Playing with Guns in Auckland

This past weekend we were treated to a rare sunshiney day in Auckland (well, for the most part. It still rained, of course) and my friends and I decided to head to the North Shore, specifically Devonport and Takapuna.

Great cafe with fantastic coffee. Wish I could find the card so I could tell you the name! I’ll keep searching.

Our first stop, Devonport, was just fantastic. Now HERE was the charm I’d been looking for in Auckland! First settled by Europeans (and by this I mean, of course, Maoris were kicked out) around 1840, this charming neighbourhood is just…charming! Old buildings and sidewalk cafes and art pieces and nick-nack shops…I was in heaven. I felt like I was back in a vibrant city with character and community and, like, stuff to do.

Toronto? Is that you in the distance?

We didn’t spend much time there; just enough to grab a coffee and take a wander. I can’t wait to head back, and at just a 10 min ferry ride from the CBD, it’s perfectly doable. Loved it!

From Devonport we headed up to North Head which I thought was just a big hill, but turned out to be a military…thing. Wikipedia calls it a ‘pilot station’ so we’ll stick with that! In Jenny speak: there were all these cool old tunnels that the military used, as well as a bunch of old guns!

Rangitoto in the distance. I’ll have to hike it one day!

The weather held and we were treated to fanstastic views of Rangitoto (an old volcano…like the rest of Auckland area) and great far-off looks of the city. It was super windy and gorgeously sunny and a really great treat to explore the old tunnels and get a new view of the city. Also lots of fun to play with cannons and pretend to be a famous female military leader. Just me? Anyways, it’s definitely a place to visit if you’re in Auckland on a sunny day and have a car. Check it out!

Yep. I climbed in a hole.

Oh! There I am! If this was Toronto, a homeless man would’ve peed on me in that hole.

The disappearing gun.

These guys were at North Head BEFORE it was cool.

If you look reaaalllly closely, you can see the Waitakere ranges, where I live, in the distance. Auckland is huge.

All Dogs Go To Heaven? Remember that movie?

And my favourite part about North Head? We got lost trying to find the car so we had to shimmy down this SUPER steep grass hill. Kym and I made it most of the way down on our bums, but at the very end I lost my balance and ended up rolling the rest of the way down. It was AWESOME. When was the last time you rolled down a hill covered in thick grass and opened your eyes to the blue sky? I haven’t laughed like that in ages. Simple things, guys.

Dom’s simple things included climbing guns.

After North Head we ended up in Takapuna and took a low-tide wander down the beach. All the rocks super cool lava rocks, full of seashells and sharp edges. Some of them looked like charcoal grey coral! Really sweet.

All those white spots on the rocks are seashells which are totally fused with the rocks. Really cool!

Sun-kissed and wind burnt, we enjoyed beer and pizza in Takapuna and headed home….

…and then I ended up in the exact same place the very next day to meet up with a friend. Only this time I took the bus. Which was a two hour, $10.20 journey. Each way.

Shitty transit aside (honestly, I’ll never bitch about the TTC again) the market was really great and Marie-Eve made us a great picnic to munch on. I took my six pounds of strawberries (only $5!) on the long bus ride home and ended my North Shore adventure weekend happy to finally have something worth taking pictures of!

DEAR LORD AUCKLAND WHAT

Slowly this city is showing me it’s flirty side. I’m liking what I see and can’t wait to make it to first base.

*happy mmm*

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