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Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. Fancy a weekend away from Suva with a difference? Want to spend time in the thriving seven-day-a-week city with a wide range of entertainment
07 Aug 2010 12:00

image Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. Fancy a weekend away from Suva with a difference?
Want to spend time in the thriving seven-day-a-week city with a wide range of entertainment and shopping options just three hours away?
New Zealand’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city is now an easy weekend-away-from-Suva option thanks to Air Pacific.
The national carrier’s launch last week of a second Auckland-Suva-Auckland direct flight means it’s possible.
You can fly direct to Auckland from Suva’s Nausori airport early on a Friday afternoon. You can spend the weekend down south, and be back at Nausori airport on Monday before lunch.
If Wellington is the New Zealand equivalent of Melbourne, then Auckland is closer in spirit to Sydney.
With two pretty harbours, great restaurants and plenty of big-city confidence, Auckland is also a join-the-dots town of neighbourhood villages.
One of the coolest is Ponsonby, once an inner-city working-class suburb and now a hub of dining, shopping, galleries and clubs.
Buzzing with activity all week, the area comes alive on Friday nights.
Travel writer Kristie Kellahan took a stroll around Ponsonby Road.
Here’s her quick guide to some of the attractions, especially on weekends, of an area of Auckland renowned for its cafe scene – and more.


Don’t be surprised if you return here every night of your stay in Auckland. Classy, grown up and welcoming, the social club is one of the best bars in the city.
A rotation of live music and DJs warms up the crowd, while a cocktail menu impresses with its accompanying history (who knew the Negroni was invented by an Italian count?)
At $NZ25 for a martini, it’s not cheap but it is satisfying.
The club’s Sunday Grill is a terrific way to wind down the weekend: chefs fire up the barbecue next to the bar and prepare delicious plates of Moroccan-style lamb skewers, scallop and prosciutto kebabs, barbecued chicken breast and sausage sangers.
The bar serves jugs of social sangria.
The result? A very celebratory Sunday.
152 Ponsonby Road.


Small, perfectly formed and with just 11 guest rooms, the Great Ponsonby Arthotel is intimate enough for you to get to know the owners, Sally and Gerry.
They’re passionate about sustainability and have won points from the Lonely Planet GreenDex for their efforts to reduce the hotel’s waste and carbon emissions.
They’re also passionate about all things New Zealand, with local and Pacific artworks on the walls and a library of NZ music, books and films to borrow. It’s Kiwiana, only classier.
30 Ponsonby Terrace (near the corner of Ponsonby Road).


The mission is clear: The Garden Party specialises in unique and beautiful gifts made in New Zealand.
The result? A store full of stuff you’ll want. From the Pacifica skincare range to collectable wooden brooches by Ian Blackwell and decorative chrome fairies by Inzspired, everything is a joyous homage to the creative forces of the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Don’t miss the collection of cool tea towels designed by various artists. We like the one that reads: “While you’re up could you put the jug on.”
71 Ponsonby Road.

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