Megan Singleton looks at some of the more unusual ways to occupy yourself in Auckland.
1. FLOAT IN THE DARK
Take an hour to find a state of zen at
. Designed to deprive you of all your senses, you shower, then lie in darkness in one of their futuristic-looking float pods filled with skin-temperature water and 500kg of Epsom salt, which makes you completely weightless. Choose music on or off and relax. A great thing to do if you have muscular aches, are heavily pregnant or just want an hour to shut off.
2. ZOMBIE MAKEUP SCHOOL
I've always wanted to be a makeup artist and create blood-and-guts scenes for movies. I'm going to save it for another life, but if horror or zombies are your thing, take a class at Body FX and learn how to not only face-paint like a pro, but also create the cast for your own B-grade zombie apocalypse movies.
3. VEGAN HIGH TEA
Is a high tea really a high tea if it's not served with lashings of cream? At the Heritage Hotel on November 1, it is. Chef Jinu Abraham has already put Hectors on the map with his raw breakfasts, but this is another level. Think wholemeal sandwiches with avo and hummus, raw chocolate delice, butterless pastry pineapple tarts, buckwheat raspberry crumble and sultana scones. Bookings essential.
4. BECOME A DOG GROOMER
Believe it or not, you can actually earn a certificate in dog grooming, because heaven forbid you'd go out and start clipping the nearest canine willy nilly. If learning the ropes of professional dog grooming is something you've been meaning to add to your CV, then enrol for a course at the School of Dog Grooming in Pukekohe and learn to wash, dry, scissor, clip and colour. Yes, colour.
5. DOC VOLUNTEER
There are loads of volunteer opportunities this summer to work with the Department of Conservation in the great outdoors doing things such as helping maintain the pest-free sanctuary that is Tiritiri Matangi, hosting visitors on Rangitoto, helping with maintenance on the Okura bush walkway or practising your green thumb by planting on Motuora Island.