Father's Day finds: Last minute lifesavers

By Tash McGill, Danielle Wright

Father's Day gifts are often left to the last minute, if bought at all, but despite the lack of fanfare compared to Mother's Day, Danielle Wright discovers there are still plenty of gift options left.

Make Dad's day sweeter with any one of these gift options. Photo / Thinkstock
Make Dad's day sweeter with any one of these gift options. Photo / Thinkstock

SHOP IF YOU MUST

Page-turner
Tom Beran, co-owner of Takapuna's Booklover, says the best books for Father's Day this year are Rolling Stones 50 ($65) celebrating the 50th anniversary of rock 'n roll royalty and Abbey Road: The Best Studio in the World by Alistair Lawrence ($100). The Second World War by Antony Beevor ($60) or Outdoors With Geoff by Geoff Thomas ($40) are also recommended.

Online retailer Father Rabbit has a selection of cookbooks such as The Cheesemonger's Kitchen ($59) or Al Brown's Stoked ($70), as well as iPad covers and Rollbahn notebooks from Japan.

Well-groomed dad
According to Steve Wilson, director of grooming site mancave.co.nz, men are moving away from plastic supermarket razors and towards the old-fashioned style of shaving.

"It's a bit like the slow food movement, men are starting to appreciate setting aside a bit of time for themselves with a piece of precision engineered metal, rather than cheap plastic," says Wilson.

"New brands like former Black Cap Dion Nash's Triumph & Disaster would make a good gift or anything from premium British brand Trumpers," says Wilson, adding that they also sell a lot of nose hair trimmers.

To buy Dad a close shave outside the home, there are barber shops around Auckland offering the authentic experience, such as Birkenhead's Barbers & Merchants, with its vintage merchandise such as old mobile phones and winners cups, or Room 104 in the City.

Retail therapy
Catherine Lovelock of Three Wise Men suggests their new canvas satchels with built-in padded laptop sleeves, or new cufflinks with moving parts, such as spinning globes and roulette wheels.

Made's Ant Gratten suggests, "some really cool socks by a label called Richer Poorer - stripy, polkadot and bright colours, or new leather wallets by Status Anxiety."

And if your dad has been driving you mad all year, buy him a runaway alarm clock that will roll off his bedside table, then trundle around noisily, forcing Dear Dad to get out of bed, find it in the dark and - probably - smash it to bits! $49.90 from bargainbin.co.nz.

- Danielle Wright

PLACES TO GO

Action man
Send Dad sailing on a 70-foot long schooner, The Haparanda. Skipper Graeme Kendall MNZM says it's all about, "the thrill of sailing on one of the world's most famous harbours, on one of the most magnificent boats out there".

The Haparanda has an intriguing history and was built by owner John Lundmark's mother and father almost 50 years ago. A Father's Day special is $75pp for a two-hour harbour cruise. Ph 027 373 2677.

For bike-mad dads, Peter Ashley from Planet Cycles, suggests a GPS computer or something as simple as baggy mountain biking shorts ($130) with padded removable liners.

For CBD workers, consider a membership to City Boxing ($150 for 10 concessions) for an express lunchtime BoxFit session or Les Mills membership to try out their new GRIT class, a high intensity interval training session.

Treat Dad to an awesome snow day out this Father's Day. The team at Snowplanet are extremely appreciative of dads and what they do for us. To show their appreciation, Snowplanet are offering dads the chance to ride for free this Father's Day. Receive a free snow pass for Dad with the purchase of any additional snow pass. Adult day pass $61, child day pass $42. Snowplanet, 91 Small Rd, Silverdale, Auckland. Sunday 2 September, 9am-10pm.

Another ticket
If your dad is old enough to sing along to Are You Old Enough, get him a ticket to Dragon's 14-date 40th Anniversary Concert Tour with support from Hello Sailor and The Hammond Gamble Band.

Members-only
For the dad who has everything, get him an invitation to The Hideaway, hosted by 1885 Britomart and Room 104 Men's Grooming Lounge. It's a private club night that owner Johnny de Monchy says: "gives guys an excuse to relax and let their hair down without having to impress the fairer sex - it's really just a bunch of guys playing cards and talking trash." Ph (09) 551 3100.

- Danielle Wright

WINED AND DINED

Feed the man meat
"What father doesn't like any type of meat, really? They just start drooling as soon as they enter the shop," says Tim Eriksen, from Neat Meat, suppliers to restaurants such as Jervois Steak House, The Grill, and now, your dad.

Choose from meat packs or meat vouchers, or pick up a Silere alpine origin merino slow roast shoulder joint or Eriksen's favourite sausage, the razorback wild boar and fennel. Neat Meat's Parnell store is open today from 9am-2pm.

Westmere Butcher's Dave Rossiter tells me Father's Day is still a bit early for a barbecue, but that every dad loves a roast: "I'm a sucker for roast lamb - it's my most favourite - all guys enjoy a really nice roast whether it's roast lamb, pork or beef. It makes us think we're still at home with our mums."

And if you don't want Dad (or Mum) slaving over a hot oven, take them to Toto's where a Festa Di Papa starts tomorrow at 12pm. It's a celebration of Dad with a six-course long Italian lunch. $95 adult, $30 child, ph (09) 302 2665.

Buy gourmet dads a ticket to Whitebait Day on September 5 from 12pm-4pm at The Foodstore in the Viaduct. It's a celebration of West Coast Whitebait, priced at $150pp for five courses, including a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

A little less whine, a little more wine
"Every bottle we have is worth drinking," says Simon Kemp-Roberts from Newmarket's Great Little Vineyards, who likes nothing more than to discover a great little vineyard no-one knows about.

"Most are practising organic and biodynamic growing and production, stripped back to the bare basics and making wine in the purest sense," says Kemp-Roberts, whose current favourite is Pyramid Valley's Cabernet Franc ($55).

Ale and hearty
Hugh Grierson is dedicated to making Auckland a greater place to live - by the ample supply of gregarious and tasty ales, lagers, stouts and IPA's through the Hopscotch Beer Company.

No ordinary liquor store, Hopscotch is a treasure trove of quality beers you can enjoy fresh from the tap, at home. The craft beer mega-warehouse sells all you need to take beer at home and enjoy it as it was meant to be, straight from the keg. Non-pasteurised beer retains amazing flavour and because the bottling process can be prohibitive for smaller batch beer, some are never bottled. The 1L take home flip tops hold pressure well, are easy to maintain and will keep your specialty purchase fresh for three to four days in the fridge.

For the beer-lovin' man in your life, this is a little bit like heaven with frequently revolving selections available from 14 taps, including favourites like Epic, Croucher and lesser known brews from outfits like the Zeffer Brewing Co, based in Matakana. The taps are frequently changing so there's always something new to try, especially as the seasonal releases come through. Hopscotch can also sort you out with a party keg for those special occasions.

Hopscotch Beer Company, 2/2 Shaddock St, Eden Terrace. Ph (09) 354 4903. Open Wednesday-Sundays from midday.

- Tash McGill

MAN AND HIS TOYS

Back to the shed
This weekend, Bunnings stores have bouncy castles, face-painters and balloon twisters to entertain the kids while dads shop for expensive tools to leave in the garage. There will be workshops on How to Build THAT box from The Block NZ - even a workshop for children to make a miniature version, as well as create Father's Day cards. All free.

For dads who may be living on their own after their wives have passed away, a membership to Men's Sheds would be the perfect present. Search for one at menssheds.org.nz.

Just the ticket
Geeky dad will love Armageddon Expo, with comics, anime, a Nerf shooting range, interactive gaming stands and the chance to meet actors from Game of Thrones, Conan The Barbarian and Tron. ASB Showgrounds Oct 19-22, tickets start at $20 (adults).

For a (potentially) more grown-up ticket, try Big Boys Toys at the ASB Showgrounds from November 9-11. Million-dollar supercars, V8's, motorbikes and extreme sports action will entertain. Tickets start at $20 (adults). There's even a "Girls Village" for the mums.

- Danielle Wright

- NZ Herald

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