Thanks to Christmas, Black Friday and long-weekend sales, garages are creaking with the weight of shiny new apparatus. With summer showing no signs of slowing down, make Auckland your playground.
Escape Auckland madness without ever leaving the city on the Te Ara Moana kayak trail. Just 40 minutes from the CBD, this self-guided sea kayak tour offers five days of freedom, adventure and very few people. Brushing 50km of southeastern coastline, it was once an early transport route for local Māori but is now a journey of near-total isolation. Carving a route between Ōmana Regional Park and Waharau Regional Park, spend four nights at basic beachside campgrounds, purpose-built for sea kayakers. Most offer no road access, meaning exclusivity is reserved for the intrepid. aucklandseakayaks.co.nz/rental/kayak-trail-te-ara-moana
It's no secret that the string of beaches along Auckland's Tāmaki Drive offers a picturesque place to frolic with a SUP board (and a 10/10 coffee fix afterwards at a seafront cafe), but word on the grapevine is that Okahu Bay is the best of the rest. Its curvaceous U-shape lends itself to decent wind shelter, especially at high tide, with easy access off the boat ramp and beautiful Rangitoto views. If you prefer to paddle in a pod or need some extra lessons, SUPWell class locations often include Okahu Bay.
Electric bike rides
Freckled with roughly 50 volcanoes, Auckland is notorious for its hill starts, so the turbo boost of an electric bike will certainly save your glutes. If you're a fan of a DIY bike ride, check out aucklandnz.com/visit/discover/activities/cycling for a full catalogue of cycling routes. Alternatively, join the pack and take a guided tour with Power to the Pedal. Groups are small and include both day and night jaunts. Auckland's also home to Frocks on Bikes, a local, volunteer-led cycling group for safe, sociable riding, with intermittent events such as E-Bikes & High Tea. Jump on their Facebook page for more.
If you're after a new spot to mingle with the sea life, Rotoroa Island is a 75-minute ferry away from Downtown Auckland. Boasting four beaches, once you've undertaken the island's walking tracks, admired the birdlife and nipped into a handful of historical buildings, strip down to your togs and get in the water. Both Ladies' Bay and Men's Bay are regarded as the best spots for spying fish. It's also worth keeping an eye out for the annual Rotorua Snorkel Day. It's been a little quiet in recent years, but when organised, tickets include discounted ferry fare and guided snorkelling with experienced marine reserves.
For more travel inspiration, go to newzealand.com/nz.
Check traffic light settings and Ministry of Health advice before travel at covid19.govt.nz