Auckland Central candidates pick their favourite city attractions

Aotearoa's biggest city is a great holiday destination for Kiwis around the country.
Aotearoa's biggest city is a great holiday destination for Kiwis around the country. Photo credit: Newshub.

While many Aucklanders love escaping the big city to spend a weekend in the regions, there are constantly loads of Kiwis heading in the opposite direction, keen on a visit to Tāmaki Makaurau.

The city has big attractions like the Sky Tower, Auckland Museum, Rainbow's End and the zoo; but as with all big cities, the locals know the best places to go that aren't as obvious.

Newshub Travel spoke to three people who not only know Auckland Central, but are so passionate they're campaigning to represent in parliament.

Auckland Central candidate picks:

New Zealand First's Jenny Marcroft

"I have two places that I love to go to, depending on whether I need an East or West Coast beach. The energy of both coasts have significance to me as Māori - the links between the taha tane (male) side of the West Coast, and the taha wahine (female) side of the East Coast are interconnected, just as we ourselves are interconnected in all things. 

Tawharanui Regional Park
Tawharanui Regional Park Photo credit: Newshub.

"On the northern boundary of Auckland are a couple of my favourite places; to the east Tawharanui Regional Park, a sanctuary with golden sandy beaches, and Atiu Creek Regional Park on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour on the west. 

"As an Albertland descendant, the inner reaches of the Kaipara have particular appeal to me. This is the place where my ancestors made a home in the 1860s.    

"On the opposite coast there's the vibrant Matakana region with numerous beautiful beaches; Saturday farmers market in the village, boutique wineries, Morrison and James pottery, snorkelling at Goat Island, and horse riding at Pakiri Beach."

Green Party's Chlöe Swarbrick

Aotea Great Barrier Island
Aotea Great Barrier Island Photo credit: Newshub.

"There's so much to see and do in Auckland Central, but one of my favourite gems is Aotea Great Barrier Island. Across the majestic Hauraki is the first island in the world to receive Dark Sky Sanctuary status because it is phenomenal star-gazing. 

"There's an abundance of beautiful nature that needs protecting - and incredible locals who come together to protect it from pests - and some great kai and drink from the award-winning Currach Irish Pub, brunch at My Fat Puku, or if you can get a local to take you into their member's only community-built bar and restaurant."

National Party's Emma Mellow

"Waiheke is the standout for me - it has amazing diversity. Just today I had a tour of the McKenzie Reserve. It is amazing what the community has been able to achieve with so many passionate, local volunteers who are showcasing their love for the island. 

Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island Photo credit: Newshub.

"The vineyards and restaurants are also world-class. My fiance and I have long enjoyed heading over for lunch at places like the Oyster Inn, Mudbrick and recently we went to Ki Māha for dinner which was superb. 

"As an ocean swimmer, I've also had the chance during this campaign to hit the water during one of my visits. It was chilly but such a beautiful place to swim. I've been lucky enough to be on the island seven times in the past two months - it's important that any aspiring Auckland Central MP spends time on Waiheke to get to know the local issues. I've also committed to opening an office on Waiheke if I'm elected."

Labour's Helen White was invited to take part in this feature, but didn't respond. 

What do you think of the candidate's recommendations? Comment on the Newshub Travel Facebook group.