Author Archives: David Thornton

Anzac First World War Heritage Trail in Auckland


Posted by on


Auckland Remembers Those Who Stayed at Home

Each year, on 25 April, New Zealand and Australia commemorate Anzac Day to honour those who fell in battle during the many wars and conflicts over the years. The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian troop (Anzacs) on the Turkish Peninsular at Gallipoli.

The story of Gallipoli is part of the Australasian heritage - two young nations going to war together to serve King and Country in foreign lands.

While much has been written of the horrendous battles and campaigns of the First World War, there are no battlegrounds here in New Zealand but there are many sites which are significant to New Zealand’s involvement in the war.

Auckland Council has established a trail of 56 sites between Wellsford and Waiuku that were used during that long-ago war by those who stayed behind and played their part on the home front. The heritage trail includes halls where funds were raised to support the soldiers overseas, schools where kids followed the war on maps, the home of a sailor who won a Victoria Cross…. all adding up to a thought-provoking journey back in history.

It is not a walking trail or intended to be followed sequentially, but is designed so people can visit these sites at their own pace and learn the stories of monuments, rolls of honour, war memorial halls, significant gathering places and more. There will be signs that provide you with information at each site until 2019.

Throughout the the Auckland Region there will be many local commemorations on Anzac Day, the largest of which will be the Dawn Service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The New Zealand Government has initiated a programme of events,local and national, to commemorate the 100 Anniversary of the First World War [1914-1918 and wherever you travel throughout  the country you will see reminders of the war that established the Anzac tradition.


Property Investment Management


Posted by on


After months of steeply climbing property prices in Auckland the rate of increase has slowed down and the market is becoming attractive again to the more traditional residential investor. Quality housing is still outstripping supply and investment opportunities are opening up again.

There seems to be demand coming from investors new to the residential market and they need to establish some clear investment priorities when considering entering this market. Generally the choice will be between long term growth or rental return. Houses typically offer greater long term capital gain if chosen well, while apartments generally provide a higher yield for a lower purchase price – in other words, more rental return for the dollar.

New investments in residential property need to be held for at least two years to avoid being classified as trading with consequent tax implications.

Apartments are generally easier to manage and improve because exterior maintenance is handled through the body corporate for the whole building. Every apartment owner in a block is a member of the body corporate and it is important for intending purchasers to acquaint themselves fully with the Long Term Maintenance Plan for building, and check out the AGM notes for the previous three years.

Apartments will be either freehold or leasehold – the latter meaning rent will be payable on the land. While investors will have their own legal advisers it is wise to consult a reputable property management organisation for expert advice on the potential risks and gains of the investment.

Property managers have the necessary expertise to advise investors on rental returns, body corporate and leasehold arrangements, and can put you in touch with appropriate professionals such as valuers, brokers and real estate agents. The managers naturally take care of day-to-day  matters, lettings, inspections and body corporate relationships.

With any property investment, location is the key. As Auckland’s population and visitor numbers grow, congestion also grows and proximity to public transport will be an important factor in both capital gain and strong rental potential.

The growth of Auckland into a truly international city is already witnessing high demand from overseas companies and individuals for quality rentals – and quality rentals demand quality property management.

 

 


Shakespeare Pops Up in Auckland


Posted by on


London Globe Theatre

A ‘pop-up’ theatre is under construction in central Auckland as the venue for a season of William Shakespeare’s plays. This ‘temporary’ structure marks the 400th anniversary of the famous English playwright.

The Pop-Up Globe Theatre is an exact replica of the 17th century circular theatre built on the south bank of the River Thames in London, England. The circular structure was the venue for which many of Shakespeare’s plays were specifically written.

 

Auckland Pop-Up Globe Theatre 

The Auckland ‘Pop-up’ Globe is a temporary working replica of the second Globe Theatre, which was built on the ruins of the first Globe in 1614. In 1997 a modern replica of the Globe Theatre was built in London a short distance from the site of the original. To accommodate the dimensions of the contemporary theatre, this is a slightly bigger structure, but the spirit of it, and the way it functions, is the essentially the same.

The steel-framed and plywood-skinned theatre will literally pop up behind Auckland central’s Aotea Square, and will stage a rich menu of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and romances, then disappear again in April.

 

 

The Auckland Pop-Up Globe Theatre Programme opens on 19 February with the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Along with Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, the shows will be presented by the Pop-up Globe Theatre Company.

.

 

Auckland is expecting many out of town visitors for this special event and accommodation is likely to be at a premium.

 


 

 


Tourism is New Zealand's No. 1 Export Earner


Posted by on


The total number of visitors to New Zealand has surpassed 3 million in the last financial year and that is likely to increase to 4 million within the next 10 years. Most of those visitors arrive through Auckland International Airport with several airlines starting up new services and destinations.

While new hotels are going up, there will still be pressure on visitor accommodation with some experts calling for government and council assistance to encourage more development.

Queenstown, the top tourist destination, can barely cope with accommodation demand and is experiencing ‘one-day fly-in-fly-out’ from tourists based in Auckland!

Most tourists spend a few days in Auckland before moving on to the many beautiful areas of this unique country.

Having secured their accommodation visitors will find plenty to do in the ‘City of Sails’ as Auckland is affectionately known. To freshen up after a 26 hour flight, and to get a birds-eye view of the city, there can be no better choice than a walk to the top of Rangitoto our tame volcano in the harbour – catch a ferry rather than attempting to swim!

You can also enjoy other delights of the Harbour and central city bars and restaurants from your central Auckland accommodation

 


Auckland is Building for the Future at Wynyard Quarter


Posted by on


Tall cranes abound in New Zealand's international city, Auckland, still referred to by many as The City of Sails which sits on the edges of the sparkling Waitemata Harbour. Those tall cranes are busy constructing offices, shopping malls, hotels and apartment blocks - even a new theatre - mostly within the central part of the city.

Major development activity has been under way since 2011 at the Wynyard Quarter, a reclaimed area bordered on three sides by the inner harbour and the Viaduct Basin, a popular social entertainment venue. Wynyard Quarter is developing as a unique waterside community with its mix of business and commerce, residential and hotel accommodation, open spaces, bars, cafes and restaurants.

                             

.

Summer is the time to visit Silo Park, venue for many of Auckland's outdoor events, with concerts, festivals, movies - or just the sheer fun of being there amongst the crowds enjoying the markets or strolling along beside the vessels tied up at the wharf.

If you're staying in an apartment around the Viaduct area  Wynyard Quarter is just a few minutes walk to the west.

 

.

.


Early Summer in Auckland


Posted by on


Among the world's major cites, Auckland, sitting astride its two harbours, is unique in many ways - not least the fact that it sits on more than 50 volcanoes, fortunately inactive for a very long time! Many of these offer great views over the whole city and the isthmus itself and out to the Hauraki Gulf which is the gateway to the main Waitemata Harbour - meaning in Maori "sparking water".

The visitor can choose from a wide variety of events and activities at any time of the year, but late spring and summer have some special and unique events.This month sees the Urbanesia Festival showcasing the diversity of Auckland's Maori and Pacific peoples art and culture. For a quieter experience visit the beautiful Parnell Rose Garden and if you're in town on November 15 you should witness the Festival of Roses.

And in the evening take a stroll and watch the sunset over the Waitakere Ranges.

... and so to bed.

 



An Auckland Beach For Everyone


Posted by on


Whatever your reason for coming to Auckland, be sure to visit at least one of our world-famous beaches which range from sun-filled golden-sanded urban beaches near the city to the stunning West Coast and its majestic surf. Aucklanders and their visitors take to the beaches for everything from a quiet stroll to an energetic beach volley-ball session, cricket, soccer and of course numerous water sports with all kinds of boats and boards. The urban beaches usually have a good array of cafés and restaurants nearby while there are always favourite spots for picnic lovers. The West Coast beaches, about an hour's drive from the city, each have their own unique appeal and visitors can stroll beyond the beach to the bush-glad Waitakere Ranges.                                                    .

Closest Beach to the Central City - Mission Bay Beach

Mission Bay

Just a scenic 15 minute drive along Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay is the the most accessible urban beach from downtown Auckland – and one of the region’s most popular. â€‹Mission Bay combines a sheltered white sand beach with grassy areas and a magnificent fountain, all just across the road from a vibrant strip of cafés, restaurants and bars.

 

Way out to the Wild West Coast - Karekare Beach

Karekare BeachKarekare Beach sits at the base of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and is one of the popular surf beaches in the region. ​Day trippers are also drawn by the vast stretch of volcanic black sand framed by dramatic rocky terrain and numerous bush walks. Bring a picnic, a ball and lots of sun block and set yourself up for the day at this wonderful destination.

 

Just Over the Harbour Bridge - Takapuna Beach

Takapuna Beach

There’s a huge range of water activities, or you can simply relax on the grassy slopes above and take in the fabulous views out to Rangitoto Island and beyond. Even better, the beach is less than 2 minutes away from Takapuna’s lively scene of cafés, bars, restaurants and shops.

NOW, find a place to stay while you are visiting Auckland.