Shops give Tutukaka a lift

By Sophie Ryan

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Jenny Hill loves the vibrancy of Tutukaka and says business has been going so well at her shop, Vintage a Go-Go, that she plans to be open year-round. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Jenny Hill loves the vibrancy of Tutukaka and says business has been going so well at her shop, Vintage a Go-Go, that she plans to be open year-round. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The opening of four new shops in the retail space at Oceans Resort Hotel, Tutukaka, has tourists and locals excited.

A vintage store, design gallery, exotic home furnishings store, and kayak and fishing shop opened before Christmas, giving the shopping experience in Tutukaka a big boost.

Artist Charlotte Wilson owns the Mi Casa gallery which opened at the end of October.

Initially, she planned for the gallery to stay open until the end of February, but the reception has been so positive in Tutukaka she is thinking of staying open year-round.

"It's been really good, we get a real mixture of people in, a lot of Aucklanders and a few internationals," she said.

Mi Casa has jewellery, Mexican folk art, and cushions and clothing made by Ms Wilson, who says the owner of the retail space has been easy to work with and encouraging of local business owners to take the opportunity to open on the coast.

Jenny Hill has opened a vintage boutique full of garments restored by hand by either herself or two of her friends.

She chose to open in Tutukaka because she lives on the Tutukaka Coast and loves the vibrant atmosphere.

"It's definitely got something different, I think the shopping in Bay of Islands is the cloest thing," she said.

Vintage a Go-Go opened on December 22 and business has been going better than Ms Hill ever imagined.

She hopes to keep the momentum going and be open throughout the year.

Furnishings store Indo is full of restored antiques, including doors, window frames and more.

Daryl Wakelin, who imports the furnishings from Asia, says he intends the store to be a pop-up shop over summer.

Sportsmans Choice/Kayak Zone opened a shop in Tutukaka in addition to their Whangarei store before Christmas as well.

Steve Moase has had a gallery open throughout the summer months in one of the retail spaces at the resort for seven years and says the arrival of new stores alongside his gallery has given the whole place a lift.

"There has certainly been a lift, not just financially but for many reasons. It is all very positive," Mr Moase said.

Feedback from locals as well as visitors from Auckland and abroad has been great, he says.

The four new stores join clothing and homeware stores Tutukaka Surf Beach Shop and Eclectic.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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