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.


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!


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:


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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


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


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.

Auckland’s Best Winter Activities

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We have all been avoiding admitting that it’s here, but let’s face it, the temperature is cooling down, we’re putting our swimsuits away and getting out the woollies and setting the fires! But just because winter has waltz on in, doesn’t mean your holiday up to the big city has to be lacking! We have done a deep dive on the internet and sourced three great winter activities to do in Auckland in the cooler months!

Have some drinks cozied up by the Fire

There’s nothing quite like cracking open a bottle of red by the fireplace, or having a nice craft beer by the heat of burning embers and a few Auckland bars have made this perfectly simple for looking to get a bit loose in winter! From mulled wine to a nice stout and finger-licking good nibbles, this is the perfect way to end a long week or start a long weekend! Some of our favorites include the Fireplace Bar & Brassiere in Kumeu, catch some live music and some warm rum at Racket Bar in Britomart, or take in the homely vibes of 46 & York in Parnell.

Unique Movie Cinemas

There’s nothing cosier in winter than snuggling up with a blanket, sharing a few chocolates and settling down to a good movie. Although this doesn’t always involve leaving the house, it’s much more fun when you do! From Sunday through to Wednesday, the Mission Bay cinema screens $10 movies (meaning there’s money left over for the Movenpick joint downstairs!). The cosy Mission Bay theatre has a vintage theme to it, showcasing a fine selection of movies from alternative picks to the most popular of flicks. Another favourite is the Lido Cinema in Epsom, which emphasises a gold class experience offering lazy boy’s, a glass of wine and decadent Kapati ice cream. The Lido is perfect for spying out flicks no one else is showing, meaning subtitles and indie films are on the card.

Romantic Walk at the Wintergardens

Even on a cold day this is the perfect activity for lovebirds! A treasured spot in the heart of Auckland lies the most picturesque of locations – the Wintergardens. This is where past meets present, designed in the early 1900’s, it has two Victorian-style glass houses, One is heated, showing off lush tropical plants while the other is neutral, displaying temperate plants changing with the seasons.

Once you’re done exploring the gardens, head up the road to the cosy Domain & Ayr Cafe. With cabinet food set to impress and corners with bright cushions and rustic wooden tables, it’s the perfect finish to a day at the gardens. We recommend their famous 20-minute fluffy pancake but if you’re after something a little lighter, the blueberry muffin is a must.


The Best Scenic Drives in Auckland

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With the wet weather setting in, sometimes it becomes harder to see the sights and sounds of the region, but what if we told you could see some of what the city has to offer from the comfort of your own car? In this blog we cover some of the best scenic drives of the city that you can take in over your visit!


To get a real tranquil drive, that’s close to the city, simply head across the harbor bridge to Devonport. Reaching out towards the city, you’re guaranteed to have epic viewing spots. Two of our favourite drives are along King Edward Parade, which follows the beach, and Calliope Road, where you’re greeted with an impressive viewing spot at Stanley Bay.

Karaka, Clarks Beach And Waiuku

Take a trip somewhere away from the regular West Coast, and East Coast spots, and instead, head to the south west of Auckland. Start your roadie with a drive through Karaka, enjoy watching horses at the many pony clubs, and be tempted to swim at Karaka Lakes. Keep driving further out west and park up for awhile at Clarks Beach, when you’re done with that, drive around to Waiuku and enjoy river-watching at the Waiuku River.

Maraetai Coast Road

Once you’ve explored south-west Auckland, it’s time to head east towards Maraetai. Drive along Maraetai Coast Road and continue your journey until you reach Kawakawa Bay, offering views out over Hauraki Gulf and a taste of rural driving. There won’t be any stressing about traffic here.

Northcote Point

Pay a visit to the Shore and enjoy a scenic drive out to Northcote Point. It’s not your usual nature and ocean view drive—instead, you get to enjoy checking out the old villas. And the drive gets better. Once you arrive at Northcote Point, you’ll be greeted with the beautiful view looking back towards the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the City.

Awhitu Peninsula

Enjoy cliff top views overlooking black sand beaches, and epic coastal lookouts when driving along Awhitu Peninsula. Head along the peninsula and towards the Manukau Heads Lighthouse, where if you fancy getting some fresh air, then enjoy the views at the lighthouse, and head down to the wet and wild beaches below.

Herald Island

Yep that’s right, Auckland has an island that you can access without taking a boat. A causeway surrounded by mangroves connects the island to the mainland. With a bunch of parks, surrounding nature, and a wharf at the end of the island, there’s plenty of exploring to do.


If you want to drive along lookout points with amazing ocean views and then head down to one of the beaches for a dip, then Whangaparaoa is for you. This spot is totally underrated, much to the locals’ amusement—they’ve been enjoying the peace and tranquillity for years. Drive along Whangaparaoa, through Gulf Harbour and then set up spot at Shakespear Regional Park.

What’s on in Auckland This Easter Weekend

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It’s a popular time to visit Auckland this coming long weekend, with Anzac Day and Easter weekend falling so close together, many will be taking extra time off to make the most of the public holidays, and with school holidays falling in around the same time, you may be visiting us with the little ones in tow! So, to help navigate and figure out what’s going down in the city, we have scowered the internet to bring you some of your favorite events happening the big smoke this Easter.

The Great SKYCITY Easter Egg Hunt

Join The Great SKYCITY Easter Egg Hunt this April and go in the draw to win one of five ultimate family prize packs, including two nights accommodation plus breakfast in a Premium Suite for two adults and two children at SKYCITY Hotel, a $1,000 SKYCITY Gift Card, a family pas up the Sky Tower with a Magic memories photo pack to take home, plus valet parking during your stay.

Four eggs have a letter or symbol, write them on your entry form to complete the special phrase and drop your form in the draw box in the Atrium, there’s a special fifth golden egg hidden somewhere. Find it, write its location on the entry form and you’ll get an extra entry in to the draw (hint… it’s Sky high). Kids also go free these school holidays at SKYCITY Auckland, with a huge range of activities and special offers for the whole family.

The Great SKYCITY Easter Egg promotion runs from 9am on 1 April 2019 to midnight on 30 April 2019.

Dining in the Dark

Dans le Noir? (French for “In the Dark?”) is an international company offering patrons a unique experience by eating in complete darkness, guided and served by low vision or blind people. More than 1.3 million people have already lived this experience worldwide.

In the heart of Auckland City, at Rydges Auckland, surprise your senses as never before! Enjoy a unique sensory experience, thanks to our famous surprise menus in three different versions (Trust the Chef, Seafood and Vegan) assisted by unexpected guides.Your evening will be full of conviviality, excitement but also self-questioning. A full immersion in this sensual dining adventure will impress you as a once lifetime experience!

The Classic Late and Live

Ideal late-night entertainment after dinner or for those night owls looking for a laugh, the live and late showcase is a great late-night option to close your night out at the city. Feature up and comers and some established acts, it’s always a great time. Gather a group of you and 5 mates for the Table of 6 Discount!

Potted Potter

Playing to sold-out houses all over the world, Potted Potter takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven Harry Potter books (and a real-life game of Quidditch) into 70 hilarious minutes. This fantastically funny show features all your favourite characters, a special appearance from the fire-breathing dragon, endless costumes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props and a generous helping of Hogwart’s magic!

Created by double Olivier Award Best Entertainment nominees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner, the show is a must-see for Potter addicts and a great introduction to the series for anyone who’s ever wondered what all the fuss is about.