Just came back from an half day trip to Takapuna and Devonport on a lucky, warm, spring day. When we left home this morning we didn’t really know where to go, so we just opened Google maps and checked what there is up there (north) close to the beach. Takapuna seemed to be the right place, close to the area where we live, on the beach, close to a lake and to Devonport, a place that we wanted to visit. It took us just 15 minutes to get there by car, while by bus is probably a 30-40 minutes trip from the CBD.
Takapuna and Lake Pupuke
Takapuna is probably a really busy and popular summer destination, but on a spring weekday like today it was quiet and relaxed. We found a parking on Anzac st (or around there) and put 3$ for a 3 hours stay. First on our list as the sun was out was taking a look at the ocean. We walked down The strand and found ourselves in front of Rangitoto Island.
The view and the temperature were nice so we took a walk on the beach on the way to the Takapuna Beach cafe where we grabbed a coffee (looked like a really nice but really fancy place). We sat on the little wall that surrounds the boat ramp parking lot and enjoyed the sun for a bit. As you know already if you are in Auckland now, it took about 5 minutes for the weather to change to grey and menacing, so we decided to leave our spot in the sun and have a walk on the strip. We took The Promenade and then browsed around Hurstmere Rd, Anzac str and Lake Rd. There are countless shops, coffee shops and restaurants in this area and was hard to chose one. Being a “low budget restaurant” lovers we sat down in Basu Lounge, a Chinese restaurant at 452 Lake Rd. We ordered Dandan noodles and rice with beef stew and potato. Everything was really good and the portion massive. We left with a full belly and a big take home box full of rice and potato, all for only 19$.
After this feast walking was a NO NO, so we jumped in the car on the way to Lake Pupuke (you can easily walk there but we were so full we couldn’t). We parked close to the The Pumphouse Theatre and enjoyed the view resting our belly on a bench by the lake side. That’s all we saw of the lake, but I guess there is stuff to do around here.
Devonport, Mt. Victoria, Cyril Bassett VC Lookout
Devonport is a small suburbs on the north shore and it sits around Mount Victoria (Takarunga), just in front of Auckland’s skyline. Mt. Victoria is the highest volcano on Auckland’s north shore, which makes you think of something really big but it’s just 87 meters – 😐 – Anyway, it is quite an interesting place for its history and view on the city (read more on Wikipedia: Mount Victoria).
On top of Mt Victorya (or better: in it’s belly) there are some bunkers and a huge cannon that makes the little hike to the top (you can drive as well) a must. The view is nice, and on the top there is a big map made out of iron that shows the surrounding islands (really interesting).
Here you can also walk down some stairs and find in front of you a huge cannon (BL 8 inch Mk VII Disappearing gun) that was used during WW II (or was supposed to be use, it fired only once and cracked windows in some houses down in Devonport apparently). There is not much to do here, but is the perfect place for photos and relax on a beautiful day. The area is covered in bright green grass and huge mushrooms (just the vent system that has been turned into gigantic Super Mario mushroom).
Just before the little road that goes up to Mt. Victoria there is a Coffee shop, restaurant and pub called Corelli’s. We had a coffee here and the food looked pretty nice as well so you may want to stop here for a meal. Before getting to Mt Victoria we drove down Calliope Rd, past the Naval Base and stopped in Stanley Bay. There is a little bit of garden on a little strip of sand with a nice view on Auckland.
Past this point we kept on Stanley Point Rd until we reached at the very end Cyril Bassett VC Lookout, a nice little garden with a bench and a great view (probably our favorite, the picture on top of this post was taken there).
So if you have half a day and want to do some close to home exploration we really suggest you to visit these couple of places!