If it’s a Saturday then set the morning aside for the complete Otara Market experience. Amid a multitude of cultures, you’ll be tempted by endless bargains as much as the delicious array of ethnic food. Wind down with a visit to Ambury Regional Park on the shores of the vast Manukau Harbour.
Ambury is a working farm with the chance to get close to, feed and learn about the animals. It’s also a birdwatcher’s paradise. Slot into high gear later in the day with a visit to the Formula E Raceway, an indoor electric kart circuit near Auckland Airport. Check before you go for possible open grand prix or timed practices.
Explore one of Auckland’s most beautiful corners: Glenbrook, Waiuku and the Awhitu Peninsula. Reaching Glenbrook first, a magical vintage steam railway runs here. It’s open Sundays and some holidays from late October to early June. On to Waiuku for lunch then the nearby black-sand beach at Kariotahi, where the surf pounds in from the Tasman Sea. Driving up the Awhitu Peninsula beach roads branch off everywhere. At small townships along the way you’ll find artists’ studios, a boutique vineyard and bird parks.
Finally, where the mighty Tasman Sea and the vast Manukau Harbour collide, climb up inside the restored 19th century lighthouse and take in the wild coastline. On your return, visit Spookers at the old Kingseat hospital for the fright of your life!