Village Tours: Mount Eden

In this new series of articles sisters Indigo and Wyoming Paul are going to show you a local's perspective of the best villages of central Auckland. They'll give you a tour of how to spend a day exploring each village, so whether you're from the other side of the world, or just the other side of Auckland, you'll get a local’s perspective of their neighbourhood. Since the Paul sisters grew up in Mt Eden, work in Mt Eden, and continue to spend way too much money on pastries in Mt Eden, it seemed like a good place to begin.  

Best of The Catlins

A photographic tour of the gorgeous Catlins to warm your cockles

Although we only had a few days in The Catlins, our brief glimpse of the beautiful coastlines, native forest, and incredible rock formations was spectacular enough to last us through many a rainy winter night. Here are a few of our favourite photographs from the trip. Most of these areas we have dedicated whole blogs to, so click the links to find out more (and to see more pretty pictures). 

Millennium Track

Every week or two during my time in Wanaka, I would reach a level of guilt over my physical laziness where I would decide to accompany Wanda on her strenuous 7am march the next day. The Millennium Track was my preferred walk because it only brought me to the brink of collapse for around ten minutes, as opposed to Mt Iron, which had me gasping and faint for closer to half an hour. Also, it has to be said, the views from the Millennium Track as the sun rises are quite spectacular.  

Whoopi: for Cakes on Nuffield Street

Whoopi cake and ice cream shop on Nuffield Street, Auckland, creates cakes with the sort of artistry which makes you question whether it is really okay to eat them. Luckily I was able to push past this feeling, because yes, it is not only okay to eat them but also a delicious experience for any sweet tooth. 

Matarangi Beach, The Coromandel

The season of wet and cold is upon us here in New Zealand, so why not live in fantasy land for a while and imagine you're at Matarangi Beach in the summertime? The Coromandel in January is a far nicer place to be, so let's just plan for summer and pretend... 

Nugget Point, The Catlins

Oh! That's why it's called Nugget Point: the enormous nuggets

Nugget Point in the Glorious Catlins is an easy ten-minute stroll to the lighthouse and look-out point. Here you gaze over a cliff to the namesake rock nuggets, which, I must say, are far too spectacular to deserve the poultry-suggesting name 'nugget'. To make an afternoon of it in this part of the Catlins, Roaring Bay is only two minutes' drive from Nugget Point's trail entrance, and is home to a colony of yellow-eye penguins, while the wonderfully rocky beach of Kaka Point is just a five-minute trip. 

Wanaka Farmers Market

Deliciousness Every Thursday, 3PM to 6PM

After eating rye sourdough from The People’s Bread and beautiful gingerbread biscuits from Pembroke Patisserie for the past month, I thought it was about time to write a blog about their source – Wanaka Farmers Market. Every Thursday afternoon, year-round, a group of talented bakers, artists, grocers, brewers and one masseur gather to put on Wanaka Farmers Market. Here they sell their handmade, home grown, and generally wonderfully local products on Ardmore Street, directly across from the lake - in rain, shine, snow, or anything in between. 

Jack's Blowhole in The Catlins

In ‘inappropriate’ conditions, not so much a blowhole as a… normal hole

Outdoorswoman Wanda and I took the walk to Jack’s Blowhole at high tide, which is of course the time to visit a blowhole. The drive from Owaka was quite amazing – the high tide had filled the fields with water, so sheep were trapped on small islands of grass, while ducks floated on large puddles in the paddocks. 

New Chums Beach

A stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline

If you drive as far as Whangapoua on the Coromandel Peninsula, you can then take the short walk from the northern end of the local beach through bush to New Chums Beach, or Wainuiototo Bay.

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