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August week end in Auckland

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Jul 12th, 2014, 12:03 AM
  #1
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August week end in Auckland

Hi, I'm going on a business trip to Auckland for 9 days and I have a week end to myself. First week end in August -- winter! I visited Auckland on holiday 10 years ago ; and did the Sky Tower, the Museum and walked around the city.

My preference, if the weather permits, is to spend the weekend enjoying the outdoors. And since I only have a week end, I am thinking it's better to explore somewhere near Auckland so as not to waste time traveling / going to far places. I'd like to do some easy hikes, possibly, some biking , and just spend some time in the outdoors.


1 - Should I just do one or both ? ANd if I do one, which would you go for ? Should I just stay overnight in one of the places ?
2 - Any suggestions on which to explore there ? I'm not very keen on visiting the wineries as I'm not much of a wine drinker.
3 - Or would it be crazy to do the outdoors in early August, winter ? And if so, I'll just visit the Auckland museum again ; and the Ponsonby neighborhoods and shops. Any other suggestions ?



Thanks



ERic B.
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Jul 13th, 2014, 11:54 PM
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Hi Eric,

August will be hit and miss but plan for crappy and if it's not its a bonus. If you are going exploring you'll need a car and a rain jacket. You could easily spend a day if not two exploring the waitakere ranges in west Auckland and to be honest bad weather can sometimes make it even better as the black sand beaches on the west coast go well with bad weather...if that makes sense...

Titirangi is about 30-45mins west of Auckland CBD and a pretty simple drive. Check out if the market is on on the Sunday and head west that day. Even if the market isn't on that weekend it will be a nice place to stop for some breakfast / brunch. Hardware cafe is recommended.

From here head onto scenic drive. It's a windy single lane road so take your time. Stop at arataki visitor centre for some nice views. From here keep heading along scenic drive until you get to a fork in the road. Fork left on to piha road and keep going until you get to piha beach. It's an iconic Auckland beach (if you're a surfer you'll love it but piha is not for the faint hearted and unless you know how to handle a dangerous beach I suggest a nice walk along the beach) and will likely take you about an hour to get to from the CBD.

Just as you start heading down to piha there is a great view on the left, there is room to pull over and I'm pretty sure you'll know it when you get there. When you get to the bottom of the hill at to sea level there will be a sharp left turn to South piha or if you don't take it you'll come out at north piha. Go to both... You can walk along the beach, if the tide is low you can walk around the southern headland to get a great view of lion rock (make sure the tide isn't coming in if you want to get back around the rocks).

If you loved piha bit still have daylight left and want to visit another beautiful beach head back up the hill and then turn right to head towards karekare beach. Another awesome wheats coast beach but far less touched than piha...

This will take away to do well.

If you liked that and want to do more on the other day you could head to huia - there are plenty of bush walks at karamatura or you could keep going to whatipu beach - metal road last few Km's. Cornwallis beach is a quaint inner harbour beach on the way to huia and a nice spot for a walk.

If you want a truly local experience head to kakamatua beach. It's the locals hidden gem and best visited about 90mins to 2hrs either side of high tide. It is just after the Cornwallis wharf turnoff...you'll start heading down a straight piece of road with a bridge at the bottom, the car park is just off the road before the bridge. There is a 10-15min bush walk before getting to the beach (no amenities) and it's a favourite amongst dog owners (so you need to like dogs to go here)...

Other than west you could
- catch the ferry to waiheki Island and spend the day there.
- catch the ferry to devonport and walk to north head / narrow neck beach - nice views of the harbour.
- go along tamaki drive to mission bay - walk as much or as little as you like- about 15km to mission bay along waterfront from CBD / ferry terminal.

Hmm biking...wood hill forest northwest of Auckland is a good spot for some mountain biking otherwise tamaki drive is a nice ride along the waterfront (best to know NZ drivers if doing this).

Happy to help with any other questions if these do / don't take your fancy....lots more ideas...
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Jul 14th, 2014, 04:49 PM
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Wow this is great. More helpful than all the books I am reading!

Some queries
1. Is your drive above do able or even worth doing in first wrk of august? Won't it be too cold to walk, drive out?
2. Is tiritiri matangi worth considering? For a day trio ?

3. What about whaikare ranges?

I am interested in outdoors, nature, getting out of the city as I live in singapore. What would you most recommend. Yep the drive above?
Eric
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Jul 14th, 2014, 04:50 PM
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My email addy is [email protected]
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Jul 15th, 2014, 03:47 AM
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Hi Eric,

Auckland still has a relatively mild winter in the grand scheme of winters... Single digit highes are a very rare occurrence and usually expect somewhere mid teens. If the sun isn't out or if the southerly gets up it can feel cold but nothing a few clothes won't sort. Just pack a raincoat...

Absolutely what I mentioned above is doable in august. I grew up in titirangi and spent many a winter day / night at piha. We used to love going down in storms and would frequently find ourselves driving down there in the dark and going for a walk along the beach. It was even better is there were storms out at sea. Bad weather makes the beaches on west coast of Auckland better IMO... I would happily go there even if it was peeing down, I'd just take a raincoat, get wet, and have an awesome walk on the beach. Oh and drive a bit slower too...checkout CNN just voted karekare one of the best beaches in the world, it's next door to piha but less inhabited. I can't emphasise enough that bad weather is a good thing at these beaches as it brings out their rawness and emotion...obviously not for swimming though in this situation...

Tiritiri matangi wow I'm a local and I had to google it. I never even realised there was such an Island. Waiheke is probably a safer bet and easier ferry access but I would keep this to a fine day.

Whaikare ranges??? Google only told me about ovens weirdly. Did you mean the waitakere ranges? If so , absolutely. Titirangi is the entry point and arataki is the main visitor centre and is a base for some of the walks. True NZ native bush...
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Jul 15th, 2014, 07:04 AM
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You have encouraged and inspired me , and taken away my concerns.! Thank you. I will now focus my research and planning on your driving reco! And will get back to you if I have queries
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Jul 15th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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Pardon the hijack.

osteorach - you sound well-versed about Auckland. Do you happen to know how to get from the Auckland Airport to the Skytower via bus/public transport? We'll be there for just an afternoon and would like to see a bit of the city - the Skytower looks like a good place to start.
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Jul 15th, 2014, 10:40 PM
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Hi Mel,

Hmmm, the best option will be the airport bus that goes to Auckland CBD. See link,

http://www.airbus.co.nz/?gclid=CIquu...Fdh8vQodsz8AyA

You could get off anywhere on the lower part of queen street at or below wellesly street (see map) to get to the skytower. Taxis tend to be a bit of a rip off unless you can get a fixed price. There is no train link unless you can find a bus / taxi to onehunga train station (more awkward).

I'd recommend booking lunch / dinner up the skytower at one of the restaurants as while you pay for the meal you get free entry to the skytower which now costs $28pp. Double check this but it's been the case when I've taken relatives up there...

If you then walk down to the ferry building and / or britomart it should be straight forward to get back on here to get back to the airport (britomart is the main Auckland train/ bus terminal and the ferry building is as it suggests). Auckland CBD is pretty easy to get around on foot, walk down to the viaduct and wynyard quarter and have a look around.

If you need to get back to the airport any time before 7pm leave time for traffic
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Jul 15th, 2014, 11:22 PM
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Brilliant osteorach, many thanks. Will look at the bus schedule.
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Jul 16th, 2014, 01:34 AM
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Have fun
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Jul 19th, 2014, 04:20 PM
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Tiritiri Matangi is well worth a visit if you are interested in the possibility of seeing some of New Zealand's endangered birds and tuatara. There is a ferry trip involved so could be dependent on the weather. Also, bear in mind the island can be quite exposed in parts.

www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz

Auckland has had its coldest nights (and days) for some years so make sure you have some warm clothes with you, and a windproof jacket.

Dot
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Jul 29th, 2014, 02:42 AM
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thank you especially to osteorach. I'm off to auckland tomorrow and will do the Western drive to Piha this Saturday!!!!
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Jul 29th, 2014, 10:16 PM
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Have fun
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Aug 2nd, 2014, 11:59 PM
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Would love to hear what you ended up doing Eric.

osteorach -

We'll arrive at the Domestic Terminal in Auckland just after 1 pm and need to be back at the International Terminal by around 7:30 pm for a 9:30 pm flight.

As an alternative to the Skytower, I've read that walking around Parnell is an option as is taking the Airbus to the Ferry Bldg and taking the ferry to Devonport. There's been mention of a walk up to North Head as well for nice views of the city.

So, my questions for you:

Any info on how to get to North Head?

Any reccos for casual dining in Devonport or Parnell?

Do you think we have sufficient time taking into consideration traffic we might encounter on the return to the airport? (this will be a Sunday night)

I'll be with my brother, and he's not the fine dining wino that I am, so while an easy trek to Villa Maria would be the perfect solution for me, I'm trying to find viable options that are more up his alley.
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Hi melnq8

Parnell is nice and has boutique style shops, devonport similar but maybe a little smaller than Parnell. Dining in Parnell there are plenty of options from casual to fine dining, st tropez was nice as was iguacu but I think that's gone now. I'm not sure what time the shops close on a Sunday

If it's a nice day go to the ferry building and catch the ferry to devonport, have a look around, walk to north head, catch the ferry back to down town and grab some dinner there. To get to north head once you get off the ferry turn right and keep walking along the waterfront, you can't really get lost and there might be a few turns along the way but it should be relatively obvious. Devonport is pretty flat and north head is a hill that forms the harbour mouth - awesome views
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...historic-walk/

Once you are back in downtown there are lots of dining options at the viaduct and even the ferry building. The food store was one of my favourites - smart casual. If you have time to walk to wynyard quarter there are also more dining options there - urban turban is where we usually go for a curry

To get to the viaduct harbour from the ferry terminals it's only a few hundred metres.

You shouldn't have any issues with traffic getting back to the airport


Eric how was your weekend, did the weather hold up?
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