Summit is going to be the high point (pun intended) of my 2016, and if you’re coming up to Auckland for Summit, I bet it’s going to be yours to! I moved up to Auckland from Wellington 4 years ago. So as a non-Aucklander, I know that Auckland doesn’t always seem like the pinnacle of holiday destinations, but having lived here for a few years now, I’ve come across a few awesome things to do while you’re here!
- Rainbows End
I’ll be honest; roller coasters have got to be one of my worst fears, right up there with awkward first dates and bungy jumping. But Rainbows End was still a blast, there are a variety of rides, from mildly terrifying (which my friends enjoyed seeing me scream like a little girl on) to “there’s no way I’m going on that thing” (which I got to take photos of my friends on).
But seriously there was heaps to do for the whole day, we brought a picnic and there were lots of more relaxed rides as well as some crazy ones for the thrill junkies. There’s a even a brand new one called the “Stratosfear” or as I like to call it – the ‘Nope Machine’.
There are heaps of kids and family rides too! If you want to keep cost down then they have night passes – which go from 5pm-11pm. This could be a great activity if you come up one night before summit!
- Silo Park/Wynyard Quarter/Waterfront/The Viaduct
Silo park is, as the name suggests, a park that’s been built right on the Auckland port around a series of ginormous silos, where they used to store cement. It’s got a great playground for kids, an outdoor basketball court and cafés nearby. They often hold free movie nights, markets, and performances down there. So make sure to check out their website for all the details. You can also park up on Beaumont Street and take a stroll right around the Marina – I’d suggest you walk right around the cloud which is pretty neat. This is really lovely part of the City with art and cool architecture scattered around and beautiful views of the North Shore and surrounding Islands.
- Auckland Night Markets
Auckland has a delicious night market that travels around Auckland all trough the week! Filled with delicious ethnic foods, music, arts and crafts, and knock off electronics, the Glenfield mall Market is a popular spot for City Impact Youth and Young adults after church on a Sunday Night! The Saturday Night Pakuranga and Tuesday Night Mt Wellington Markets are also quite close to our Mt Wellington Campus. These nights are heaps of fun with delicious food, you can get a feed for $6 or less! My personal favourites are the No.1 Dumplings and Deep Fried Ice Cream stalls.
- Long Bay Beach
If you’d like something a bit quieter and you manage to find a nice day (in the middle of winter – eeek) then head down to Long Bay! This is a very popular beach with the locals, it’s a regional park and has a few lovely walks through it or connecting with the beaches south. It’s a very big wide beach with lots of grass, so a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Summit if you feel like you need a break! This is also super handy to our North Shore campus, only a 5min drive away.
- Visit the SUMMIT of a Mountain
I bet you’re thinking I’m crazy right about now, I mean Auckland doesn’t have any MOUNTAINS. Yea well that’s true. But there are all these little hill things that Aucklanders like to call mountains to make themselves feel better after they’ve walked up them. When someone asks you what you did on the weekend “I climbed a mountain” is a way better than “I walked up a small bump”. To be fair most of them were once volcaons and have big holes in the top … Anyways! there are these so called “Mountains” all over Auckland (Mt Eden, Mt Wellington, Mt Albert, One Tree Hill, Three Kings, etc) which although not tall, have epic views on a clear day! Heck I was even there when someone proposed at sunset (good idea for anyone out there looking to tie the knot ;P )! One Tree hill is my favourite, which is a bit more honest about the fact it’s a hill. But there isn’t even a tree there anymore #confusing. Mt Wellington is great too, and obviously right next to one of our church campuses (guess which one). This is also a great way to get in the mood for summit – see what I did there! 😀
- Visit a Museum or Art Gallery
Some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now so you can skip over this one. But there are a bunch of great museums and Art Galleries in Auckland. Kelly Tarltons Aquatic Museum, MOTAT and Auckland Museum are all fantastic but they do cost and don’t forget to in transport. But Auckland Art Gallery is free, and has some AMAZING work in it, there are also the Winter Gardens which are in the Auckland domain (which the Auckland Museum is also in), these are beautiful, and great for a walk through on a clear day.
All right it has to be said. Auckland has Wendys AND Carls Jr. There’s a Carls Jr just down the road from the North Shore campus. If you don’t know what Carls Jr is, it’s basically the most American food burger bar you’ll find in New Zealand. So much grease. I wouldn’t recommend it, I always feel sick afterwards, but hey some people love that American greasy, fizzy sugary goodness! (Disclaimer: City Impact Church takes no responsibility for any harm caused by the sugary fatness of these American burger joints).
Also Wendys! There’s one a bit further down the road, they have an awesome $5 deal which was a staple part of my University diet (good if you’re on a budget and don’t care about your health … at all). They also have a “secret” menu which they update on facebook. They also have free wifi for all you social media addicts like me!
Last but not least – Burgerfuel. Quality giant burgers. There’s one just down the road from North Shore campus. These things are delicious, my favourite is the Ring Burner if you’re up for something with a bit of spice!
Pro tip: As much as Aucklanders try to deny it, the traffic is pretty bad up here. Make sure to give extra time to get places, and avoid traveling at peak times (7.30-9.30am and 4.30-6pm) when possible, especially on the motorway! Or take the Northern Express Bus, this uses a busway down the side of the motorway so skips all the traffic!
There’s heaps to do in Auckland so if you’ve ever stuck for ideas make sure to ask your local jaffa or else Auckland’s official website – heartofthecity.co.nz – has a whole list of things to do.