s on:

The Others Way Festival 2019

One of our favorite small festivals returns! Watch as Karangahape Road district will come to life as the annual multi-venue extravaganza returns to celebrate the best in alternative music from across the country (and a few from around the globe). The 2019 festival takes place across 12 well-known venues on this iconic stretch of road, and is always hugely successful, showcasing music from a wide range of genres!

Tickets are cheap fro what you get, which is a stellar line up and a whole day of exploring, dancing and finding new local music to support!

Disney On Ice Celebrates Mickey and Friends

But if you want to sit down and relax and entertain the kids for a few hours then look no further!  Commemorating 90 years of the famous mouse, Mickey and pals venture through the various Disney worlds sharing meaningful moments from treasured tales spanning generations to determine what their favorite memory of all time in the ultimate interactive event when Disney On Ice celebrates Mickey and Friends.

Disney on Ice is an experience everyone should go to at least once in their lives, and for children they will be swept away in the imagination and skill presented. Perfect for families and all generations, if you need a great evening to entertain the whole family – you just found it.

Red Bull: Auckland Curated by Laneway

Laneway is one of the biggest music festivals in Auckland, and this little side show looks to give a taste of summer this winter! Red Bull and St Jerome’s Laneway Festival have joined forces to present a musical showcase in Auckland, with a night of live music featuring indie favorites Methyl Ethel, Daffodils and Stink.

Grab tickets now while they are cheap and before they sell out to catch what looks to be hot acts that could be the next big thing in New Zealand!

Kirin J Callinan – Return To Center NZ Tour

Now you don’t get a more unique performer than this one, the wild and wondrous Australian treasure, Kirin J Callinan returns to Auckland to celebrate the release of his triumphant new record Return To Sender.

Following two albums of inimitable, challenging pop music that garnered global acclaim and marked Callinan as entirely unique, a singular talent, nominations for the Australian Music Prize, and support slots for everyone from Crowded House to Tame Impala. On Return To Center, Callinan’s trademark flamboyance is cut with a newfound fragility that comes curled up in an attempt to do justice to the songs he holds nearest and dearest.

Exploring Auckland’s High Street

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If you are a bit of a shopaholic, love great restaurants and coffees, and knowing about the secret streets of cities, then this is the blog post for you! Auckland’s High Street is the cities best open secret, running parallel to Queen Street, this short one-way street features some of the cities best fashion brands and most esteemed restaurants.  And in this blog, we will cover some of our favorite spots on the street:

Unity Books

Unity books is just one of those stores that has something for everyone and where you can jump in and loose track of time. This Auckland institution is one of the last independent book stores in the city and has survived all these years due to their immense collection of various titles and their excellent service from their staff who have expert knowledge and are always on hand to help locate what you need or offer recommendations. The shop is located on a hard-to-miss orange building, so you have no excuse to pas this one up!

Chuffed

This cute little hidden gem has earned a rep as one of the best cafés in Auckland, which simply comes down to their back-to-basics dishes that they do absolute justice by mastering each and every element. From their crumpets to their humble sandwiches in the cabinet, they’ve nailed taste and presentation.

Crane Brothers

If you are wanting to head out for nice night, or are in the city for business and want to look your sharpest, then men, look no further than Crane Brothers. This traditional suit-tailoring store has gained a well-deserved reputation with new Zealand men, form their high quality suits that draw inspiration from British and Italian Tailoring tradition. Garments are Made in Italy and designed to work in harmony with an Antipodean climate and lifestyle.

Flo & Frankie

But of course High Street is a perfect shopping destination for the ladies as well, and one of our personal favorites is the ever-popular Flo and Frankie.  A simple browse through flo & frankie‘s boutique will surely provide you with utter glee, the relaxed retail space is packed with women’s fashion, design and lifestyle goods. Homewares and accessories are dotted around the store providing plenty of gift options as well.

Eight Thirty

If exploring the wonders of High Street requires a quick caffeine fix, then look no further than Eight thirty.  This pink and white café in the heart of High Street is a firm fave for those who work in the city. Delivering some of the best coffee in town, these baristas know what they’re doing. With a great vibe and décor, Eightthirty also has a cabinet full of tasty food so you can hit the hunger spot while enjoying your liquid gold.

Tuck into a food truck: the best meals on wheels

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Kiwi ingenuity is is our blood and we love supporting local business especially if it means mouth watering food! Some of Auckland best food can be found on four wheels, and we have our top five to share with you:

ICE CREAM SOCIAL

Looking for some good quality real fruit ice cream with a wholesome twist? Isaac and Heidi decided to bring real fruit ice cream to the inner Auckland area. With their custom-made caravan they blend your choice of berries into vanilla ice cream, and to cater for ever increasing food allergies and dietary choices they also offer vegan ice cream! Simple, fresh and delicious. They are proud to use biodegradable packaging to reduce the impact on our beautiful environment.

AMARANTO PASTA

Pasta is a staple in every Italian’s diet so when Luisa discovered her intolerance to gluten a couple of years ago, her partner Tommaso started playing around with different recipes to make gluten free pasta…after a year or so of trial and error he found a recipe he (and his very critical Italian friends) was happy with. Excited to share our food with the world, they decided to open up the doors of Amaranto Pasta & Cucina!

BROOKLYN DOGS

You can’t have a food truck list without hotdogs, and let me tell you, Brooklyn Dogs provides a simple menu of quality, manuka smoked sausages that are made from only natural casings, free-range pork and prime beefy hat are to die for. They don’t waste time with fillers, preservatives or nitrates. Their mission is to improve the meat you eat; so that you can experience an American classic the way it was meant to be – handmade, 100% natural and deliciously meaty.

GUERILLA GRILL

Guerrilla Grill is a ’73 Land Rover food truck helmed by Steve and Yang who met at culinary school and have been hanging out ever since! The concept of Guerrilla Grill came about during a summer of travel & when they launched in the winter they saw a gap in the market for some simple, bone warming comfort food. Enter grilled cheese sandwiches! They start on an organic sourdough with a house blend of Dutch cheese. The menu is always changing to keep things fresh and seasonal.

TINMAN

Okay, this one isn’t food, but we all know it’s hard to find good coffee, so I had to share this coffee truck with you! Tinman was created to offer a premium mobile coffee service, using top quality equipment operating out of a vehicle that was a little bit special – a 1967 Citroen H Van. They serve Coffee Supreme coffee, lovingly crafted on a La Marzocco espresso machine using Organic milk. Seasonal cabinet food is available and they scoop premium Kapiti Ice Cream in the summer months.

 

Auckland Winter Festivals to keep the Party Going

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It’s cold outside, and the sun goes down far too early in my opinion, but does that mean the party season has to be over? Or should we keep the drinks pouring and motor on? We have found three amazing winter festivals here in the city of sails that we believe are worth checking out, so replace those summer festival outfits with some layered warm clothing and let’s keep the party going!

MATARIKI FESTIVAL

To celebrate the beginning of the Māori new year, Auckland Council’s Matariki Festival consistently delivers a series of culturally delightful events. And while exact details are yet to be announced, you can expect everything from street food and live performances, right through to light festivals, stargazing, Māori art workshops and film screenings. It’s seen as a time to reflect on Māori identity, as well as an opportunity to look to the future while celebrating aspects of our culture that makes us so unique.

Matariki Festival 2019 runs from 22 June to 14 July in Tāmaki Makaurau

ELEMENTAL AKL

New cultural festival Elemental AKL was developed to make Auckland a more vibrant and compelling place to visit and spend time in during the rain-soaked winter. More than 40 events have been unveiled for the winter festival, including a lineup of light shows, culinary events and cultural performances.

Great Barrier Island is hosting a series of astronomy-themed events, Takapuna’s Smales Farm will see the return its three-day light festival, and an interactive light playground will illuminate Albert Park for three days. The Craft’d Wine + Spirits Festival will host more than 40 boutique wine and spirits producers, Eat Drink Love Ponsonby includes a series of special events and will see international guests take over spaces along the strip, Devonport’s ‘dining corridor’ will host a progressive dinner experience spotlighting native ingredients and traditional cooking methods, and Elemental Feast will see restaurants plate up unique dishes or menus using local ingredients and inspired by the elements.

The entertainment lineup will also see Auckland’s full-scale replica of the second Globe Theatre stick around for its first winter season. At Silo Park there will be an all-wheels illuminated parade in celebration of Matariki, and Te Taumata Kapa Haka will share the dynamic art form of kapa haka with exhilarating live performances

DEEP HARD N FUNKY

If you already miss carving up shapes on the dance floor and breaking a sweat, then we have the perfect thing for you.

For a dose of good hard dancing and EDM, get to George FM’s Deep Hard N Funky. Hosted at Ellersile racecourse, the lineup includes a stack of local and international acts, including P Money, Kings, Maximono, Kormak, Bijou and more. There’ll be six stages to jump between, so if you need to switch it up, something different won’t be far away. It’s also the event’s 20th anniversary, so it goes without saying that things will be bigger and better than before.