Christian Rika, of Freemans Bay, likes Auckland’s secret beauty spots.
Māngere Maunga is gorgeous. The sweet spot is around 8pm when everyone’s leaving. There’s a beautiful silence to the area that comes at night. Through the gate, walk around to the left, and there’s a moment as you reach the ridge.... I’ll leave it for you to experience yourself. If you need further convincing, it’s a very grammable walk. ——— 2. Whenever I go back home, or leave the city, I’m blown away by how many stars you can really see. Herald Island is the perfect place for stargazing that doesn’t take you too far out. It’s fab for a night adventure with food and friends. ——— 3. Kia ora, ko Christian Rika ahau. Ko Ida Ziegler tōku waka. Ko Tongariro tōku maunga tapu. Ko Whanganui tōku awa. Ko Ngāpuhi tōku iwi. Nō Taumarunui ahau. Ko Jason rāua ko Zazeen ōku mātua. Nā reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. ——— 4. Around here is one of my fave secret places. I like coming here with music after a busy day and letting my mind wander. It’s got great views of Devonport and the city, and the best part is, nobody comes round this way often. Oh, PS, it’s a great place to sneak a low-key peck. ——— 5. When you’re used to 5000 people and only a handful of neighbours, a million can get a bit much at times. I love jumping in the car, picking up a mate, and heading off on a drive out west. So many beautiful walks. Piha’s White and Rose tracks are a breath of life. ——— 6. Reading a book under a tree at Ōkahu Bay, Ōrākei is pretty sweet. When I moved up to Ngāti Whātua whenua, I thought I should get more of an understanding of the history of the area and its people. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s key to Auckland’s story. If you don’t know what happened, check it out! ——— 7. Tāmaki Makaurau has been my home for a year. A small town boy, it took me some time to get used to Auckland. Now, I live and work in the city, and have discovered some neat lil’ spots which I’m sharing just for you. This lush wall can be found at Cascade St, Freemans Bay. ——— 8. Tāmaki has a fab arts and theatre scene that comes alive at night. One of my fave places to go is Basement Theatre. Their shows are a little top-up for your mind and soul. Or sometimes they’re just a crack up. You can bank on fierce fashion from the crowd, feeling feelings, and having your experience validated or challenged.