Why not bag yourself a bargain while you're out and about in South Auckland? Located on Roscommon Road in Manurewa, Savemart is a massive goldmine for second-hand clothes and accessories.
I'm a self-proclaimed op-shop queen and can attest that this is a true op-shop and not a 'vintage' store moonlighting as an op-shop.
Two major reasons to visit this store: it's large and very well organised by type of garment and colour.
2. Stand Up Poetry (S.U.P.)
Spoken word poetry is becoming more visible in Aotearoa and no doubt Auckland is a central hub for this powerful art form. You can check out some of the latest spoken word poets in South Auckland on a monthly basis by way of Stand Up Poetry, aka S.U.P.
S.U.P. provides a platform for any type of writer: the emerging spoken word artist sharing new work, the nervous first time poet new to the mic and current poetry slam champions.
Action Education and the South Auckland Poets' Collective host S.U.P., South Auckland’s first and only monthly poetry open mic night. This happens as a pop-up style event in a different public spaces around South Auckland. Keep up to date with their next open mic.
3. Villa Maria Estate
This is a little slice of Italy tucked away between Auckland International Airport and Māngere.
Villa Maria is home to some of the best outdoor summer gigs by some of Aotearoa’s finest musicians. It's also the home of the famous annual winery tour that farewells our summers.
You can visit Villa Maria for lunch at their Vineyard Café and enjoy wine tasting. This place also makes for a pretty romantic wedding venue and it's close enough to the international airport for a quick getaway honeymoon!
The lushness of the reception space lit up in the evening will trick you into thinking you are in wine-eyed wonder under a moon somewhere in Tuscany.
4. Lil Abner’s Takeaways
When I was in high school, Lil Abner’s, located next to the infamous Club Raro nightclub, was known as one of the best places to get a 3am feed in South Auckland.
This was the place to get a feed with your mates after a night out in town, using your car bonnet as a kitchen table as you all tried to line your stomachs with grease in an attempt to prepare for the inevitable hangover.
Although the neon lights of Club Raro are now gone, Lil Abner’s takeaway still stands strong. Famous for its chicken kebabs, rotisserie chicken and the epic yokum burger (which is pretty much the size of a humans’ face, but everyone in South Auckland has either attempted to eat it or witnessed someone doing so).