Sir John Kirwan’s top picks

“Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku is perfect for a Saturday drive. The building itself is really a piece of art and they exhibit artists in the local community and throughout New Zealand, which I really like.”

Sir John Kirwin

Otara Markets

Start your Saturday bright and early at the Otara Markets and stock up on fresh and cheap fruit and veggies. Grab breakfast from one of the food trucks – mussel fritters are my favourite. There’s heaps of authentic Māori, Pacific and Asian food too, and Māori and Pacific art and jewellery stalls.

In and around Auckland Airport

There are so many cool things to do out near the airport – mountain biking, mini golf, paintball, go karting and heaps more. Check it out if you’ve got kids or visiting family, but beware, it brings out the competitive streak in some of us!

Golf, of course

If mini-golf doesn’t quite cut it for you, there are several real golf courses in the south – try Pukekohe or the new Windross Farm. Make sure you book a tee time for the weekend and my advice is to play early, then you’ve got the whole afternoon to enjoy the drive back, or stop somewhere for lunch in Pukekohe on the way home.

Awhitu Peninsula

Awhitu Peninsula is a bit of an undiscovered beauty – the drive is about an hour and a half south east of the city centre, so it’s good for a Sunday road trip and the views on the way are just amazing. The eastern side has some nice sheltered bays, but my pick is the wilder Karioitahi Beach on the west. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse right at the end of the peninsula too.

Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku

Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku is perfect for a Saturday drive. The building itself is really a piece of art and they exhibit artists in the local community and throughout New Zealand, which I really like.

Things to do
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