Places I’ve Been 2.0: BLOGNY 2016

Honestly I haven’t been to too many exciting places in the last few weeks –  something I am looking forward to changing in the new year – but on the odd occasion I did venture out past the city I had some pretty sweet time so I thought I would share.

Takapuna Beach
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The thing about Auckland is that even though it’s home I am still not from here. I don’t really know enough to know what is a popular area and what is not, but I am preeeeeetty sure that Takapuna is one of the most frequented beaches in the city.
Good reason too – it’s a stunner.
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K and I both finished work early so we took the trip out and honestly what an excellent day.

We accidentally took the long bus and so getting out there took a while but on a good traffic day on the right bus its only about 30 minutes. I enjoy the journey because you go over the bridge and I get so much satisfaction and the false sense that I really am escaping the city whenever I cross it.
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We picked a stellar day to go, it was absolutely roasting and we set up camp in the middle of the sand + sun. The beach was packed but there is also so much space that we didn’t feel too over crowded. There were people sunbathing, families playing, groups playing hard core sports and somehow we all managed to fit comfortably.

Because it is only Takapuna, everything that could possibly occur to you to need is within walking distance. We found a very, very good dairy which had fresh fruit juices and $2 lolly bags and sunscreen and magazines – though all we actually bought was $2 trumpets, cheers for the good deals Tip Top!
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I also got fish and chips from the store next to the dairy for lunch and it was really, really delicious and beachy and perfect.

The water was super calm and Katherine actually braved it, bless her, and swam for a good while.

There are also some random fitness events going on a few nights a week We watched about 100 kids take off at speed down the beach which was very confusing and took some curious googling to actually understand – but there are fun runs and swims and paddle boarding so if you are feeling fit you can join in for that (we are not fit so we just watched).
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My best advice is take what you need and set up camp. Packed into my beach bag:
-Sunblock
-Hat
-Towel (I have such a good towel at the moment, it is round and huge and fits everything)
-Sunglasses
-Mainly so you can read your book, magazine or other activity without burning your eyes off
-Snacks
-Water, water, water, water, water (or a beer tbh)
-A good mate

I wasn’t too bothered by taking pictures because I was busy freaking over the perfect weather so to supplement please enjoy this throwback to my first Takapuna trip with my Uni Hall floor last year.
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Waiheke
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I am quite blessed in that my Granddad actually lives on the island so I have been here several times. For that reason this is not a super exciting post as I kind of took this Christmas trip as a chance to fully relax and revive rather than a big exploration. Still, I visited a few of my favourite nearby stops so I will share!!
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Waiheke is a ferry ride a way but after taking that ferry 5 times in 48 hours I feel qualified to tell you that it is very punctual, relaxing and a fully enjoyable commute. Mainly I just read my book and took a break so I liked it a lot (it is a bit pricy though, somewhere around $36 for return?).
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On the island my Granddad lives in Oneroa so that was my place.
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Waiheke is beautiful because there are about a million small paths all heading off in crazy directions so you can find a new adventure every time you step out the door.

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With Little Oneroa as my base I twisted myself up the side of a tree lined cliff path until I reached a point with an outstanding view and cute inscribed bench to rest on. I also took the beach walk in the other direction to main Oneroa which involves travelling through some cute hidden coves and outstanding rock formations. The beaches themselves are absolutely stunning – golden sand and clear (though still freezing) water.
IMG_0484.jpgThe village of Oneroa is a place which has not really changed but more kind of evolved in my lifetime. It is still a warm hearted centre with the local four square and paper plus (my most frequented store on the island as a kid because I am a book nerd) as well as tons of really cool local stores selling art work and t-shirts and crochet bathing suits. There are definitely a lot more eateries than there used to be – hilariously now all stocked with Wellington brand coffee – it’s kind of like having a good piece of home at another home. There are also new gelato places and an organic supermarket but they all manage to fit nicely in without corrupting the very distinct, timeless island vibe.
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I personally have a soft spot for this cute little café, which maybe two years ago now? Was closed but still made us a pot of tea when we were bored and distraught teenagers losing patience in our family holiday. They also cooked me a mean breakfast today!
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My best advice for Waiheke is know vaguely where you want to go and how to get there and then let the adventures flow on from there. It’s a pretty big island with more than one main area so if you want to get amongst it’s good to spend time both on the Oneroa and the Palm Beach side. Go visit some vineyards too! But also even if you stay in one spot it would take you over a day to explore all that small bit had to offer so I would also recommend time to chill and investigate.
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Again I will include some photos from a blast to the past trip I took here with some friends in August 2015 – just to give more visuals on what I’m talking about from a time when I had bigger ambitions than to drink champagne in the sun all day.

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The countdown to the new year has begun thank the lord above. Though I guess that also means the end of this constant posting which is good for my bedtimes but kinda sad nonetheless.

Also it’s also past 12 so happy birthday to my fantastic and good Papa!

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Love you sweets, talk later xx

(also if you want to see these great photos live!! follow me on insta @zarsi_) (queen of plugs will just always be me) xx

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