Spring is just around the corner and while we’ve had a mixed week of snow, sunshine, chilly temperatures and rain, we can look forward to a sunny weekend. It's time to explore the city before the rest of the world does for Rugby World Cup. So what are you waiting for?
1. Pick and Mix, Auckland Town Hall, Saturday 11am - 1pm, Free
Start off the weekend with a bit of music. Affetto: A Morning at the Court of Henry VIII will be performed at the Concert Chamber Auckland Town Hall at 11am, followed by a workshop at 12pm. You will find out where the Mr Whippy tune came from and get a look at what royalty in the 16th century did for fun. Then you will be geared to construct trumpets in just five minutes and learn how to play a simple tune.
2. Sunday Drive to Piha
Pack a jacket, walking shoes and head to Piha, New Zealand's most famous surf beach, 40km west of Auckland. The black sand, fresh air and rugged terrain will blow away those cobwebs and revitalise you. Once there, stop for lunch at the Piha Cafe and take a scenic drive back home to complete a lazy Sunday.
3. Ferry to Devonport, dine, join in a Sunday fun run, or just walk the beach
A visit to Devonport will take you back in time and is the perfect way to wile away a Sunday. This weekend there’s the Unitec Run and Walk Events fun run starting at 9am (adults) and 10am (kids). If you are feeling energetic and want to explore the area then this could be the run for you. Or you could just take a ferry from Downtown Auckland to the seaside village for brunch and a walk along the beach.
4. Farmers' Market - Britomart, Saturday
Britomart is quickly transforming itself into a world-class shopping destination with leading fashion houses opening stores here. PM John Key and Mayor Len Brown officially opened the new additions to the precinct on Thursday night. So, this is the weekend to get down there and check it out before the RWC influx. Take a train into the station if you can and an empty bag to fill up with fresh fruit and veggies from the City Farmers’ Market, open Saturdays between 8.30am and 12.30pm.
5. Eden Park adventure and lunch in Kingsland
Feel like seeing what all the RWC fuss is about? Then take a walk from Kingsland to Eden Park, check out the Maori carvings outside the sporting venue capture the road frontage architecture of the new stadium on camera. Then wander back to Kingsland for a meal at one of the favourite eateries Canton if you feel like Asian and don't want to linger long into the evening, or Roasted Addiqtion Cafe for lunch is a hot favourite.
6. Ranui Artisans Farmers Market, Ranui Community Centre, 474 Swanson Road, Friday 3.30pm - 6.30pm
Start off the weekend at the Ranui Community House's friendly farmers market. Here you can shop for affordable organics, fish cheeses, meats, artisan breads, relishes, preserves, gluten free baking, maori bread and other delights to fill the pantry for the weekend.
7. Travelling Vintage Sale, Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Terrace, Saturday 10am - 2pm
Here you will find a range of vintage fabrics, clothing, trinkets, treasure, tinkers and taylors, buttons, materials, wool and doileys. If you want to bring a touch of retro into your life then check out the offerings here. You can sell, swap and share. Perfect for the lover of juicy old cloth, fabric with battlescars and timeworn opulence very welcome. This will be a hot pick for quilters, crafters, sewers and dressmakers.
8. Salsa on Sunday, Viva Latino Studio, 10 Newton Rd, Newton, $5 entry
Most Sundays the Auckland salsa community turn up here for a night of fun, networking and dancing. Get your groove on and head along for what will not only be a good work-out, but a good party. Latin beats start at 8pm and is suitable for all levels of dancers. The music runs through to late, when the more seasoned dancers take to the dance floor around 10pm. But that shouldn't stop you from joining in! A fun way to finish off the weekend.
9. Kids Only Market, Pt Chevalier Community Centre, Saturday 9am - 1pm
This is the chance for kids to be stallholders and run their own market! Youngster can recycle old games, books, toys, clothing and sports gear by selling them on to others to love. Here you will find crafts, baking and much more! All stalls will be manned by kids (with parents helping to supervise younger kids).
10. Chelsea Estate Heritage Park Planting Day, Birkenhead, Sunday, 10am - 12pm
Do something fun and good for the environment! Head along to a community tree planting day at the Chelsea Estate Heritage Park. This is the chance for local people to plant a native tree and watch it grow in one of Birkenhead’s prime heritage locations. This is part of Auckland Council's community planting days which last year saw 15,000 native trees planted in parks and reserves around the city.