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day trips

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.

Crave

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.

Miann

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.

Worth The Walk: Five Great Walks In Auckland

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It’s nearly November, the weather is getting warmer, the flowers are blooming and the beaches are looking more and more attractive. Summer in Auckland can be spent many ways, but we believe that some of the best ways to explore the city and the country for that matter, is on foot. In this blog we are going to look at some of Auckland’s best walks that cover our beautiful nature, some of our historical parks as well as taking you across romantic walks by the water, to give you some inspiration to tie up your laces and get exploring on foot.  

Cornwall Park 
  

This walks is located a stones-throw away from our motel, so there is no excuse to visit her. And during summer and spring its worth a visit alone for the cherry trees providing you with enchanting pink flowers that make the park look like something out of a postcard.   

Hobson Bay Walkway 

We understand that sometimes you have a big schedule and a huge walk just can’t really fit in. Well, that where Hobson bay is perfect: the short-but-sweet walk will have you enjoying the scenery of boats, birds, boardwalks, Victorian style houses and a lookout to Rangitoto, North Head, and Mount Victoria. But be sure to check the tides, You can only access this walk at low tide. 

Coast To Coast Walkway  

There are not many places in the world where you can literally walk from one coastline to the other. This is a true taste of Auckland and all it has to offer, you’ll walk through inner city ‘burbs, volcanic mountains, historic sites, all the way through to Manukau Harbour. You can also do the round trip right from the doorstep of the motel as one of the stops is our neighbor, one tree hill.   

White’s Beach Day Walk  

The west coast of Auckland has a secret, and we’re willing to share. The White’s Beach day walk is an hour long and begins down a local resident’s driveway, so be sure to be respectful, from there, signs will direct you to White’s Beach, where the track meanders down toward the big blue, where sand dunes await. Scramble over the sandy hills, play in the sea and witness exactly why Auckland’s West Coast has become one of the countries most sought-after destinations.   

Narrow Neck Beach  

Devonport is an amazing little village, with its ice cream shops, boutique fashion and bookstores and historic sights, you’d have to be crazy to not visit this waterside village –  but there it also boasts the beautiful Narrow Neck Beach. This will deliver the goods with views of Rangitoto and the city, its perfect for a slow stroll with someone you love.

Keep the Kids Busy In Auckland Part Two: Activities for All Seasons

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Sometimes traveling with kids can be tiresome and finding activities that they will equally love can be time-consuming, but luckily for you, we have gone out and done the research for you!     

In part two we head out for adventure looking at some of the best indoor and outdoor activities that cans can enjoy and adults and get a little fun out of too. Better yet these activities are great all year round so you can keep the kids busy no matter the weather.  

Snow Planet: 

Snowplanet is Auckland’s only indoor ski slope. Grab your beanies and warm jackets for a fantastic day out, only 30 minutes north of the city. At Snowplanet there is something for everyone; a chilly snow dome to ski, snowboard or snow tube and a warm relaxing restaurant for a bite to eat and coffee with panoramic views to watch all the action. 

Escape Masters:  

This internationally popular phenomenon promises a vivid experience where you can become the main character of a captivating mystery. An adventure, where you and your friends are locked in a themed room with the common goal to break out within an hour. To escape, you will need to find clues and solve unique puzzles. 

Bounce and Beyond:  

The whole family will have a blast playing at Bounce & Beyond’s indoor playground. There are inflatable slides, obstacle course, bounce houses, interactive games, toddler activities and more. Bring a book, bring your friends, and enjoy a coffee while your little one runs wild in the 1800 square meter inflatable playground.  

Around-The-World Mini Golf  

Prepare for a trip around the world, see the Arc de Triomphe, Effiel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the kings of the beasts on the African plains.  

Rainbows End  

It’s fun on demand at Rainbow’s End!  With over 20 rides and attractions, there’s something for everyone. Thrill seekers can try the big 5 Thrill Rides: Stratosfear, Fearfall, Invader, Power Surge and the Corkscrew Roller Coaster. Or for something to suit the entire family try the Log Flume, Dodgems or Family Karts. It’s your fun, and you can put it together any way you like.  

Kelly Tarltons 

With over 80 marine species and over 1000 amazing creatures across 13 themed zones, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium has it all. You can enjoy after dark events, animal encounters, special animals talks and feeds and so much more!  

Rocket-Ropes  

Rocket Ropes has an adventure high ropes course for kids aged 6 years plus and adults. Plus there is a Rocketeer course for kids aged 2 to 6 years old, to experience a climbing course using carabiners. They can scale the pirate ship, delve into the tunnels, bounce on the spring steps and more to give them a climbing adventure like no other. Bookings are essential.

Low Cost Adventures In Auckland: Learning and Exploring

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There’s nothing like saving money on holiday and the best way to do that is by utilizing the best free activities a location has to offer, and in Auckland, there are plenty. In this blog we have gathered three of some of the most well-loved activities and what they have to offer and have focused on activities that are great for people of all ages, and that can offer something a little more, whether that be a little bit of learning, exercise or adventure, we have it covered. 

First up is the Waitakere Ranges, located just forty minutes outside of the city, you’ll find the pristine bush, thriving native wildlife, and rugged black sand surf beaches. Many who visit the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park describe it as having a ‘wild west’ feel for its breath-taking natural towering sculptures and tranquil serenity that you don’t quite get living in the city.  

For all those out there who love a good walk in natural splendor, the regional park boasts 250 kilometers of walking tracks, surrounded by spectacular scenery. Notable scenic spots such as the Karekare Falls, are very accessible by foot – an experience for all members of the family. The Kitekite track (45 minutes) which will take you on a tour of the best things New Zealand’s native bushes have to offer, including waterfalls, streams, pools and beautiful native wildlife. The ranges also hold some of the countries most famous beaches – These beautiful west coast black-sand surf beaches are famous for their long stretching curves and tumbling waves. 

Next, we have The Auckland Museum, this famous landmark has shifted around a few sites in Auckland since its beginnings in 1852, including a farmer’s cottage and the Auckland Society before finally landing on top of Pukekawa in 1921, to commemorate the fallen soldiers of war world one. Since opening the museum has had a number of upgrades and renovations including an administration annex with a large semi-circular courtyard was added to the southern rear to commemorate the soldiers of war world two. 

The museum house a number of popular exhibitions including a large collection of Maori and Pacific Island artifacts, including a life-sized meeting house and Te Toki ā Tāpiri – the last great war canoe used in battle and carved from a giant totara tree. The museum also has floors dedicated to domestic and international wars, landmarks and encounters that contains art and artifacts, as well as fossils, history of toys, fashion and more. 

The museum is free for entry for Auckland locals, a donation is required for New Zealand residents, and international visitors have an admission fee of $25 for adults. 

Finally, Nestled below the rolling slopes of Albert Park in central Auckland is the Auckland Art Gallery. The gallery features its own in-house café that does a selection of food and beverages, otherwise why not walk just above the gallery and sit in Albert Park and enjoy a picnic by the fountain or below its many grand old trees? A mere two-minute walk will land you on Queen Street, one of Auckland’s oldest and most populated streets, filled with history, food, and shopping that leads you down to the waterfront which is a grand historic walk on a nice day, that features a bevy of restaurants and bars.