Neat in the Neighbourhood: Your Guide to Point Chevalier

Just a stone’s throw from the CBD (well, almost), Point Chevalier is one of central Auckland’s outermost suburbs and a patchwork of family friendly activities, funky eateries and natural attractions.

Words by: Nicole Mudgway 

Subject to gentrification over recent years, Pt Chev's coastal location has appealed to many city-dwellers, causing the layout of the land to become an assorted mix of old and new. Its western facing beach invites people from all over come summer time, but its vast collection of other attractions makes it an enjoyable place to visit any time of year.

Pt Chev Eateries

Diners eating Italian food at a table.

Tucked away in an old bank building is Daily Bread. With an extensive assortment of freshly baked pastries, breads and sweet treats, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one. Luckily the plentiful seating means seconds are only a few short steps away. Follow your nose to the entrance, or otherwise look out for the iconic croissant logo on the sign outside. 

Point Chev’s other go-to for pastries is the Little French Cafe, situated halfway down Point Chevalier Road. Boasting a not-so-humble window display overflowing with tarts, pies and croissants, the ‘cafe’ is simply a hole in the wall - meaning takeaways is their forte. You can’t miss the wee congregation of fans eagerly awaiting their early morning goodies.

Just next door is Francesca’s Pizzeria, home to some of the most authentic pizza in the whole city. Almost another hole in the wall, Francesca’s has an extremely small interior with a giant woodfire oven, perfect for crisping those pizza bases just right. Although it’s hard to go past the pizzas, there are also a number of pasta dishes on the menu too, for those not-so-rare occasions when you had pizza last night! 

Another local favourite is the Pt. Chev Beach Cafe. Just a skip and a hop from Pt. Chev Beach (hence the name) it’s the perfect stop-off before or after any jaunt to the ocean. The menu includes elevated dishes such as confit chicken and smoked tuna, as well as all the classics like French toast and smashed avo. It’s also licensed, and as if things couldn’t get even better, it’s home to Little Lato, locally made bespoke gelato.

Last but not least is Ambler, a contemporary European-influenced café and bistro offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Another licensed venue, Ambler, has an expansive range of wine, beer and spirits, as well as different seating options both inside and out. The food is beautifully plated, and don’t worry, it’s just as tasty as it is pretty.

Pt Chev Activities

The most well known, family-friendly activity in Point Chevalier, if not the whole of Auckland, is the Auckland Zoo. The sprawling, well-maintained zoo grounds invite people of all ages 364 days of the year (yes, all but Christmas) to visit the resident elephants, rhinos, giraffes and lions - to name just a few. There are also learning opportunities aplenty, including close encounters and a vet hospital, and facilities such as food stops and restrooms. A definite win for the whole family.

Nearby, MOTAT (or the Museum of Transport and Technology) is well-regarded as one of the best of its kind. Come rain or shine, there’s enough here to keep the entire family entertained for several hours. Everyone, both young and old, tends to enjoy the Steam Train experience because who doesn’t want to ride in a vintage carriage?!

One of the community’s favourite stores is Sovereignty and Soul. A block back from the beach, the carefully curated shelves of this hippie-meets-home stuff boutique are sure to tempt even the most reluctant of purchasers. From crystals to skincare and clothing to jewellery, there’s a good chance you won’t leave empty handed.

If you want to try your own hand at making jewellery, Anvil Studios is the place for you. Offering classes and workshops that run from daily sessions to weekly occurrences allow creatives to choose whether they learn the basics or embark on something slightly more challenging. Materials and equipment are all provided.

Pt Chev Natural Attractions

Pt Chev beach at sunset.

Point Chevalier’s coastal location primes it for plenty of natural beauty. With one of the city’s best sunsets, Point Chevalier Beach is the place to be on a warm summer evening in Auckland. Swimming is best at high tide (or nearabouts), so check online before you visit, but if it’s just a picnic and an Insta’ worthy sunset pic you’re after, the sun is all you’re looking for. 

Just down the road is Meola Reef Dog Park, an absolute wonderland for your furry friend or fans thereof. The park is one of the largest in the city and offers visitors a couple of well maintained tracks around the grounds. From swampland and mangroves to long grasses and an open field, there’s something to suit most doggies, including a fenced off portion too. Having a dog is not a prerequisite for visiting, of course, and it’s not uncommon to spot dog-lovers or exercisers simply enjoying the park too. 

Trade the dogs for the birds at Western Springs Park, an oasis of greenery with a small lake and several hundred pairs of wings. It’s a nature photographer’s paradise, and it’s certainly not uncommon to spot a long lens in the early hours of the morning. It neighbours one of the city’s best outdoor concert venues, check online for details of the next gig. 

Photo by: Getty

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