Out and About in Auckland

Takapuna beach
santa letter

We set sail in the campervan, all packed up and raring to go. We wanted to gravitate around Auckland for the next few days as we had plans to enjoy the festivities with our amazing friends in Auckland.  

Takapuna was recommended to us, and it was ideal as a first night away, only half an hour drive north of Auckland, just over the harbour bridge.

We arrived and found our spot right at the water’s edge and dived right into our first night freedom camping.  This place was precisely on our wavelength.  It had a sweeping stretch of beach, and within 5 minutes walk we were right in the beating heart of this beachfront town.  

It was starting to feel festive and so far we hadn’t really had a chance to build up to Christmas so we were keen to get in the mood.  We boxed off most of our Christmas shopping as we mooched around the shops and Fin found Santa’s Mailbox right by a huge Christmas tree overlooking the bay.  

We dined out that evening and then headed back to the van so Fin could write out his list to Santa.  He’d already started his list a few weeks earlier whilst we were in Thailand, so we jotted that down on special paper, ready for him to post in the morning.

Fin, proudly wore his Christmas hat the next day and off we went to explore the beach, in the direction of the mailbox.  It was so lovely to see him excitedly post his letter as he asked us a heap of questions about whether Santa would know who he was, and how he was going to be able to read his letter as he was so far away from home!  Cuteness overload!

There was an awesome park right by the water’s edge, which we visited a few times during our stay there and Fin enjoyed feeding the seagulls with our leftover croissants at breakfast and exploring in the rock pools looking for unusual marinelife.

Takapuna was an idyllic little setting for our first night in the van and we loved every second exploring this vibrant little neighbourhood.

The following day we headed back to Auckland, with a baby shower to attend, in the uber cool Ponsonby high street.  It was amazing to meet up with such fantastic friends and the boys had a good explore in the meantime.

So that brought us to Westhaven Marina for our next stop.  It was just down the road from Ponsonby and was an incredible spot.  We again stayed right on the water’s edge, but this time we had an uninterrupted view of Auckland Harbour bridge, which put on a light show at night as the sun set. It was a gorgeous setting, with all the boats right by us in the harbour.  The Auckland Tower stood above us from the other perspective and we felt like the luckiest little campers around.  Fin was clearly impressed with his new home!  Waking up in the morning, we tucked into our croissants (and essential coffee hit for us!) before plotting our next move.

It was back to the mechanics, for a scheduled stop for more van maintenance.  Which gave us the opportunity to stroll around Newhaven for the morning.  As the sun got hotter, we hit the famous Auckland Museum, for a couple of hours watching Fin run around making so many new discoveries and soaking up all the information around him.  They had a really cool butterfly exhibition at the time, which was right up Fin’s street and we spent our time learning about Maori history, and lots of amazing nature!

Takapuna spot
Auckland harbour bridge