My Auckland

Chris­tian Rika, of Free­mans Bay, likes Auckland’s se­cret beauty spots.

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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.

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