Gratia - Rainy Days

Auckland Art Gallery

A sanctuary of sorts in a loud, busy city

Auckland Art Gallery is a sanctuary of sorts in a loud, busy city. Located in the centre of CBD, on the edge of Albert Park, the gallery is the quiet home of an impressive collection of both national and international artwork.

Hard to Find Books

A maze of books is the best place to get lost

Hard to Find Books in Onehunga, Auckland, is an exquisite second-hand bookshop, huge and maze-like and home to over 100,000 books. Stepping inside is like entering another world, one that is old and intimate and slightly overwhelming with that sense of ‘now where to begin?’ It’s easy to get lost amongst the crowded shelves, when you go in to find a good thriller and are then buried in the photography section two hours later.

Jump: What to do on a rainy day

Indoor trampolining parks in Auckland and Hamilton

If you're in Auckland, you're probably sick of looking at grey, cloudy skies. Maybe you're thinking, "I guess it's another movie marathon weekend... Again." To change things up and get active, we decided to give Jump indoor trampolining a go. And yes, it's just as fun as it sounds; how often does anyone get to do something where the whole point is to have fun? 

Little and Friday Cafe and Bakery

Treating yourself? Then this is where to go.

Little and Friday likely serves the most delicious and naughty treats that you can get in Auckland (or possibly anywhere). Each tart, cake and doughnut is incredibly beautiful, almost to the point where you don’t want to destroy it by putting it in your mouth.

The Auckland Museum

Telling the story of New Zealand

Auckland Museum tells the story of New Zealand. The first established museum of New Zealand sits on the edge of the Auckland Domain and overlooks the city from its high steps. The beautifully situated building is one of the most spectacular in the country. The architecture tells a story, in particular that of New Zealand’s participation in the World Wars. The frieze that runs along the top of the exterior represents all the armed services in different scenes from the war. The bronze doors of the museum are marked with poppy designs. At night, the building lights up to commemorate significant occasions, both national and international.

Time Out Bookstore: Take The Time

Dogs welcome! And well-behaved children.

The age of chain bookshops is over. It is time for the rise of the independent store. Okay, yes. I watched Lord of the Rings recently. But it’s still true – independent bookshops like Time Out bookstore are the way to go.

Time Out bookstore is a small shop, with books covering every possible surface. Due to its small size, each book in the store is carefully and thoughtfully chosen to be there, creating a diverse and wonderful range of books. If you want a book that isn’t on the shelf, Time Out goes out of their way to find it for you and bring it in.

Vinyl Cafe on Dominion Road

Edgy, mellow, and the best coffee in town

When my wife and I first went to Vinyl cafe, we felt rather out of place. As a couple of very middle-of-the-road (and dare I say nearing middle-aged) Mt Edenites, we didn’t completely fit into the edgy and youthful vibe that is Vinyl – the usual clientele have tattoos, the music is sometimes heavy metal, and the décor is mildly gothic. However, we are serious coffee-drinkers, and had been told that you can find no better coffee than at Vinyl cafe. So we accepted the challenge: we went along and pretended to be cool. The lovely staff helped with this self-image transformation by pretending along with us, and they soon knew our coffee orders and names by heart.

Women's Bookshop, Ponsonby

Come on in, read, support the Second Sex

The Women’s Bookshop is an independent bookstore in Ponsonby that focuses on celebrating the written work of women, and stocks a diverse wider range of books. Obviously, as a woman, and as someone who dabbles in writing, I’m a fan.