50 Reasons I Love Living in Auckland
Man, it has been so tough being back home in Auckland.
I mean, the weather has been summery and sunshiney, the harbour is dotted with sails and the whole city is bustling with a fresh life and energy as residents return to the city after holiday making over the Christmas/ New Year period.
We have even had two long weekends in a row!
Yesterday was Waitangi Day, a national public holiday in New Zealand commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and last weekend was Auckland Anniversary Weekend.
These two weekends have made me consider all of the reasons that I love living in this incredible city in this beautiful country and I have compiled a list, in no particular order, of fifty reasons why I love living in Auckland.
1. You are never far from water in Auckland. The city is built on a narrow isthmus with almost 4000 km of coastline, a gulf sea, 2 harbours and around 21000kms of rivers and streams.
2. There are 53 volcanoes in the greater Auckland region. I use these volcanoes such as Mt Albert, Mt Wellington and One Tree Hill to navigate my way around the city but they are also great vantage points with panoramic views. My favourite is Mt Eden, it is the highest volcano in Auckland as well as the closest to the CBD.
3. With 40,000 hectares of regional park, there are endless opportunities for hiking and getting out in nature. My favourite hikes are in the Waitakere Ranges.
4. The rugged, black-sand West Coast beaches are breathtaking, Karekare has even been voted as the second best beach in the world!
5. Just a 40 minute ferry ride from Downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island feels like it is a world away. The island has an abundance of wineries and great places to eat, beautiful beaches and bohemian shopping.
6. Most of the motorways have no tolls except for one motorway going north.
7. The coffee here is some of the best in the world, namely the 'flat whites' which is basically the staple coffee order in NZ for years but is gaining popularity around the world.
8. There is a bright pink bike path that spirals through the city.
9. The Domain, Auckland's oldest park is 75 hectares of beautiful gardens and green spaces in Central Auckland
10. Standing at 328 meters tall, I always use it to navigate my way around the city. Basically, If I can see the Skytower, then I know my way home!
11. Summer evenings, weekend barbecues and public holiday picnics at Mission Bay are LIT!
12. Kitekite falls are nature's infinity pool.
13. It is not really Christmas until you have visited the Franklin Road Christmas lights!
14. Pokeno Takeaway does 15 scoop ice creams.
15. Auckland is known as the 'City of Sails' and an estimated one in three Auckland households own a boat. I love taking our boat out on the Waiatamata harbour; exploring the islands and taking in the salty air.
16. From the flea markets in Otara to the Saturday morning Matakana market, Auckland has a diverse array of markets that make for the perfect day out ... or the perfect night out. There are night markets held in different carparks across Auckland from Wednesday to Sunday nights.
17. The donuts at Little & Friday are insanely good.
18. Cornwall Park is 230 acres of land in the suburb of Epsom that was donated by Auckland resident Sir John Logan Campbell for the leisure and enjoyment of the public.
19. Rangitoto Island, Auckland's most prominent volcano and an undeniable icon of the city sits pretty in the Waitemata Harbour. It can be seen from the beaches on the North Shore and Eastern side of the city. I love admiring Rangitoto from Auckland's beaches, but I also really enjoy hiking to the crater of the volcanic island as well.
20. The Auckland Museum is more than just a pretty building, I could literally spend hours inside there!
21. The pork buns at Blue Breeze Inn are second to none.
22. You can pay for most things on your EFTPOS card - no need to carry cash.
23. Most cafes have their own cookbooks.
24. Eden Park is the home and heart of New Zealand rugby and our beloved All Blacks. It makes foreign teams weak at the knees to know they will be playing in this 'fortress' of All Black domination.
25. There is always something happening in Auckland - from festivals to events, you are never short of things to do.
26. The Braized Beef Cheek at Woodpecker Hill is life-changing.
27. The Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter area were once a port that was closed off to the public access. They were revived for the Rugby World Cup that was held in Auckland in 2011 and today they feature amazing apartments, hotels, restaurants, bars and hang out spaces. This area also holds fun events such as the Silo Cinema and Summer Markets.
28. Auckland has some awesome burger joints - my favourites are Big J's in Mt Wellington but Burger Burger has a cult following and does some pretty great burgers too.
29. Auckland is a very multicultural city and the diverse mix of cultures are celebrated. Last year I went to the Pasifika and Diwali festivals in Auckland.
30. The La Cigale French Markets pump out piping hot almond croissants every Saturday Morning.
31. There is no shame in wearing gym tights to get coffee because everyone else in Ponsonby is doing it too.
32. When the pohutukawa flowers blossom in summer.
33. There are quite a few places in Auckland to get massive swirls of real fruit ice cream. My favourite is the Mangere Strawberry Farm because they use super fresh strawberries.
34. Karangahape Road is colourful, quirky and eclectic. It adds flavour to the Auckland CBD.
35. North Head in Devonport has great views of the city and old military tunnels and bunkers to explore.
36. You can never go wrong by choosing to eat at Ponsonby Central.
37. Driving down Tamaki Drive is dangerously, distractingly beautiful!
38. Freeman & Grey in Ponsonby do $4 Pizzas.
39. Okahu Bay playground is what childhood dreams are made of.
40. Auckland gets hectic rainbows, and often even double rainbows... makes the rain worth it!
41. The fairy lights in Britomart are preeeeetty.
42. The Raw Cheesecake at the Little Bird Unbakery is unbelievably delicious for something healthy.
43. Shopping in the backstreets of Newmarket is always a win.
44. Established in 1948, The White Lady is an iconic Auckland takeaway venue that serves burgers, toasties and shakes into the early hours of the morning.
45. The Auckland Harbour Bridge may not be the most beautiful bridge in the world but the view of the city leaves me breathless every time I cross it!
47. Best Ugly Bagels are a student's best friend - cheap, delicious and totally grammable!
48. The classic Auckland villa and bungalow-style houses seen in the leafy streets of suburbs such as Ponsonby, Mt Eden and Epsom are adorable!
49. Miss Moonshine's BBQ meat is heavenly.
50. Even when you think you have seen it all, you haven't. This weekend I got to explore some of the beaches out in East Auckland and I was in awe of this magical little world hidden behind Mt Wellington that I never even realised existed.
Here are some of the highlights from my long weekends