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What to do in Auckland on a rainy day

NOTED logo NOTED 10/05/2018 Vomle Springford

a close up of a bicycle: Knot Touch by Jae Kang at the Maritime Museum. Photo/Todd Eyre. © Bauer Media Group (NZ) LP Knot Touch by Jae Kang at the Maritime Museum. Photo/Todd Eyre.

Here are ten ideas for what to do in Auckland when the rain is coming down in May.

Out of the house

Gallery hop

It’s an obvious choice but there are few places where you can while away a couple of hours like a gallery. 

Stolen Leopard at Michael Lett features the geometric works of Imogen Taylor and Diena Georgetti and down south at the Mangere Arts Centre is Wantok. Wantok is a new exhibition by Melanesian artists living in Australia and Aotearoa who will present works discussing de-colonialised views of beauty and mana. Both exhibitions are on until 26 May.

At Auckland Art Gallery, is Manifesto, a video artwork by Julian Rosefeldt in which the viewer is immersed in 13 characters played by Cate Blanchett acting out readings from artistic manifestos. A variety of Auckland’s contemporary international collection is also on show in Other People Think: Auckland’s Contemporary International Collection, until 10 June.

Beer tastings

Head to Kingsland to sample locally made beer from the Urbanaut Brewing Co and learn about the brewing process on a one-hour brewery tour. You could also hit up Garage Project for tastings too – the Wellington outfit has recently opened a Cellar Door in Kingsland. North of the city, Metro Top 50 bar The Beer Spot in Northcote offers 40 beer taps for you to make up a tasting flight and every week a different food truck is on site.

Go to the Kauri Museum in Matakohe

Many will be skeptical of the enjoyment that can be had at the Kauri Museum – but it’s an incredible, in-depth snapshot of an era in Aotearoa few of us would recognise. The huge collection sprawls over several buildings: Exhibits recreate the living quarters of the late 19th century and early 20th century, complete with eerie mannequins, plus there are guns, butter churners and other machinery of the era on display. Don’t miss the glittering Gum Room, filled with thousands of kauri gum pieces.

Above and beyond

Go to the Stardome for one of their trippy shows in the Planetarium. The line-up changes regularly from educational to musical shows, and there are shows for children. Tickets are only $12 for adults.

Play a wholesome board game

Head to Metro Top 50 bar Peach Pit for a drink and a board game – choose from the weird and wonderful collection of games. For classics like Cluedo and Monopoly, head to Brothers Beer at City Works Depot; they also have a huge range of craft beer to try while you play. Remedy Coffee on Wellesley St also has lots of board games, and books to enjoy in the lounge-like surrounds.

Slurp some ramen

A comforting exercise on a miserable day is to hole up with a bowl of paitan ramen from Top 50 Cheap Eat Zool Zool in Mt Eden. Turn your dinner into a party and order a three-litre Orion beer tower along with some salty edamame beans.

Go to the library

Auckland Libraries have everything: movies, books, mags, e-books, audiobooks, music, graphic novels. Plus, there’s always various events happening like book launches, the Murder in the Library series, seed exchanges, knitting groups and children’s readings and activities.

In the house

Event planning

Check out the line-up for the NZ International Comedy Fest which takes place from 26 April to 20 May; we're picking Tom Sainsbury's show as a highlight. The Auckland Writers Festival also returns 15-20 May, grab a guide and get ready to hear from some of the world's best writers and thinkers.

On the box

Watch some local comedy content: Funny Girls starts 11 May on ThreeNow and TVNZ on Demand has Anika Moa Unleashed interviewing people like Art Green and Matilda Rice; Sam Neill; and Francis and Kaiora Tipene, the stars of the strangely hilarious documentary TV show about an Auckland funeral home, Casketeers (also on TVNZ on Demand). Comedian Alice Snedden takes on topical civic aspects of New Zealand life in Bad News. 

Season two of The Handmaid's Tale has started on Lightbox and continues with the book’s central themes, with a focus on female communities, resistance to tyranny, and freedom.

Long reads

Peruse for in-depth journalism from MetroListenerNorth and South and Radio NZ. Or create a list of places you want to try from the latest Metro Top 50 Bars, Metro Top 50 Restaurants and Metro Top 50 Cafes. 

This article was updated 8 May 2018.

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