Very near Point Chevalier, Phyllis Reserve is a place in the middle of Auckland and is surprising, not only for its location but also for its greenery and tranquility. Located behind a college and almost adjacent to the major roads of the city, its trails are quiet and pleasant. You can relax on one of its banks, fish or photograph some of the birds that live in the reserve. The most surprising thing about the place is that it is not easy to find. Also if you go deep into it without knowing where you are going, it is easy to lose your sense of direction and get lost in the middle of Auckland. A stream goes winding through the tiny valley, and several magnificent bridges cross it. A wonderful place to get lost!
This is a great store which is sure to inspire nostalgic thoughts of the time when record stores were gathering places for fans looking for rarities. It has a huge vinyl section decorated with album covers from the 1960's and 70's, and all kinds of rock paraphernalia, shirts, bandannas, flags, etc.
These buses are a good option if you're travelling to New Zealand alone. It's not a set excursion; you can choose the number of days you want to spend in each city, and whether or not you want to continue with the same group. You don't need to worry about accommodation, as the driver will book it for you. It's paid for separately. You can make friends easily; the staff are young, and most visitors are European. Speaking English is essential, as the drivers are New Zealanders who don't speak other languages.
Piha Beach is famous among Auckland's surfers, and is located only about 40km from the city. Its colour makes it really unique, as the black sand is really cool and unusual. Everyone who visits leaves with a bottle full of sand as a souvenir. Unmissable if you like surfing, and worth visiting even if you don't.
Just past Auckland, heading north on the east coast, you will find the Rodney District, a collection of commuter villages. Further north, the landscape is dominated by beaches, coves, and extraordinary sunrises. If you like sailing, kayaking or hiking, it's a good destination - I know it's a bit far, but it's worth it, particularly if you make a trip in a camper van.