If you have got a car and fancy a day out from the hustle and bustle of down town Auckland, a trip across the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the North Shore is a great way to spend a few hours with lots of things to do whether you are looking for a nice beach, a regional park to explore of some quirky shops to rummage through. Auckland’s North Shore is made up of a number of stunning little beach villages, the biggest of which include Browns Bay and Mairangi Bay. Also classified as the North Shore is the industrial hub of Albany where many of New Zealand’s biggest retailers can be found so there is lots to do out here. Below we pick out some of our favourite highlights on a visit to the North Shore.
Browns Bay is one of the biggest and most popular beach towns on the North Shore and has a really nice vibe to the place, especially during the summer months. The beach is clean and offers plenty of space for people to sunbathe and swim in the sea whilst the views across to Rangitoto are stunning. There is also a great skate park and grassed area where you will find people playing ball games and having BBQs during the summer. Step back away from the beach and the main street is full of bars, restaurants, bakeries and sushi shops – a great place to come for lunch of an afternoon drink in one of the sunny outdoor gardens. There are also some great little shops in Browns Bay selling all sorts of quirky items including an ‘English’ shop selling items from the UK.
Long Bay Regional Park
One of our favourite places to go to get away from the city for a few hours is Long Bay Regional Park. As the name suggests, Long Bay is made up of a long sweeping beach which is about 1km in length and just back from the beach is a huge parkland area which includes a playground and plenty of space for BBQing, picnics and ball games. One of the big attractions of the park is the coastal walk which can either take you up and over the cliffs or along the beaches when the tide is out. The coastal walk will take you all the way to the Okura reserve and is 6km in length. The sea at Long Bay is usually very calm here making it great for swimming and popular with paddle boarders and there are lots of other activities you can get involved with in the park including kayaking, fishing, boating and mountain biking.
Albany is a thriving suburb of Auckland and has a reputation as a bargain hunter’s paradise. As well as being the home to a number of New Zealand’s largest retailers where you will find a number of huge stores all within close proximity, it’s also a great place for sports fans as the North Harbour Stadium plays host to a number of sports including the Auckland Blues and Vodafone Warriors from time to time. The Albany Farmer’s Market is hugely popular and you can browse local made jewellery, art and crafts as well as yummy baked goods!
North Shore – Best of the rest
The North Shore is a huge area of Auckland and covers anywhere from Takapuna and Devonport all the way up to Silverdale so there is heaps to explore. The next time you’re in Auckland, hop in your car or even onto a bus and get across the bridge to see what’s out there!