Auckland's treasure island

Waiheke Island is one of Auckland's must-see destinations. Located in the Hauraki Gulf, the island offers visitors stunning beaches, coastal walking trails and celebrated vineyards. It is easy to escape the city life by taking one of the daily 40-minute ferry trips from Auckland CBD or Devonport. The ferry cruise is operated by Fullers, who has a vast timetable ranging from early morning to late night which makes it perfect for only spending a day out, or even stay for a couple of days longer. The schedule can be viewed online, and tickets can be purchased on www.fullers.co.nz or at the Auckland harbour.

Re-discover your city with a Photography Walk-Shop

Recently, and for just two hours, I became a tourist in my own town, [the place in which I was born and have lived for over 50 years]. I ended up in places I’d never been, and saw Auckland in a different light. Actually, there was little natural light, because this adventure took place at night. But the sun’s absence was well compensated for by the abundance of man-made luminescence.

Villa Maria

A Kiwi Story of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

You’ve probably heard of Villa Maria before. As a New Zealander, it’s pretty hard not to recognize the brand name and you’ll probably have sampled their world renowned sauvignon blanc at some stage. What you may not be aware of is the amazing story behind Villa Maria. It’s a journey of a kiwi entrepreneur with a passion for wine and with the drive to create an iconic New Zealand success story and leave a legacy that every New Zealander can be proud of.

Maranui Cafe

Brunch and ocean views at Wellington's famous surf club cafe

Maranui Cafe, which sits above Maranui Surf Club, is a well-established Wellington favourite for all the best reasons. It has a wide range of consistently delicious food, the most gorgeous views of the ocean, and a space full of colour, life - and large taxidermy fish. What more could you want on a beautiful summers day?

 

The Coromandel by foot and by bike

There's no better way to soak up The Coromandel 

When you aren’t relaxing at the beach or roaming the gorgeous coastal towns of The Coromandel, the best ways to explore the area are by hiking and biking. Here are our top picks for seeing the most gorgeous spots in The Coromandel – by foot or by bike. 

The Coromandel: Best Beaches

Days are getting longer and warmer... Time to daydream of The Coromandel

This week at Gratia we’re celebrating the best that The Coromandel has to offer, bringing back our own childhood memories of summer and maybe yours, too. It’s unlikely that you’ll have forgotten how gorgeous The Coromandel is if you’ve been there, but if it has faded from your mind a little, here it is: your summery reminder, and our top picks. To everyone who has never visited The Coromandel before – well, then. Here’s something to look forward to: the Best Coromandel Beaches.

Pasta & Cuore restaurant

Made with love and care: This is how pasta should be

In New Zealand, most of us think of pasta as one of the quickest and simplest meals. From plastic packet to boiling water - you've got yourself your lazy weekday dinner. But handmade, fresh Italian pasta is something else entirely - making it is an intricate, tricky process that takes hours to complete; it is also tender, light, and totally satisfying. For a meal that is often devoured in just a few minutes, there's only one reason that you would spend the hours required to make it - because you have love and passion for the art of pasta. Restaurant and fresh pasta maker Pasta e Cuore (pasta and heart, in English), has its foundation firmly grounded in the love of fresh food and pasta.

The Chocolate Boutique, Parnell

Chocolates, desserts, and the most top-secret hot chocolate in Auckland

When Barbara opened a pop-up version of The Chocolate Boutique thirty years ago, it was a tiny space selling only hot drinks and chocolates. It is now a spacious cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, a menu with every sweet treat you might hope to eat, and the perfect place to start the afternoon or end the evening. It has become the local establishment in Parnell for desserts, waffles, a dozen kinds of hot chocolate, and, of course, handmade boutique chocolates.

The Midnight Baker

The new toast-based cafe that's changing the way we think about bread

After going gluten-free, The Midnight Baker owner Yeshe sought a way to continue her love of toast. She realised that the supermarket brands are hugely processed (as well as not hugely tasty), so she started to bake her own bread. After six months of experimenting with recipes, baking way past midnight, she created a bread that she loves, named the Freedom Loaf. It's free of wheat, dairy, eggs, refined sugar, yeast, nuts - and her buckwheat loaf is completely celiac-safe. This is a filling and delicious new take on bread, and the foundation for her month-old cafe, The Midnight Baker. 

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