15 April 2012
“Rainy days and Mondays Always Get Me Down” sang the Carpenters.
However, the crew at the Great Ponsonby Arthotel has a few thoughts to make a rainy day more pleasant.
Our extensive library of film, music, books & all sky channels are available. You are welcome to hang out in the lounge or deck which has tables to play cards or games. If you would like to head up the road please ask the crew for an umbrella or a raincoat.The Ponsonby cafes are friendly and people watching is always fun.
The Ponsonby Pool Hall , 106 Ponsonby Rd, ph 360 2356 . 11am-1am. Owned and managed by Elias and Paddy Hanlon. A great place to while way a few hours and met a few of the locals.
Browse in book shops. Dorothy Butlers Childrens Bookshop, cnr Jervois & St Marys Bay Rd, just around the corner. I buy all the books for the grankdchildren here after asking staff for advice. Lots of NZ books you may not find overseas. Dominion Books, 230 Jervois Rd , Classics and Suchlike Books, 201 Ponsonby Rd. Both interesting second hand stores. The Womens Bookshop, 105 Ponsonby Rd also has very knowledgable staff& great titles.
Walk along Ponsonby Rd to Karangahape or K Rd. Il Buco is a wee hole in the wall. Perch on a stool in the street with a rich hot chocolate. Browze in Magazzino which has mags & newspapers from all over the world. Cross the road to check out the latest exhibition in Object Space. In K Rd Buana Satu for quirky Polynesian stuff, Alleluya Café in St Kevins Arcade for a sit down and a read of the paper . Iko Iko store for everything fun and quirky and across the road and upstairs, Te Karanga Gallery and Tea shop. A grungy door in the street leads to this great little tea shop.
Best movie theatres The Academy in the library which has a tiny theatre, smaller than a sitting room so booking is necessary. On bus route. Rialto in Newmarket, on bus route and easy parking.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Domain is open every day except xmas day. For non-Auckland residents there is a koha [donation]. There are Maori cultural performances 11am, 12, 1.30 & 2.30pm daily. If you are unable to experience Maori culture anywhere else this is a must. The Polynesian section is amazing. Interesting exhibitions constantly change. Great gift shop too and there is a cafe.
If you buy jade, it is from NZ, if it is called pounamu or the carver has their name on the card, otherwise it is likely to be a Chinese copy.
The Auckland Art Gallery on the corner of Wellesley and Lorne streets has just been refurbished and is wonderful. At the moment there is a marvellous, large installation of brightly coloured fabric flowers that open and close. Rather like Little Shop of Horrors only beautiful. Sally is a friend of the Art Gallery.
Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. It is built completely underground in an old sewer on Tamaki Drive and gives visitors the opportunity to see up close many sea creatures, including sharks. The king penguins in the Antarctic display are pretty good too.
MOTAT is is New Zealand’s biggest transport and technology museum. A favourite is the “Feely House” which is completely in the dark. You find your way around by feel, including where to find the entrance to the next room. There are also a couple of old trams you can ride on.
Snowplanet where you can experience skiing and snow boarding indoors, about an hours drive north of Auckland. Probably more for learners but I did meet a young man who was skiing competitively who had done most of his skiing here!
The Stardome Observatory is an all-sky 360º panoramic theatre with a multimedia experience featuring 3,500 stars.This is something I have never done but have promised myself I will.
Bush & Beach, an eco tour to the rugged West Coast. We have guests who have loved this in the rain as they have all the wet weather gear . Either a Wilderness Experience or a Coast and Rainforest walk. Need to book. We can do this for you.