The Block

fans willing to pay to beat next week's queues got a sneak peek at the reality renovation projects in Meadowbank this afternoon.

The $39-a-ticket open home preview came a week before the free public event on St John's Rd, but for those having a look around today the price was worth it to avoid Block madness next weekend.

Nearly everyone spoken to by the Herald said they wanted the chance to see the properties in person before "half of Auckland" showed up for the public viewing.


Rebecca Johnston of Remuera said her sons were big fans of the show and she had brought them along on Saturday "to beat the queues next week".

Families made up a large proportion of the people attending with plenty of young fans excited to see the houses they'd been watching every week in real life.

Fraser Bland, 13, passed the building site every morning on his way to Selwyn College.

Spotting girls team member Niki down the drive, Fraser became a little star-struck.

"I wonder if she remembers me from one morning when I waved at her."

The Mortland family from neighbouring St Heliers had come out to see the houses after missing out in previous years.

"We wanted to have a really good look around the houses," explained mum Carolyn.

Christine Hobbs, also from St Heliers, came with her mother despite not watching The Block because she was curious about the project going on near her home.

They too were happy to pay the ticket price to avoid the crowds next week.

"We're like the blind leading the wounded and we can't deal with the crowds," she said.

Locals Lorraine Marevich and Dave Lambourne said they came to have a look because they were curious to see what had been going on so close to home and had been impressed by the quality of the builds.

"They're really nice with nice layout," Marevich said.

She said they would be interested to see how much each place sold for.