Waiwera Thermal Resort & SpaWaiweraPlan a day trip for the family, and head North to the beautiful seaside village of Waiwera. With nine hot pools of varying degrees of heat, there is somewhere for people of all ages to soak. Enjoy a movie in the movie pool - or the rugby, if it’s on. If you’re daring you can try the Lava pool at 48 degrees!
Parakai SpringsParakaiEnjoy a lovely drive North-West of Auckland to Hellensville’s neighbour, Parakai. Soak your weary bones in the hotter inside pool, splash about in the cooler outdoor pool and enjoy the climb up hydroslides and the thrill of the ride down. The price is fantastic and there is something for everyone. If you want to stay over, there is a camping ground next door.
Mt Albert Aquatic CentreMt AlbertThis is our favourite place to take the kids for an affordable and fun experience. There’s a spa for adults to enjoy (as well as one suitable for the under 18’s) and the wave pools attract all ages. Hire a floatable ring to take down the hydro slide, cruise the lazy river on, or ride the waves in the Wave pool!
North Shore Leisure GlenfieldGlenfieldThis place has it all: an Olympic sized pool for swimming and playing in, two spas of varying degrees, two hydro slides for the adventurous, and a sauna and steam room for those needing to detox. Take the kids or go on your own ;)
West Wave Pool and LeisureHendersonA great way to spend the day, with slide action, a lazy river, and a hot spa for tired bones to relax in. A range of pools for all ages an capable life guards on duty. And at $7 entry fee for adults and free for those under 16, your pocket hardly notices!
Carriages CafeKumeuI just celebrated my birthday with my favourite brunch - eggs benedict! I was able to exchange the rocket lettuce for spinach and the focaccia bread with a specialty hash brown, thanks Chef. Add to that the smoked salmon, two perfectly poached eggs and a drizzle of pesto and it was simply divine! I will be back for more in the very near future…
Takapuna Beach Cafe and StoreTakapunaThis delightful spot on the beach has it all - great coffee, divine ice cream, and a wonderful menu to dine from. My favourite meal? Eggs benedict with smoked salmon - it’s to die for! Except that wouldn’t be wise as you wouldn’t be able to enjoy it over and over again. VERY popular place in the weekends so get in early to ensure a table.
Fernielea CafeCoatesvilleThis gorgeous cottage houses a wonderful brunch secret - eggs benedict from Heaven. The food was delicious; the hollandaise sauce had a perfect lemony tang. Add to that a playground with sandpit for the kids and it is a win-win for all the family.
Mozaik Cafe TakapunaTakapunaWith consistently good service and a warm welcome each visit, Mozaik in the mall is the perfect place to unwind with a good meal. I love hash browns and their eggs benedict comes nicely settled on a tasty home-made hash brown: the perfect combination!
Hollywood Bakery Espresso NorthcoteNorthcoteI have dined here a few times, each time ordering my favourite brunch - eggs benedict with salmon. The food is consistently good, the eggs cooked to perfection, and all at a price that does not leave you homeless. Excellent value for money!
Manna Christian Stores Ltd GreenlaneGreenlaneA huge array of Christian resources, from books to dvds, music to recorded seminars. Manna are also found at Parachute Music Festival each year and their tent is constantly packed with visitors. Stores also in Henderson and Manukau.The perfect place to shop for gifts for loves ones who love God.
Evermore Books LtdMount RoskillI love this place - full of second hand (or pre-loved) books a other resources, you can browse for hours and come across numerous gems of wisdom. Tucked away in the suburb of Mt Roskill, once you’ve been you’ll want to return often to see what surprises have been added to the fold.
Church of Christ NZ BookshopMount RoskillA wonderful collection of books, DVDs, posters, gifts and resources for all your Christian needs. Covering two levels of floor-space, you’d be hard-pressed to not find what you came to look for. I have to admit their jingle I hear on Radio Rhema is catchy, too!
Christian Resource CentreAuckland CentralI love this little gem on Queen Street. You never know what you’ll find! Established in 1865, the Christian Resource Centre has everything you desire - and if it doesn’t, they’ll order it in for you. I also get their email newsletters, with a spot of wisdom from Manager, Bogdan Magolan, and a list of their latest additions. Priceless.
Albany Christian StoreAlbanyNow known as Life Store, this little gem is tucked away behind the courthouse and offers an array of book, music, DVDs and gifts. Always a smile form behind the counter, and free gift-wrapping if you ask.
Takapuna BeachTakapunaMy girlfriend’s favourite time out spot - walk the beach in mindful meditation or soak up the ambience of nature and people coming together as one. Our favourite walking beach - it’s 5 kms if you walk it twice - with toilets at both ends ;) No reason not to enjoy the perfect coffee from the beach café or o continue on over the rocks to Milford.
Waiake BayWaiakeThis cosy little beach has plenty to offer. Enjoy a picnic on the grass, swim in the bay, or walk out to Sugar Loaf Island when the tide is low and climb to the top. As kids we used to pretend we owned the island. The perfect place to take the family of all ages.
Long BayLong BayOne of the most popular beaches during summer, Long Bay offers a wonderful sandy beach for building sand castles and swimming in, as well as a huge reserve which provides grass areas for picnics and games of frisbee, rugby and cricket. It is hard to find a park in summer, so turn up early and stay for the day. Enjoy the different aromas as people from all cultures set up camp around the park, and join in with singing to guitars or find your own private spot to enjoy.
Mission BayMission BayA popular hang out and destination for roller-blade skaters, cyclists, joggers, walkers and swimmers. Most swim in the sea, but some cool off in the art deco fountain which has been appreciated for over a century. Mission Bay at night, however, is a wonderful spot for a romantic picnic - or fish and chips and gazing at the city lights.
SPCA Op Shop Browns BayBrowns BayThis delightful store is full of everything an anything. We used to pop in Saturday mornings while at the Browns Bay markets. I love the fact the proceeds go to an awesome cause -our furry friends and family members.
- 23One of my favourite op shops - and not because it is right next door to KFC - the Birkenhead store has a large variety of second-hand goods, clothing and furniture. I can spend hours in this shop, perusing the books and trying on pre-loved clothes. Proceeds go towards community outreach projects the Sallies are well-known for :)
Hospice North Shore Shop - Wairau ValleyWairau ValleyWe love visiting this place with a coffee ready to browse and be surprised by what pre-loved treasures we might find.This wonderful store also houses a secret - if you walk around the back of the building, there is more!
Glenfield Red Cross ShopGlenfieldThis tiny little treasure trove, tucked away behind the shops, is one of the few traditional op shops around - it still has items of clothing 50 cents! Although it is small, it is jam packed with pre-loved items of clothing and trinkets, and we always walk away with a bargain an a smile :)
MOTAT Museum of Transport and TechnologyWestern SpringsI love going back in time with each visit to MOTAT. It’s the perfect place to take the family for both fun and learning. From groping your way through textile tunnels to chugging along the tram track in a vintage carriage, there is something for everyone. I always come away having learnt something new!
Auckland ZooWestern SpringsWhat is not to love about the Zoo? Even those of us who would prefer the animals lived in their natural environment, we have to admit the Auckland Zoo has created enclosures as similar as possible to their natural home, and provide for all their needs. Watch the elephants bathing, talk to the parrots, hug a lion. No, don’t do that one. Educate the family on the vast array of God’s creatures and have a picnic amongst the wildlife.
Butterfly CreekAuckland AirportIt is quite a surreal experience to be surrounded by hundreds of butterflies, flying around and even landing on you! The rainbow-coloured array of these beautiful winged creatures is just serene. But it’s not just about butterflies. There are other critters you can pat and feed, and even an alligator to hold! Well worth a visit with all the family.
Crystal MountainSwansonThis is a fascinating place to take the kids. With a petting zoo of farm animals to pat, feed and ride, a train and a mini rollercoaster to enjoy, and gold to be panned for, there is still enough time to spend admiring the incredible array of crystals in the shop - after a visit underground down the elevator! A wonderful combination of fun and learning!
Auckland War Memorial MuseumParnellNot just all about war - although there is something humbling about looking at uniforms worn by people who fought and died for our country - the Museum houses a fascinating display of relics and pieces of history drawn together to teach us about life. Visit the 1800’s on the top floor. Count how many bugs are in the critter display. Learn about volcanoes and hold on to your seat in the earthquake room!