We love nothing better than a wide panoramic ocean view particularly with our great city front and centre.
We have missed the ocean during lockdown because of course the sparking waters of the Waitematā Harbour are usually close by us on all our travels around the isthmus. It took lockdown for me to realise that the nearest beach, Pt Chevalier, was 5.1 km away, just out of reach during the level 4 and level 3 restrictions.
Now it is so nice to be able to pack up a picnic, grab a coffee and head off to the beautiful North Shore.
Location: Takapuna Beach
A coffee on the beach at Takapuna is instant relaxation while still in the heart of Auckland.
The view to Rangitoto Island is fabulous, the sand and sea is great but at the same time you know you have great cafes nearby even though they are only serving takeaways at the moment. All this plus there are usually lots of children and families here providing an exuberant background sound of laughter and chatter.
Access to the lake side is from Kilarney Park. Here you can take a quiet and relaxing stroll around the park and lakeside and grab a coffee at the French Rendez-vous Restaurant which was offering contactless service from a table at the front.
This is also the location of the Pumphouse Theatre, an historic building originally built in 1905. The Pump House was originally a water pumping station.
Location: Beach Road, Castor Bay
Kennedy Park was originally a military defence station when there were fears of an impending invasion during WWII.
Every second Sunday the local heritage club, The Kennedy Park WWII Installations Preservation Trust, conducts tours through the underground tunnels that lead below the gun emplacements, for the cost of a gold coin.
Here there is also an ancient Māori pā site (Rahopara Pā) dating back hundreds of years.
The park has an adventure playground, a petanque court and ample areas for picnics.
There is good parking and from the carpark you head towards the water and turn right along the clifftops to follow the Kennedy Park to Castor Bay Path. Stop at the lookout point at Kennedy Park to see the spectacular clifftop coastal views to Rangitoto Island.
If you head more or less straight ahead to the waters edge from the carpark you will come across steps down to the beach. My niece, Nicole, recently referred to this as the stairs of Doom! I think this is a popular place for hard outdoor exercise with a stunning view. As well as the step athletes we also came across outdoor boxers training here.
Location: Devonport Beach
Time for different views of beautiful Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, this time from across the sparkling harbour to the city skyline. Devonport is at the very southern point of North Shore and is rich in history. It has great boutique shops, good eateries, a chocolate factory, a museum, Segway tours and a navy museum listed as some of it’s top attractions.
If you have time you might like to visit the North head Historic Reserve – Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
Devonport is one of my favourite destinations for a nice café lunch on a sunny Sunday afternoon followed by a walk along the beach or a more demanding hike to the top of Mount Victoria via the Takarunga / Mt Victoria Path.
But during the current restrictions dining out at a restaurant is not an option so we decided to just enjoy being outdoors and soak up the spectacular views.