More info He pārongo atu anōVisit website
Get a spectacular coastal view from Tāmaki Drive, or take it up a notch at Michael Savage Memorial Park, a hilltop public space dedicated to New Zealand's first Labour prime minister. Walk, cycle or skate from either Ōkahu Bay or Mission Bay for some of the best angles of Rangitoto Island from the peninsula – and don’t forget your togs!
Hire a kayak to explore the little pōhutukawa-lined bays that dapple the coast. Back on land, you can also cruise down the waterfront on rollerblades, which can be hired at Fergs Kayaks at Ōkahu Bay.
If you’re with the kids, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium should be top of the list. Spend the day with adorable sub-Antarctic penguins, turtles and several species of sharks (from a safe distance, of course). For a shorter outing, entertain the kids at a lighthouse-inspired playground at Mission Bay or at the waka-shaped tree house at Ōrākei Domain, a playground that celebrates the land's Māori heritage. Takaparawhau (Bastion Point), located next to the memorial, is a living symbol of Māori land issues that culminated in 1978.
On a hot summer’s day, get sprayed by the Mission Bay Fountain at Selwyn Reserve or even join the kids taking a cheeky dip inside. Cool off in the sea, flex your beach volleyball skills, or toss a frisbee around at Mission Bay Beach, a popular place for locals to spend the afternoon. Tuck into fish and chips, sip on craft beer, or just relax at one of the dozens of eateries just across the road.
Behold a natural spectacle on the Ōrākei Basin Walk, a 2.9km loop along a wide boardwalk through an ancient lagoon. Recharge among native trees and singing birds at Kepa Bush Reserve, a quiet oasis with great views of the water.
You can also eat, drink and shop at Ōrākei Bay Village, an old gin factory now converted to more than 25 shops and eateries. Browse among décor, fashion and beauty stores before dining in – or get a quick sugar fix from Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar. Next door, kick back and watch a blockbuster in an ultra-cushy chair at Silky Otter Cinemas – and get food delivered to your seat.
Location Te wāhi
ŌrākeiPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Ōrākei is 10-15 minutes from downtown by car and is accessible by bus.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Watch the city and harbour at sunset from the lawn at Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park. Pack a blanket and some layers for when the temperature begins to dip.