12 hours in Ponsonby
After almost two months of travel through the North and South islands of New Zealand, we reached our final stop, Auckland; a city that feels as wide as Hong Kong feels tall. We stayed in a quirky little area called Ponsonby, a wonderfully ironic name for a place with such a hipster vibe. Our hotel, the Great Ponsonby Arthotel, was quirkier still, with touches of originality and colour on show everywhere. Perhaps it was a consequence of our recent campervan trip, or the very welcomed welcome drink that the hotel provided, but either way, we settled right into this charming place on a quiet road off the main Ponsonby strip.
Having breakfast included in a stay is always a lovely touch, and we started our day in the cosy but lively breakfast room. A small and well executed buffet selection allowed the children to feed their granola addiction, while a simple selection of cooked options offered more hearty choices like an English breakfast, eggs benedict and banana pancakes. The two affable breakfast hosts did a great job of simultaneously seating guests and cooking their breakfasts, which gave the experience a homely feel that we really enjoyed, and whilst this was by no means the biggest selection or the most refined breakfast you’ll find on your travels, it was a good, healthy and fun start to the day.
With a flight back to Hong Kong departing imminently, we didn’t have long to savour the delights that our hotel and the area had to offer, but here are all the great little spots we found in the final few days that we had in New Zealand’s biggest and busiest city.
Everyday Needs - Beautifully curated homeware store with classic and unique pieces
Mr. Bigglesworthy - Fantastic selection of mid-century furniture
Tatty's - Specialising in second hand designer clothings, as well as vintage and retro pieces
Flotsam And Jetsam - A retro emporium with all kinds of homeware
The Open Book - Second hand bookstore and creative space
Foxtrot Parlour - Famous for their ‘inject-your-own-doughnuts’ with your filling of choice
Orphans Kitchen- Beautiful cooking focussed on seasonal produce
El Sizzling Chorizo - Argentinian barbecue with a great lunch time sirloin deal
Ha! Poke- Founded by Beyonce’s part time private chef, they offer savoury and sweet Poke bowls
Gogo Daddy- Thai canteen serving street-style food, perfect for sharing