Being so close to ferry terminals makes it easy for you to explore what Auckland has on offer, including some of its most iconic and beautiful little villages, and in just ten minutes you’ll find yourself in one of Auckland’s cutest little villages: Devonport. This quaint little seaside town is postcard pretty, but it’s not all looks, this village has a lot to offer with its epic bars, cafes and restaurants – and we have made just a small selection of things for you to explore to get you excited about exploring:
North Head Tunnels
Feel like getting some exercise in while having a little history lesson? Devonport is home to Head to North Head and explore the dark tunnels that are placed on a long extinct volcano. The tunnels were created as early as the 1800s and soon developed across many different world wars as a way to be one of the country’s first defenses against coastal invasion. As a result, some cannons and shooting sights and prisoner barracks remain prime for exploration.
This seaside theatre sells itself as one of oldest theatre in the Southern hemisphere, this theatre has been around for a long time and has managed to maintain its heritage by sticking to its vintage look, which in turn makes for quite a unique and romantic date night. Don’t worry, despite the vintage look, the theatre still features all the modern furnishings: Big screens, comfortable seats and choc-top ice creams!
Calling all chocolate lovers! We have the one and only reason you’ll want to visit Devonport: boutique quality handmade chocolates and truffles that both look amazing and taste just as good! This store has everything to make your inner child spring outside from crazy flavors to chocolate figurines, these chocolates are the perfect reward after a day’s exploring, or to just full that empty space in your heart!
Devon on the Warf
Speaking of food, ask any local and they’ll send you to this Turkish-inspired restaurant that is located right by the water with stunning views of the Auckland Harbour and beyond. You can either start or end your day here (or both if you love it as much as we do!). The décor mixes homely wooden tables and chairs with a geometric-tiled floor and bright light and greenery. The bar features a selection of beers, wines and cocktails as well breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that are equally creative as they are delicious.
Shopping In Devonport
Devonport is a heaven for those loving a good vintage find and book Cosi Fan Tutte is where you can find vintage pieces that are completely unique, and both Bookmark Secondhand books and Paradox books feature such a wide selection of reads, you’ll accidentally be in there for hours!
We mention a lot in our blogs about the stunning views from Mission Bay and Kohimarama of Rangitoto, the large ex-volcano that stands beautifully out on the water for all to admire. Many visitors are curious about the island and want to know the history of Auckland most prominent volcano and whether or not you can visit it, and today, we are going to answer all those questions.
Auckland is built on and around approximately 50 volcanoes that make up the Auckland Volcanic Field and Rangitoto is the most recent of them – and when I say recent, I mean it’s over 600 years old, and its last known activity was around 550 years ago. When New Zealand was colonized, the island was purchased by the crown and used primarily originally used as a source of basalt for the local construction industry. It was later developed with a wharf and rounds to source scoria and provide access for day-trippers, roads and a track to the summit were eventually constructed as well as a series of baches – some of which still stand on the island today. The department of conservation completed a significant restoration programme on Rangitoto Island and its neighbor Motutapu Island. The islands are now a safe pest-free haven for precious native flora and fauna to survive and thrive, so when visiting the island you must be sure to follow the strict guidelines to help with the efforts in preserving the biology on the island.
Day trips to the island to explore it and its many walking tracks are extremely popular, and getting to the island is a breeze. Fullers offers trips to the island at different times of the day, from there you have a selection of options to explore the island including the summit climb, the most popular walk that takes you to the top of the island and features informative signs about the history of the island. There is also the option of a 4wd “road train”, a guided tour that takes you to the summit of the island that can be combined with the cost of your ferry ticket. Lava Caves are also located from the summit on the eastern side which can also be explored, the caves were left behind after the passage of liquid lava and can be exciting to explore, so bring a torch!
So if your curiosity about the island and a sense of adventure is drawing you to explore, answer the call and make a day trip to Auckland’s most historic volcano.
Enjoying a drink or a bite to eat by the water is something everyone can agree is a prime experience, and with Aarangi Motel being central to both Mission Bay and Kohimarama, you have the selection of two great social hubs by the water to choose from.
Mission bay houses a wide variety of restaurants with different themes and flavors to choose from. Dos Amigos is an authentic Mexican restaurant located directly across the waterfront and offers dishes made from traditional recipes and the restaurant itself is also authentic in style, with a Latin American theme, including decorations down to sombrero-wearing pet lizards?! Dos Amigos is a famous location with authentic flavor and has everything you need to feed the family or just enjoy some good food and one or more cocktails by the water! Speaking of beverages, we can’t discuss wining and dining in mission Bay without mentioning De Fontein Belgian Beer Café. De Fontein features both an upstairs restaurant with a large balcony with views across the water to Rangitoto and a downstairs bar and pavement seating, ideal enjoying a delicious pint of craft beer.
Kohimarama also offers a selection of international flavors by the waterfront as well, Der Metz offers traditional German food across their menu (Including a variety of schnitzel), as well as a selection of German beer in large, German pints! The décor is also undeniably German, with flags and beer cozies littering the walls in German pride. If you are looking for something to enjoy during a day trip to Kohi Beach, Kohi Corner is a perfect drop-in point for premium café food, or to enjoy a selection of craft beers, extensive wine sections, and cocktails. This casual cafe has been the local favourite and is located right on the waterfront, it’s the perfect place to cool off and re-energize during a productive day at the beach! For a standout experience in wining and dining, an evening at The Attic is one you won’t forget anytime soon, their website makes a clear point of standing out from the other restaurants in the area by being a Gastro Pub. The menu is packed with a high-end Kiwi dining experience that includes grilled foods, burgers, seafood salads and more – something to please everyone who enters. The Attics selection of tap beers, wine and cocktails are perfect to enjoy in the buildings fantastic layout that includes an outside deck for summer and a cozy lounge with a fireplace for winter nights.
So no matter what you feel like eating or drinking, and no matter the size of your group, with such a vast selection of restaurants all located by the water, you are guaranteed a fantastic night out!
One of the core benefits of staying with us at Aarangi motel is how close in proximity we are to the beautiful Kohimarama Beach, now don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful beach with calm waters and native trees sprawling alongside the water, but it’s also home to something a little more exciting: water sports. If you are keen to try something new, explore the bay, or just want to get out in the water in a new and exciting way, there are a handful of activities ripe for the picking!
Stand Up and Paddle with Chris is the bays go-to man if you want to learn to paddle board or just hire one for the day, Paddleboarding has had a huge comeback from the late nineties to become a go to activity on the water, it’s relatively easy to pick up and the calm waters of Kohimarama make for perfect paddle boarding conditions. Paddleboarding is a great way to explore the bay and enjoy a tranquil and peaceful experience out on the water.
Now if you want to dip your toes in a variety of activities look no further than Fergs Kayaks. As the name suggests their primary business on the water is Kayak tours, and they are famous for this for a good reason, the half-day tours around Rangitoto around sunset are unforgettable and go where no other means can take you, but if half a day seems like too much, there are three hour scenic tours around North head as well. Beyond kayaking adventures, Fergs also offers paddleboard hire and lessons, rollerblade/bike rentals and Kayak rentals.
Now if you’re thinking that Kayaking and paddle boarding are a little too slow for you, don’t worry, for a little bit of speed on the water look no further than Auckland Jet Ski Hire! This company offers a bevy of activity, from guided tours from stunning Maraetai, the Hauraki Gulf islands, and Waiheke Island or go at it on your own by hiring a Jet Ski to get out and explore with! Maritime NZ approved for safety, the jet skis can be hired with a sea biscuit, wakeboard, knee board or water skis!
So no matter your skill, interest, or type of thrill, there is an activity for you to dive into to explore and make the most of the wonderful Kohimarama!