Ellerslie is considered a hidden gem in a neighbourhood sense, with a strong community vibe that keeps its little village flourishing. While best known as the home of Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland’s premier horse-racing venue, Ellerslie is treasured by locals for brunch, lunch or casual drinks with friends.
Pop into the quaint village for a flat white on the fly or, if you have time, indulge in some of the popular eateries in the ‘burb. Pastrami & Rye is a must-try for its American-style deli sandwiches and café fare – plus the coffee is superb. Down the street, transport yourself to a funky Japanese izakaya at Mr Tanaka’s for delectable skewers, sashimi and a tropical lounge atmosphere. Aside from food, you can find whatever you need along Main Highway, from boutiques to butcheries to nail salons. And the best part? In Ellerslie, street parking is a breeze.
Race day in Ellerslie is a tradition dating back to 1874, when the Auckland Racing Club was formed by members of two older clubs. Ellerslie Racecourse is rich in history – and even royalty. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip headed to the Boxing Day races, an event so anticipated that a lift was installed for their arrival. Dress in your best for a grand old time at the Ellerslie Racecourse, which promises a great atmosphere over the summer racing season.
Like many suburbs in Auckland, pockets of natural beauty are nestled amongst rows of old houses. Though one pocket in particular – Cornwall Park – is less a pocket and more a 270-hectare wonderland for anyone keen on fresh air. Amble along one of many trails, take the kids to the playground or hike up to the iconic obelisk poking the skyline atop One Tree Hill. For something more low-key, enjoy the local park scene at Michaels Avenue Reserve – great for duck-watching and popping over to the playground. If you've got a golfer in your life, have them head to the Golf Warehouse Driving Range for a top-notch spot to get those practice swings in.
Location Te wāhi
EllersliePlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Ellerslie is 10-18 minutes by car from the city centre, and easily accessible by bus and train. Ellerslie Train Station is only a minute's walk from the main village.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
With a great café scene in the village, Ellerslie is a fab spot to indulge in a weekend brunch – and perhaps some people-watching, too.