Lie on any beach and spend the day in the sun
(or in the shade of a pohutakawa). There are so many beautiful beaches to choose from, including Nudie Beach (Little Palm Beach) for those that like to take all their gear off. Make a sand castle.
Go to the Ostend Market
On Saturday morning and take in the vibes of locals, musicians, and tourists, smell the food, mix with the crowd or rumble through the stalls.
Look for Kina, Mussels or Cockles
Or take a hand line and catch fish off the rocks and yes, there are plenty.
About a 45 minute walk from the carpark takes you to the impressive remains of historic world war two defence gun emplacements. A great view of Auckland harbour along the way.
There are so many free walks on the island there are too many to choose from. You can take coastal walks or inland bush walks, full of birdlife, nature and wildlife. Enough to make any video game look boring by comparison and guaranteed to get your kids to talk more than half a syllable.
Explore the art
Art galleries and arts and craft shops with something for everyone. With island time on your side, there’s always time.
Free barbeques are at many of the beaches and there is nothing like a barbeque on the beach to really experience the pinnacle of island life.
Hitch hiking is something that seems to happen all over the island. People can be seen with their thumbs out everywhere, many of them backpackers from South America. However I have been picked up from a bus-stop in the past by a local. You will find people are friendly on the island and it is safe and a real hoot if you are game.
There are some great mountain bike riding trails around Onetangi Sports Park suitable for riders of all ages and ability. Well worth going out and dusting off the cob webs and getting into it.
Walk to the top of Trig Hill Road
Celebrate your achievement when you get to the top. Look around 360 degrees and see if you can name all of the islands and landmarks in our beautiful Hauraki Gulf. Then enjoy the walk down. It is a steep walk up the road, but my wife and I walked up there regularly pushing our baby in the pram so there is no excuse not to walk up there and give it a go. There is also a track up from Onetangi Beach, that involves lots of stair-climbing for an extra challenge.