Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore is well known for its beautiful beach, endless eateries, trendy shops, rich history, and a relaxed vibe. When you rent a car at North Shore Rentals be sure to check out these top 6 best things to do in and around Takapuna.
1. Visit Takapuna beach
Ever popular with beachgoers, dog walkers and fitness junkies it is one of the North Shore’s best beaches. Located only 10 minutes from Auckland’s CBD and close to cafes, restaurants, and shops you will see why we love it. Watch the boats sail by, enjoy vast views over the Hauraki Gulf and nearby islands while the kids play at the huge Takapuna Beach reserve playground – one of the best in Auckland. This playground features a 9 metre tall tower with slides that connects to a 7 metre high climbing rope structure, in ground trampolines, merry go round swings, see-saws, hamster wheel and water play area.
2. See a show
The Bruce Mason Centre named after one of New Zealand’s greatest playwrights is a large venue and hosts family entertainment, musicals and comedy. Located just a stone’s throw from Takapuna Beach with views over to Rangitoto and just 10 minutes from Auckland’s CBD is located on The Promenade in the heart of Takapuna, it’s surrounded by restaurants where you can grab a meal before your show.
Alternatively, go to the historic Pumphouse Theatre in Killarney Park located right on Lake Pupuke, it used to be a former water pumping station for early settlers on the North Shore. The Pumphouse is a small performing arts centre which has a range of plays, musicals, Shakespeare, workshops, poetry and children’s performances. Go to The PumpHouse or Auckland Live to see what is on.
If you are into Art, the Lake House Arts Centre in Barrys Point Reserve is near the motorway. These Victorian heritage buildings used to be former seaside boarding houses at the northern end of Takapuna Beach, which was moved for preservation and now house regular art exhibitions and classes.
3. Go shopping
Head along to Takapuna’s main strip Hurstmere Road, Takapuna is home to plenty of New Zealand clothing and lifestyle stores such as Augustine, Kilt clothing, Ruby, Superette and Shut the front door, as well as large overseas retailers like Lululemon, Seed Heritage and Mecca Cosmetica.
Nearby you will find Shore City shopping centre, which is open 7 days a week and consists of over 70 stores such as Farmers, Country Road, Max, Mi Piaci, Barkers and Bed Bath N’ Table. Shore City also offers 3 hours of free undercover parking with entrances on Anzac St and Como St.
Every Sunday morning you will find the Takapuna Markets in the large carpark near the Rose gardens in the centre of Takapuna, you can shop for artisan food, fresh produce, flowers, and second-hand goods.
Whether you are after breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or a quiet drink there is something to suit every taste in Takapuna. Enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafés or authentic cuisine from one of the Mexican, Thai, Indian, Japanese or Mediterranean restaurants.
Wonder through the laneways at
Fortieth & Hurstmere made up of eateries and coffee outlets or check out the bars overlooking Takapuna Beach for some craft beer or relaxed bistro dining at Francs or Regatta.
If you are after a relaxed bar setting have a look at The Elephant Wrestler, Florrie McGreals or Taylors on Hurstmere.
On the other side of Takapuna you can head along to Goodside precinct at Smales Farm for a collection of Auckland’s finest boutique food and beverages all housed in one venue. Here you can enjoy live music, pop up eateries, private dining and a relaxed vibe. Have a meal at Fantail & Turtle, Shake out, Goodness Gracious or Ripe Deli.
5. Get active
Take a breathtaking walk from Takapuna to Milford also known as the ‘lava trail’ which winds its way along the beaches and pathways, while overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and out to Rangitoto (allow 45 minutes each way).
If you start the walk from Takapuna boat ramp during low tide you will be able to see the fossilised remains of an ancient Kauri forest. These were formed by lava flowing from nearby volcanic crater Lake Pupuke.
Head to Takapuna Beach for windsurfing or stand-up paddleboarding or if it is too cold for a swim visit the Takapuna Pool and Leisure centre on Killarney Street.
For those who love golf, pop over to the Takapuna Golf course on Northcote Road, hit some balls at the Golf Warehouse and driving range or take the kids along for Gloputt mini golf on Barrys Point Road.
6. Visit Devonport
Just a 12 minute drive from Takapuna is Devonport, here you will find a historic maritime village where Victorian buildings are now home to art galleries, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. The waterfront walk takes about 45 minutes and is a great way to take in the history of the area.
Devonport is home to two extinct volcanoes and you can easily spend a half or full day here by:
- Visiting North Head with its military tunnels, gun placements and bunkers which have amazing views out to Rangitoto
- Walking to the summit of Mount Victoria for a view of Auckland’s skyline, which makes for a great picnic spot.
- Take a Segway tour for an alternative mode of transport and a fun way to see the sights.
- Afterwards go shopping or have a bite from one of the local café’s or restaurants. Make sure to pick up some yummy treats from Devonport Chocolates
- See a movie at the boutique cinema ‘The Vic’
- Visit the Torpedo Bay Naval Museum, housed in a 19th century submarine mining station overlooking the Waitemata harbour.
Fort Takapuna Historic Walk
On your way to or from Devonport take a quick detour to Fort Takapuna on Vauxhall road next to Narrowneck beach. Fort Takapuna consists of two main buildings: the larger barracks built in the 1880s, and the smaller brick building beside it, built by the navy in the 1920s to store warheads for torpedoes and depth charges. The buildings are below ground level because originally, they were surrounded by a dry moat most of which was filled in 100 years ago. While there is no path you can wander around the grassed area and observe the military history and views over the gulf.
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