The view towards Auckland CBD from Mount Albert. © Pablo Garbarino

Urban explorer: Kingsland and Mount Albert

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Kingsland and Mt Albert are pockets of fun in Central Auckland where you’ll discover great bars and eateries, historic sites and invigorating outdoor spaces. 

Rays of afternoon sunlight cast a glow across Kingsland.

Colleagues and friends enjoy each other’s company in eateries and bars along New North Road, the main strip, running north-east to south-west from Auckland’s CBD. Its location is handy: next to the Kingsland Train Station and across from Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium. 

Kingsland tracks by @anouk__hendriks 🚂

A post shared by Kingsland NZ (@kingslandnz) on Jul 17, 2017 at 9:59pm PDT

It’s no surprise that Kingsland has seen a few sports enthusiasts parade its streets, most notably for the final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

But this evening, people are willing to simply enjoy the sunshine. A couple sips milkshakes from a store selling burgers and boasting “the best shakes in Auckland,” while a group of young friends pop in for dessert and coffee at a boutique café next door. Smokey, mouth-watering scents waft out from restaurants, while the aroma of fresh roasted coffee from Atomic Social Club fills the air.

Further down the road, at Nixon Park off Bond Street, children clamber across a playground with two thrilling slides down the bank of a grassy verge. Teenagers face off for a friendly game of basketball on the public court while skaters show off their moves at the adjacent skate park.

I skate sometimes ☠☠☠ @campbellivory 📸

A post shared by Elliot Houba (@elliothouba) on Aug 10, 2016 at 11:48pm PDT

Continue west along New North Road to discover Mt Albert. Families are out in force here, too.

Alice Wylie Reserve is a hive of activity where children can play make-believe on a playground complete with a bright and inspiring rocket ship.

Dogs and their owners run around the top of Mount Albert, a volcanic peak which gives the region its name and offers beautiful views of Auckland. Nature lovers can find solace in the soothing bush of Oakley Creek in the neighbouring suburb of Waterview, but also accessible from Mt Albert. It’s hard to believe this gem, complete with a mesmerising waterfall can be found in the middle of urban hustle and bustle. 

For history enthusiasts, a trip to Alberton, a beautifully well-preserved 1800s mansion sheds light on the lives of a wealthy colonial family. Complete with original artefacts including furniture and tableware, the old farmhouse is a treasure-trove.        

Come Saturday morning, the Mt Albert Market is alive with locals picking up delicious home-made produce. Preserves, spreads, meats, coffee, and fresh seasonal flowers are on display at the converted gas station along New North Road. Whatever you’re after, it’s worth stopping by.      

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