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7+ Enjoyable Things To Do In Takapuna For Every Traveler

Scenic overview of Takapuna, showcasing the best things to do in this vibrant Auckland suburb.


If you’re looking for things to do in Takapuna, Auckland, as part of your 2024 New Zealand travels, you won’t want to miss out on this vibrant beachside suburb. Trust me, this place has it all—from pristine beaches and mouth-watering dining options to fascinating history and thrilling activities.

In this complete and updated guide, I’ll share with you the best things to do in Takapuna based on my personal experiences and insights. So, let’s dive in and discover what makes Takapuna one of the perfect travel destinations for your 2024 getaway.

1. Fall in Love with Takapuna Beach

Takapuna Beach offers picturesque views and plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy during their stay.

First things first, let’s talk about the star of the show—Takapuna Beach. Voted Aucklanders’ favorite beach in 2018, this stunning stretch of white sand and crystal-clear waters will take your breath away. Whether you’re looking to relax, swim, or try your hand at some exciting water sports, Takapuna Beach has got you covered. Looking for more beach destinations? Check out the best beaches in Melbourne, Australia.

Relax and Unwind

One of my favorite things to do here is simply lay out a towel, soak up the sun, and enjoy the incredible views of Rangitoto Island. If you’re visiting with kids, they’ll absolutely love the huge playground near the beach. It’s got everything from a 9-meter tall tower with slides to in-ground trampolines and a water play area.

Water Activities Galore

Now, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Takapuna Beach offers an awesome range of water activities that’ll get your heart pumping. If you’re looking for more outdoor adventures, check out our guide to New Zealand’s National Parks.

You can hire paddle boards or kayaks and explore the stunning coastline at your own pace. Or, if you’re a thrill-seeker like me, definitely give the jet skis a go.

For those keen on learning a new skill, Takapuna is a fantastic spot for windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Local operators like MadLoop and Girls Get Out There NZ offer lessons and equipment rentals for all skill levels. I gave stand-up paddleboarding a try last summer, and it’s an incredible way to experience the beauty of Takapuna’s waters.

Explore the Takapuna-Milford Coastal Walk

One thing you absolutely can’t miss while in Takapuna is the Takapuna-Milford Coastal Walk, also known as the ‘lava trail.’ This 3-kilometer walkway is like something out of a fairy tale, winding along the shoreline and offering breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island. I love doing this walk early in the morning when the light is just right, and the beach is still quiet.

Oh, and here’s a fun fact for you—during low tide, keep an eye out for the fossilized remains of an ancient kauri forest near the Takapuna boat ramp. It’s a rare sight that was created by lava flow from the nearby Lake Pupuke volcano over 150,000 years ago.

2. Indulge in Takapuna’s Thriving Dining Scene

An elegantly set outdoor dining table with a view of Takapuna's twinkling lights at night, perfect for a romantic evening.

Takapuna is an absolute paradise for foodies. The suburb is packed with incredible cafes, restaurants, and bars that cater to every taste and budget. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual beachfront brunch or a fancy dinner with a view, you’ll be spoilt for choice. For a luxurious stay, consider these top luxury lodges in New Zealand.

Beachfront Dining and Drinking

If you’re looking for a meal with a side of stunning ocean views, head to one of the many eateries lining Takapuna Beach. Regatta is a personal favorite of mine—their seafood dishes are to die for, and the uninterrupted vistas of the beach are simply unbeatable.

For a more laid-back vibe, check out Francs or The Elephant Wrestler. They’re perfect for a relaxed lunch or dinner with friends, and their craft beer selection is top-notch.

Explore the Fortieth & Hurstmere Laneways

Here’s a little secret—just behind the main beach strip, you’ll find the charming Fortieth & Hurstmere laneways. These pedestrian-only alleys are a treasure trove of unique eateries and coffee shops offering a variety of international cuisines.

I’ve spent countless afternoons exploring these laneways, sampling everything from authentic Mexican tacos to mouth-watering Japanese ramen.

Goodside Precinct at Smales Farm

If you’re in the mood for something a bit different, I highly recommend checking out the Goodside Precinct at Smales Farm. It’s just a short drive from central Takapuna, but it’s well worth the trip.

This innovative food hub brings together some of Auckland’s finest boutique food and beverage offerings under one roof. Think live music, pop-up eateries, and a super cool atmosphere. My go-to spots here are Fantail & Turtle for their creative cocktails and Ripe Deli for their delicious sandwiches.

Craft beer-tasting paddleWhy I Love ItMust-Try Dish
RegattaUnbeatable seafood and beach viewsPan-seared snapper
FrancsCozy bistro vibes and delicious comfort foodLamb rump with kumara mash
The Elephant WrestlerAwesome craft beer selection and gastropub fareCraft beer tasting paddle
Florrie McGrealsCasual beachfront bar with great pub grubBeer-battered fish and chips
Fantail & TurtleCreative cocktails in a unique settingVenison tartare
Goodness Gracious CafeHealthy, tasty breakfast and lunch optionsAcai bowl

3. Shop Till You Drop in Takapuna

I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist a good shopping spree. Luckily, Takapuna has got us shopaholics covered with its amazing range of local boutiques, international retailers, and markets.

Hurstmere Road

First stop—Hurstmere Road. This is Takapuna’s main shopping strip, and it’s an absolute must-visit for fashion lovers.

You’ll find all your favorite New Zealand clothing and lifestyle brands here, like Augustine, Kilt, Ruby, and Superette. I always end up leaving with way more than I planned, but can you really blame me with so many beautiful pieces to choose from?

If you’re after some big-name international brands, you’re in luck. Hurstmere Road is also home to Lululemon, Seed Heritage, and Mecca Cosmetica. I may or may not have a slight Lululemon addiction—their activewear is just so comfy and stylish.

Shore City Shopping Centre

If the weather isn’t playing nice or you’re just in the mood for some indoor retail therapy, head to Shore City Shopping Centre. This place is massive, with over 70 stores to explore.

I love hitting up Farmers for some beauty buys, Country Road for classic wardrobe staples, and Bed Bath N’ Table for some cute homewares. They also offer three hours of free undercover parking.

Takapuna Markets

Last but not least, if you’re visiting Takapuna on a Sunday morning, you absolutely have to check out the Takapuna Markets. It’s held every Sunday near the Rose Gardens, and it’s a great way to experience the local community vibe.

I always start my market morning with a freshly baked pastry and a coffee, then spend a couple of hours browsing the artisan food stalls, fresh produce, and unique gift offerings. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday in Takapuna.

StoreWhat I Love About ItMust-Have Item
AugustineBeautiful, timeless pieces for every occasionSilk maxi dress
KiltQuality NZ-made clothing with a modern twistMerino wool sweater
SuperetteCarefully curated selection of designer brandsDesigner denim jeans
LululemonHigh-performance activewear that looks amazingHigh-waisted yoga leggings
Seed HeritageStylish, affordable fashion for every seasonLinen blazer
Mecca CosmeticaIncredible range of luxury beauty brandsLuxury skincare set

4. Get Cultured at Takapuna’s Art Venues

A colorful historic home with a red roof in Takapuna, one of the many interesting things to see and do in the area.

One of the best things to do in Takapuna is to explore its thriving arts and entertainment scene. The suburb is home to several awesome venues that host all kinds of live performances, exhibitions, and cultural events throughout the year. As someone who loves a good show, I’ve spent many evenings soaking up the local talent.

Bruce Mason Centre

First, let’s talk about the Bruce Mason Centre. Named after one of New Zealand’s most celebrated playwrights, this place is Takapuna’s go-to for performing arts. It’s just a stone’s throw from the beach, which makes for a pretty special pre-show or post-show stroll.

I’ve seen some incredible productions here, from hilarious comedies to moving dramas. The venue itself is really modern and comfortable, with great acoustics and tiered seating. Hot tip: book your tickets early for the big-name shows, as they tend to sell out fast.

PumpHouse Theatre

If you’re after a more intimate theater experience, you can’t go past the PumpHouse Theatre. This charming little venue is located right on the shores of Lake Pupuke, and it’s got a really cool history.

It used to be an old water pumping station, but it’s been transformed into a hub for local performing arts. I love the eclectic mix of shows they put on here—everything from Shakespeare to kids’ productions. The PumpHouse also runs acting workshops and classes, which is great if you’re keen to tap into your inner thespian.

Lake House Arts Centre

Finally, for all my fellow art aficionados, the Lake House Arts Centre is an absolute must-visit. Tucked away in Barry’s Point Reserve, this stunning Victorian building is home to an ever-changing lineup of exhibitions and workshops.

I’m always amazed by the talent of the local artists featured here—from painters and sculptors to photographers and crafters. The center has a really welcoming, community feel to it, and the staff are super passionate about nurturing creativity.

Be sure to check out the art classes. They’re suitable for all skill levels, so even if you’re a total beginner like me, you’ll feel right at home.

VenueWhat’s OnWhenHot Tip
Bruce Mason CentreThe Book of Mormon (Musical)15-26 May 2024Book early
PumpHouse TheatreA Midsummer Night’s Dream8-23 June 2024Great for a cozy date night
Lake House Arts CentreMatariki Exhibition1-31 July 2024Check out the weaving workshop

5. Step Back in Time with Takapuna’s History

As a bit of a history buff, I’m always keen to learn about the local stories and heritage of the places I visit. Takapuna has a fascinating past that’s definitely worth exploring, from its literary connections to its military history.

Frank Sargeson House

One of my favorite historical spots in Takapuna is the Frank Sargeson House. If you’re a bookworm like me, you might know Sargeson as one of New Zealand’s most influential short story writers.

Well, this unassuming little bach on Esmonde Road is where he lived and wrote some of his most famous works. You can actually book a tour through the Takapuna Library to see inside the house, which is filled with Sargeson’s personal belongings and memorabilia.

Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve

For a glimpse into Takapuna’s military past, head to the Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve. Perched on the cliffs overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, this place played a key role in defending the city from potential threats back in the day.

The reserve is home to two main buildings—a large barracks from the 1880s and a smaller brick structure that was used to store warheads in the 1920s. You’ll love wandering around the grassy grounds here, taking in the stunning views and imagining what life would have been like for the soldiers stationed here. It’s a great spot for a picnic, too.

Historic SiteOpening HoursMy ThoughtsFun Fact
Frank Sargeson HouseBy appointment onlyA must for literature loversSargeson’s typewriter is on display
Fort Takapuna Historic ReserveDaily, 24 hoursBring a picnic and enjoy the viewsThe brick building was used to store warheads

6. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping with Outdoor Activities

While I love a good beach day as much as the next person, sometimes I’m in the mood for something a bit more action-packed. Luckily, Takapuna has plenty of options for thrill-seekers and adventurers like me.

Gloputt Mini Golf

One of the travelers’ favorite places to go for a bit of friendly competition is Gloputt Mini Golf. This indoor putt-putt course is unlike anything you’ve ever seen—it’s all glow-in-the-dark and filled with crazy, themed holes.

I’m talking aliens, jungles, circus acrobats—you name it, they’ve got it. The best part is that it’s suitable for all ages so that you can bring the whole family along. Just be warned, it can get pretty competitive.

Escape HQ

If you really want to get your heart racing, you have to try Escape HQ. This place is like a real-life puzzle game, where you and your team are locked in a themed room and have to solve a series of challenges to “escape.”

I’ve done a few of their rooms now, and let me tell you, it’s intense. You really have to work together and think outside the box to crack the codes and unravel the mysteries.

They have different difficulty levels, too. So, whether you’re an escape room pro or a total newbie, you’ll find a challenge that suits you.

ActivityWhat to ExpectPrice (NZD)My Rating
Gloputt Mini GolfGlow-in-the-dark crazinessAdults: $15, Children: $114/5 stars
Escape HQAdrenaline-pumping puzzlesFrom $32 per person5/5 stars

Takapuna Golf Course

For the golfers out there, Takapuna Golf Course is a must-visit. This 18-hole, par-70 course is just a short drive from the beach, and it’s honestly one of the most picturesque places to play in the city of Auckland.

The greens are always in top condition, and the views of the surrounding landscape are just stunning. I’m no pro, but I always enjoy a round here—even if my scorecard doesn’t quite reflect that.

Takapuna Pool and Leisure Centre

If the weather’s not playing ball or you’re just in the mood for some indoor fitness, head to the Takapuna Pool and Leisure Centre. This place has got everything—a 25-meter heated pool, a learners’ pool for the little ones, and even a splash pad.

I love doing a few laps in the main pool to get my heart rate up, and then relaxing in the sauna afterward. The center also runs aqua fitness classes and has a fully-equipped gym, so you can really make a day of it.

FacilityOperating HoursPrice (NZD)Amenities
Takapuna Golf CourseDaily, 7am-7pmGreen Fees: From $4018-hole course, driving range, pro shop
Takapuna Pool and Leisure CentreMon-Fri: 5:30am-9pm, Sat-Sun: 7am-7pmAdult: $8.50, Child: $5.8025m pool, learners’ pool, splash pad, gym

7. Explore the Surrounding Areas of Takapuna

While there’s no shortage of things to do in Takapuna itself, I always recommend exploring a bit further afield if you have the time. Just a short drive or bus ride away, you’ll find some real hidden gems that are worth adding to your itinerary. For a tranquil escape, read about our peaceful Cayman Islands getaway.


One of my favorite day trips from Takapuna is Devonport, a charming seaside village just 12 12-minute drive away. This place is like stepping back in time, with its Victorian villas, quaint cafes, and picturesque beaches.

I love browsing the boutique shops along Victoria Road—there are some real treasures to be found. If you’re up for a bit of a hike, definitely head up to the top of Mount Victoria for some incredible views of the city and beyond.

Don’t miss the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum—it’s a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s naval history.


Another great spot to check out in Auckland is Milford, just a few minutes north of Takapuna. This little suburb is a real hidden gem, with a beautiful white sand beach and a laid-back, friendly vibe.

You can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Milford-Takapuna coastal track, which winds its way along the shoreline and offers stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf. If you’re feeling peckish, there are some great cafes and restaurants in Milford, too—my personal favorite is Sushi Pac, which does the best sushi rolls in town.

Nearby AttractionDistance from TakapunaMust-See SightsGetting ThereMy Top Pick
Devonport6 km (12-min drive)Mount Victoria ReserveCarThe view from Mount Victoria
Torpedo Bay Navy MuseumBus (815, 814, 813)
Victoria Road ShopsFerry from Auckland CBD
Milford3 km (7-min drive)Milford BeachCarSushi rolls at Sushi Pac
Milford-Takapuna Coastal WalkBus (83)
Milford Shopping CentreWalking (via coastal track)

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Takapuna?

The best time to visit Takapuna is during summer (December to February) for optimal beach weather and outdoor activities. Spring (September to November) and fall (March to May) also offer mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making these seasons pleasant for visits.

Is Takapuna Suitable for Families?

Yes, Takapuna is family-friendly, offering numerous activities and attractions for children of all ages. Key highlights include the playground at Takapuna Beach, mini-golf, and escape rooms. Additionally, the area boasts several family-friendly cafes and restaurants.

What is the Best Way to Get Around Takapuna?

Takapuna is easy to navigate with public transport and is within walking distance of attractions. From Auckland CBD, buses such as the 82, 839, and 858 provide direct access. Once there, most attractions are walkable, with local buses and rideshares like Uber available for further exploration.

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