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Takapuna is one of Auckland’s most popular beach towns, with coastal vibes stretching from its cerulean-coloured sea to the vibrant café and shopping centre. Regardless of the season, head to Takapuna Beach for beautiful pōhutukawa-lined sand and front-row views of Rangitoto Island. Entertain the kids at the castle-like beach playground or, for a great reading spot, sprawl out on a picnic bench or grassy knoll.
It’s easy to find great seaside nibbles and drinks – shoes are optional! As a lively outpost of the Auckland café scene, the options are tasty and seemingly endless. Grab a pre-beach coffee at Takapuna Café or walk around Hurstmere Road to find salad bars, dessert shops, sushi and Korean BBQ, up-scale eateries and laid-back pubs. For maximum selection, check out Eat Street (at Fortieth and Hurstmore), a quirky laneway with courtyards, murals and countless menus to browse.
Takapuna is also home to a popular shopping scene, with big-name brands and independent boutiques. Hit the pavement near Lake Road and Hurstmere to find a medley of shops and places to eat.
Fancy a stroll? Take in the volcanic rock pools, secluded beaches and harbour views from what has been lovingly dubbed the “lava trail”, or the Milford to Takapuna Walk.
Row, row, row your boat (or sail or fish) at a heart-shaped volcanic crater filled with fresh water. You can also walk around Pupuke Moana (Lake Pupuke), located between Takapuna and Milford, on a 6.5km path for optimal lakeside viewing.
Catch a cabaret or comedy show at the nearby PumpHouse Theatre, named for the building’s previous incarnation as a water-pumping station. Beyond its range of productions and creative talks, you might also hear murmurings from its friendly ghost, Peg Escott. Enjoy larger productions such as ballet, opera and concerts at the Bruce Mason Centre, located in the heart of Takapuna’s dining district.
Location Te wāhi
TakapunaPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
Takapuna is a 10-15 minute drive from the city centre, and is accessible by bus.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
Beat the crowds by going to Minnehaha Beach, a secluded haven between Takapuna Beach and Milford. This secret spot can only be reached on foot via the coastal walkway. Park around Minnehaha Avenue for the easiest access.