Pack a picnic in Takapuna

Summer is finally here which means it’s time to throw down a blanket, grab some friends and feast on delicious food at Takapuna’s parks and beaches. We’ve rounded up our favourite picnic spots, and the best places to grab takeaways for your basket.

With something for all ages, the Takapuna Beach Reserve and playground is considered to be one of Auckland’s best beachside playgrounds. The grassy knoll nearby is ideal for sprawling out and watching the kids play, and many families bring their own gazebo and outdoor furniture to really set up for the day. In summer, there is sometimes DJs providing the soundtrack on the weekends.

Or park up on the white sandy shores of Takapuna Beach, with views of Rangitoto and the harbour. Depending on the weather you might choose to paddle board or fly a kite, or just take a dip in the clear waters after lunch.

With open green spaces and more shelter, Killarney Park is a peaceful respite from the bustling beach. There’s plenty of trees for shade, sailing to keep you entertained, and friendly swans waiting to be fed in Lake Pupuke.

The delightful Hurstmere Green is a great place for a quick picnic to relax and unwind while shopping. It’s lush, clean, green and inviting, with timber and palm trees providing a comforting space. Recline on one of the ergonomic wooden loungers on the steps, or park up at one of the picnic tables provided.  

The streets surrounding the beach and the parks abound with endless choices for a takeaway picnic, and you’ll find something for everyone at Fortieth & Hurstmere. At Burger Burger their fish tacos make a great beachside meal, as well as their seasonal salads, sides and dreamy thick shakes. For a big family feed, try Bird on a Wire where you can get a whole rotisserie chicken, baguettes and an assortment of fresh and filling salads. For Middle Eastern flavours there’s Otto’s Mediterranean Kitchen, we love their wraps filled with souvlaki chicken, falafel or halloumi. The food is always bright and fresh, with lots of herbs and lemon – perfect summer fare. There’s also traditional Italian wood-fired pizzas at Dante’s; Columbian-style BBQ prepared over a charcoal grill at El Humero; or poke, made with the freshest seafood and summery toppings such as mango, avocado and seaweed salad at Poke Poke.  

Nothing says Kiwi summer like fish and chips at the beach, and Takapuna has two great spots within easy reach of the sea and sand. The Takapuna Fish Shop and High Tide Seafood both serve a selection of all the kiwi classics such as battered fish, oysters and mussels, as well as a great selection of toasted sandwiches and burgers.

If you are after something handheld but packed full of flavour, there’s no shortage of wraps and rolls from around the world. Try Fatima’s for their chawarma and pita wraps, laden with delicious sauces, lightly spiced meats and fresh vegetables. They also have a range of salads which are great for a summer’s day, and who can resist their koftas. If you fancy something a little spicy head to Madam Woo where fragrant braised meats such as pulled sticky pork are served in flaky roti with pickled cucumber and fresh herbs. Or get a few rolls of Bian Sushi, it’s always fresh and we think it’s some of the best in Auckland.

If you prefer to make your own picnic spread, head to New World Shore City where they have a great selection of fruit and vegetables, cheese, cold meats, relishes, spreads and loaves of fresh bread so you can buy everything you need to make your own sandwiches.

With a focus on fresh and local Street Organics has a vibrant selection of light and healthy food filling their cabinet. Try the nourish bowl packed with roasted vegetables, quinoa, avocado and miso aioli, or tortilla bowls with salmon, avocado and cream cheese. Or try Jam Organic Café, a Takapuna institution which keeps its cabinet stocked with wholesome wraps, sandwiches and sweets – grab a selection to takeaway.