Lonely Bay, Shakespeare Reserve, Whitianga

Get off the grid with these secret(ish) swimming spots to discover over summer

There’s something magical about stumbling across a deserted beach, lake, waterfall or swimming hole. Tranquil, secluded places where (if you’re lucky) your only company is the echoing bird calls from the surrounding trees, secret swimming spots are something to be cherished. After sharing a few of our favourites a little while ago, we thought it time to update our list and let you in on some more of our top, isolated spots.

Lonely Bay, Shakespeare Reserve, Whitianga
Located in the Shakespeare Cliff Reserve, a short five-to-ten-minute walk down from the track car park sits Lonely Bay — a breathtaking spot surrounded by pōhutukawa trees and far more private than its often-busy neighbour, Cooks Beach. To get to Lonely Bay, drive to the end of Cooks Beach, turn right up a steep gravel road to Shakespeare Scenic and Historic Reserve and park in the area on the right, near the top of the road.

Peachgrove Bay.

Peachgrove Bay, Great Mercury Island
Though you will need a boat to reach this idyllic bay, your hard work will pay off in spades. Sheltered by thick pōhutukawa covered hills, the crystal clear, turquoise waters are almost tropical and are clear down to four metres. A short walk from the beach, there is also a freshwater river that runs from the beach to a delightful waterfall and swimming hole.

Blue Pools Track, Makarora River.

Blue Pools Track, Makarora River, Mt Aspiring National Park
An hour from Wanaka lies the Makarora River where you can wander through native forests and over swing bridges to reach the pristine Blue Pools, which are as blue as the photographs promise. The river runs clean from the nearby mountains in Mt Aspiring National Park, making it the perfect place for a (very) refreshing dip.

Lake Crucible.

Lake Crucible, Mount Aspiring National Park
A plunge into this alpine lake is exhilarating, to say the least. Dotted with icebergs and found at the top point of Wanaka’s Gillespie Pass Circuit (a 58-kilometre loop hike that takes between three to four days to finish) this dip might take some courage and perseverance, but we can assure you it’s worth it.

Puheke Beach, Doubtless Bay.

Puheke Beach, Doubtless Bay
With nothing but the great sweep of the coast, the white stretch of sand and the undulating sand dunes for company, Puheke Beach on the Karikari Peninsula is the perfect spot for some crowd-free relaxation. To get there, turn off the State Highway 10 onto Inland Road leading to Maitai Bay and follow the road signs.

Whale Bay.

Whale Bay, Matapouri
An exquisite spot for snorkelling, swimming or a day of sunbathing, this white sand beach surrounded by bush is accessed only by foot. Park up in the Matapouri Road car park and follow the track down.

Smugglers Bay.

Smugglers Bay, Bream Head Scenic Reserve, Whangarei Heads
Drive around three hours from Auckland and you’ll reach the Bream Head Scenic Reserve, offering a number of walking tracks. Park at the Urquhart Bay car park and wander across beautiful farmland to reach Smugglers Bay. The white sandy beach is surrounded by lush greenery and is the perfect spot for a picnic and a refreshing dip.

Waewaetorea Island, Russell.

Waewaetorea Island, Russell
Crystal clear, turquoise waters surround this stunning island, and with plenty of captivatingly beautiful, secluded beaches, too — there’s a good chance you’ll have this place to yourself. Waewaetorea Island can only be reached by boat.

Paynes Ford Pools.

Paynes Ford Tramline Track Pools, Golden Bay
A beautiful walking trail that follows an old tramline that was once used to transport timber, the Paynes Ford Track is dotted with a number of superb waterholes. An easy hour-long round trip that allows dogs (on leash), you’ll find the entrance at 1886 Takaka Valley Highway, State Highway 60.

New Chums Beach, Whangapoua.

New Chums Beach, Whangapoua
From the car park at the north end of Whangapoua Beach, cross the stream and walk along the rocky shoreline and over the headland to reach New Chums Beach — a stunning secluded treasure in the Coromandel.

The Eel Hole, Murchison, Tasman.

The Eel Hole, Murchison, Tasman
Don’t be put off by its nickname; this local waterhole is the perfect summer swimming spot — rope swing and all. To reach it, follow the road north of Murchison town for 1km then turn left onto Riverview Road, continuing past the holiday park until you hit the Buller River. 

Elliot Bay, Bay of Islands.

Elliot Bay, Bay of Islands
Located just out of the Bay of Islands you’ll find this privately-owned stunning white sand beach with punchy fun waves, ideal for surfers looking to beat the crowds. Head north on Western Hills Drive, State Highway 1, turn right onto Russell Road before turning right onto Rawhiti Road and continuing round to Elliot Bay. Cross the private property to access the beach and pay your way via the honesty box.

Lake Wainamu.

Lake Wainamu, Waitakere, Auckland
Inland from Te Henga / Bethell’s Beach, Lake Wainamu resides with its sweeping black sand dunes and picturesque surroundings. Park up at the Lake Wainamu car park on your left, a little before you reach the main Te Henga car park, and follow the stream/path to this freshwater lake. You’ll want to take your shoes off for this, as you’ll be walking through water (the stream itself is the path), however make sure you have slides or footwear that’s easy to slip on as that black sand can be scorching. From the car park to the lake takes about 30 minutes, so make sure you take everything you need to park up lakeside for as long as you want.


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From new albums to intriguing podcasts, here’s what to add to your playlists in the coming months

Whether you’re embarking on a weekend road trip or are simply looking for something to shorten your commute, dance to in your living room or play while you’re in the shower, we have rounded up some of the best new and noteworthy podcasts and albums to listen to now.

New Albums


Dolly Parton 

Dolly Parton’s new album, Rockstar, her forty-ninth solo venture, marks her debut in the rock genre. The album features collaborations with rock icons and kicks off with the electrifying lead single, ‘World On Fire’. Followed by ‘Bygones’ featuring Rob Halford, Nikki Sixx, and John 5, a bold take on rock classics ‘We Are the Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ and a remarkable rendition of ‘Let It Be’, featuring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Marking another fearless musical evolution for this icon, Parton’s new album is redefining her storied career once again.

Song to start with:
World On Fire

Before and After
Neil Young

The newest album from this musical legend offers an acoustic treasure trove, where Neil Young has revisited his classic repertoire through a more pared-back and intimate lens. Set for an early-December release, this album builds on Young’s artistic evolution and treats listeners to a mesmerising sonic journey where each track blends into the next, creating an immersive listening experience. Offering a new take on the best of Young’s renowned playbook, this album will fast become a favourite for fans and music-lovers alike. 

Song to start with:
I’m The Ocean

Sweet Justice
Tkay Maidza 

Following her recent collaboration with Flume on ‘Silent Assassin’, Tkay Maidza introduces us to her eagerly-awaited sophmore album with the vibrant single ‘Ring-a-Ling’ and its accompanying video directed by Jocelyn Anquetil. The album delves into a transformative phase in
Maidza’s life, shedding old connections and self-doubt. With guest appearances from artists like Lolo Zouaï, Amber Mark and Duckwrth, and production contributions from Flume, Stint and Kaytranada, Sweet Justice promises a bold evolution in Maidza’s captivating musical journey.

Song to start with:

New Podcasts

Sharing Plate

Embark on a flavourful odyssey with The Sharing Plate Podcast, where food becomes the conduit for exploring cultural roots, and culinary delights. Here, guests who have made the UK their home divulge their treasured recipes and heartwarming stories. From refugees to seasoned foodies, the common thread of enjoying a meal with loved ones unites them all. 

Hard Fork 

This captivating podcast throws us into the fast-paced realm of technology. Peering into a future that’s already unfolding, Hard Fork is hosted by seasoned journalists Kevin Roose and
Casey Newton who via keen insight and analysis, dissect and decipher the most recent developments in tech and bring clarity to the complex landscape
of our future. 

Everything from A to V 

In this trailblazing podcast hosted by the insightful Dr. Sneha Wadhwani, the enigmatic world of women’s health is unravelled. With an ensemble of experts, she dispels myths on topics from contraception to the eternal bathroom queue, menopause, bladder health and more to separate medical fact from fiction.

Ghost Story

Host Tristan Redman, a seasoned journalist, explores the eerie mysteries of his past in this captivating podcast. Scepticism meets curiosity as he delves into the chilling tale of the faceless ghost that haunted his childhood home, which just happened to be adjacent to the site of his wife’s great-grandmother’s unsolved murder. 


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Fake it ’til you make it: Denizen’s definitive guide to self-tanning this summer

The art of self-tanning is fastidious and one that requires patience, precision and most importantly an exceptionally good formula. And, of course, it’s far better for you and your skin if you resist the urge to sunbathe.

With summer now in full swing, we’ve pooled our collective experience (faux pas included) and put together the definitive guide to a flawless glow that’s better than the real thing. 

Get ready for gloriously golden skin — minus the mess.

Step 01. Get Prepped

The biggest mistake you can make when fake tanning at home is not spending the time to prep your skin properly. The best results come when the skin is as smooth and hydrated as possible. 

Start with a good and proper exfoliation — this will remove dead skin cells and ensure the tan absorbs evenly. The best way to do this is with a vigorous dry body brush that really gets the job done perfectly. This not only buffs away dead skin cells, it also smooths the skin, boosts circulation, helps minimise cellulite and stimulates lymphatic drainage. It’s incredibly good for you and excellent for the health and texture of your skin.  

Next, rinse off any dry skin in the shower and if you need a little extra exfoliation, use an oil free body scrub. This will buff, smooth and prime skin perfectly, especially on those notoriously rough patches like your knees, elbows and ankles — all those little areas where fake tan likes to collect and stain. 

Be wise with your product selections here. It’s important to use oil-free solutions, as oil-based scrubs and cleansers leave behind a residue that interferes with the efficacy of the tanners and can cause streaks too. And, if you’re tanning your face, the same rules apply — be sure to exfoliate with a cleanser or pad that includes some exfoliating acids to slough away dead and dull skin, and encourage even absorption.

Step 02. Moisture Musts

The most common cause of a patchy tan is dry skin, so it’s crucial to moisturise those notoriously tricky areas prior to application. Focus on wrists and hands, elbows, knees, ankles and feet — and perhaps even around your nostrils if you’re face tanning.  

It’s a good idea to wait at least 10 minutes after showering until you are completely dry, then use a lightweight lotion for your face. For the body, opt for a super lightweight and nourishing formula that quickly absorbs and won’t mess with your tan. This will keep those areas from turning too dark or that nasty unwanted orange.

Step 03. The Art of Application

Always apply with a tanning mitt or brush!

Smooth on product in circular motions, blending and buffing the tan deeper into the epidermis. The more you buff and work the product into your skin, the better, this ensures a more even and streak-free finish, helps to prolong the tan and encourages a better fade-out. 

When applying, it’s best to use small amounts of the product each time — starting with your feet and ankles, working your way up to your shoulders to prevent any marks when you bend over. Save your arms and hands for last and try not to race to wash your hands, just blend it gradually with your wrists and arms, as you don’t want white hands with bronzed arms.

Step 04. Prolong Perfectly

Once your tan has been applied, ensure skin is hydrated during the days that follow as hydrated skin will look more radiant and will ensure a more even fade. 

As oil breaks down your tan, opt for a hyaluronic-based body moisturiser and avoid any enzymatic body and skincare such as glycolic or lactic acids, as these can accelerate the fade time of tan.

To prolong your tan even longer, apply a gradual tan. This will simultaneously hydrate skin as well as ‘top up’ your tan with a gradual buildable tan for a prolonged golden tone that perfectly achieves that natural summer glow.

Shop The Edit

Tan Lux The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops from Revolve
ST. TROPEZ Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Body Mist from Smith & Caugheys
ELEFFECT The Brush from Mecca
Sisley Paris Self Tanning Hydrating Body Skin Care from Smith & Caugheys
RÉVIVE Bronzé Supérieur ​Self-Tan Booster from net-a-porter
KORA ORGANICS Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion from net-a-porter
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad Self-Tanner For Body from Revolve
ICONIC LONDON Prep-Set-Tan Tanning Mist from Revolve


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Three of the best festive tipples to make on Christmas Day

Alongside the ham and turkey, sides and salads and (of course) the obligatory desserts, there is nothing like a well-made drink or two to set the perfect tone on Christmas Day. Here, we round up three of our favourite, go-to recipes for festive drinks that everyone will love.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Bear with us — this is actually a thing and yes, it is actually quite tasty. After all, the concept of a boozy hot chocolate is hardly new. Here, the trick is to make up one batch of hot chocolate, and one of mulled wine separately, before combining the two as the final step. And, according to The New York Times, it is best to use real dark chocolate warmed with regular milk and a bit of condensed milk (for sweetness), and to mull the wine with allspice, ancho and a touch of chipotle chilli. Add in some cloves, star anise, cinnamon and orange too if you like. (Basically whatever spices you have on hand.) Combine the two in a mug at the end and voilá — we promise you’ll be surprised by how good it is.


1-2 bars of dark chocolate
Regular milk
Condensed milk
1 bottle of red wine
Spices (allspice, ancho, chipotle chilli, 2-4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1-2 cinnamon sticks)
Orange slices


1. Warm the dark chocolate in a pot with regular milk and a touch of condensed milk.
2. In a separate pot, prepare the mulled wine by gently warming the red wine with a sprinkling of sugar and adding in your various spices. Heat until simmering and then turn off.
3. Remove the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves from the red wine.
4. Combine the hot chocolate with the warm mulled wine in a mug and top with optional whipped cream if you like.


An undeniable classic, eggnog is (when prepared correctly) a delicious beverage to get everyone into the Christmas mood. And despite it being typically associated with the trappings of a traditional white Christmas, there’s no reason why it can’t be enjoyed as part of our Kiwi Christmas Day — it is delicious, after all. To ensure we get our eggnog right every time, it is to the simple recipe of Jamie Oliver that we turn year after year. In his recipe, Oliver advocates for starting the process by infusing milk and cream with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla beans — and it only gets better from there.


3 cups (700ml) whole milk
1 cup (240ml) heavy or double cream
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
5 eggs, separated
2/3 (130g) cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (175ml) Bacardí Dark Rum, or bourbon


1. Combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg in a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and allow to steep.
3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted.
4. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until everything is combined and smooth.
5. Add bourbon or rum, and stir.
6. Refrigerate overnight or for up to three days.
7. Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined. Serve and garnish with grated nutmeg.

Christmas Sangria

Easy to make in big batches and promising a perfectly refreshing drink to combat our warm Southern Hemisphere Christmas, the classic sangria is given a fruity and festive twist here with a recipe that everyone will love. Our tip? Make this on Christmas Eve and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the flavour to really develop to its full potential. All you need to do is combine a dry red wine with a selection of freshly-chopped fruit (whatever you have on hand), cinnamon sticks, some brandy and Grand Mariner, a dash of sweetness via Agave syrup or sugar and top with ginger ale or sparkling water. Mix everything in a big jug with ice, keep it super chilled and pour for all and sundry for a very Merry Christmas indeed.


1 bottle of dry red wine (a Cabernet Sauvignon is the best option here)
Dash of Brandy
Dash of Grand Mariner
Agave or sugar
Selection of chopped fresh fruit (oranges, limes, pomegranate, pear, berries, green apple, etc.)
2-4 cinnamon sticks
Ginger ale or sparkling water


1. In a large jug, add agave nectar, Grand Marnier, brandy, orange slices, lime slices, pear slices, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon sticks.
2. Pour over the entire bottle of red wine and stir to combine.
3. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours (although overnight is recommended).
4. Right before you are about to serve, top the sangria ginger ale and give it a quick stir.
5. Pour over ice or serve chilled and garnish with fresh limes and oranges.


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This cookie dough trifle recipe puts an indulgent spin on a time-honoured Christmas classic

Based on appearances alone, it’s trifle that takes the proverbial cake when it comes to wow factor at any dinner table. The infinite layers of cream, colourful fruit and sponge are impossible to not marvel at and obsess over, making it a go-to for the festive season when the hosting stakes are high.

However, as much as we (adults) love a traditionally boozy iteration, we can’t say the same for the littles — who deserve to enjoy this delectable sweet treat as much as we do. So, here, we’ve discovered a booze-free recipe that is equally as divine, and perfect for the whole family.

Cookie Dough Trifle Recipe

Feeds 8 to 10 People


Cookie Dough
350g of Lewis Road Creamery unsalted butter, softened
350g of soft brown sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
300g crushed digestive biscuits
1½ tsp of salt
80ml of Lewis Road Creamery Organic Homogenised milk
250g of good quality mini chocolate chips

Whipped Cream
175g of good quality mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping
350ml of Lewis Road Creamery Premium Double Cream, whipped
8 chocolate chip cookies from our recipe, or Moustache, plus more for topping

Chocolate Pudding
300g of Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana chocolate, roughly chopped
3 eggs, room temperature
60g of caster sugar
1 tbsp of dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
300ml of Lewis Road Creamery Premium Double Cream


1. Start off with making your chocolate pudding by melting your chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering hot water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Once the chocolate is melted, let it cool.

2. As it’s cooling, take a separate bowl and beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until mixture is pale, thick and doubled in volume. Fold in cocoa powder and cooled chocolate until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until thickened (be careful not to over-beat). Use a large metal spoon to carefully fold the cream into the chocolate mixture, trying to keep the mixture as light as possible. Set aside as you make the other components for the trifle.

4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Fold in the digestives biscuits, salt, and milk, then incorporate the chocolate chips. Crumble it up and pour a third of the mixture into the bottom of a trifle dish to act as the base.

5. Make the whipped cream layer by mixing the chocolate chips and whipped cream. Pour ⅓  of the mixture on top of the cookie dough in the trifle dish and top the whipped cream layer with a layer of chocolate chip cookies. You can make our delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe, but any cookies will do just fine.

6. Take your cooled pudding mixture and pour ⅓ of it on top of the layer of chocolate chip cookies.

7. Repeat layers until you’ve reached the top of the dish.

8. Cover the entire trifle with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, to soften the cookie layers as the cream and pudding seeps its way through. Finish it with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and crumbled cookie pieces before serving.


Image credit: Delish


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The first collection by Gucci’s new Creative Director, Sabato De Sarno debuts in Asia — meet ‘Ancora’

After much anticipation and plenty of speculation as to what direction Gucci would take under its new Creative Director, Sabato De Sarno, the first collection was finally unveiled in Milan for Spring Summer 24, and was received with praise by fashion fans the world over. Where De Sarno’s predecessor played with eccentricity and over-the-top showmanship to express his version of Gucci, the new Creative Director took the house back to its more understated, glamorous codes. The loud logos, eye-popping details and surprising silhouettes were swapped out for understated, chic motifs, micro-mini shapes and sleek tailoring. Now, Gucci Ancora has made its dazzling debut outside of Milan, in the vibrant city of Singapore in a grand showcase. The event, spanning two days at the Garden Pavilion of the Ritz-Carlton, was a testament to Gucci’s commitment to honouring cultural heritage, and to how this house continues to resonate on a global scale.

The venue was enveloped by the iconic red hue of Rosso Ancora, creating a stunning backdrop for the 30 carefully curated looks from the Gucci Ancora collection. Attendees included an array of distinguished guests, comprising press, VIPs, and notable figures from across the wider Asia and Asia-Pacific region, adding to the event’s grandeur.

Not only did the display feature the Gucci Ancora collection but also, the Gucci Ancora Notte collection, a line-up of incredible evening wear by De Sarno that had been initially presented at the LACMA Art + Film Festival in November. Additionally, a curated selection of travel pieces from the renowned Valigeria collections adorned the space, adding a touch of luxury to the occasion, and pulling Gucci’s renowned heritage into sharp focus.

Gucci Ancora’s arrival in Asia underscores the brand’s dedication to expanding its global footprint while paying homage to diverse cultural influences. The showcase in Singapore serves as a testament to Gucci’s ability to captivate fashion enthusiasts worldwide, making a resounding statement in one of Asia’s most dynamic and joyous cities.


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Foodies rejoice, these Auckland eateries are staying open over the summer holidays, plus we’ve rounded up all of the holiday hospo hours you need to know

The holidays are here, which means a well-deserved break for all of us — including those in the hospitality industry. Fortunately, there are a handful of establishments keeping their doors open over the break, so if you do find yourself wondering where you can go for a bite out in Auckland, these are the places to visit.

Bivacco Bar & Grill

From its delicious food to its sprawling space, Bivacco has found fast popularity with discerning Auckland diners — and for good reason. Thankfully, this summer, Bivacco Bar & Grill will open every day except for Christmas Day. And with plenty of long, summer afternoons on the horizon, we recommend booking a table in advance — especially if you’ve managed to rustle up a crowd for a convivial lunch in the new year. (Although there’s usually always room to squeeze in at the bar.)

Left: Bivacco. Right: Andiamo


Luckily, for anyone hanging around over the break, Andiamo has generously decided to keep its doors open for most of the holidays, aside from the period between the 25th and the 27th of December, and the 1st and 2nd of January. Any other day, you can stop in for some of its delectable Italian-style fare and perhaps nab one of the sought-after street-side tables.

Faraday’s Bar

For a more-than-perfect spot for a festive drink with your significant other or an elevated catch-up with friends, Faraday’s Bar always delivers, and luckily for those of us sticking around over the break, they’re only shutting down briefly this year — closing for Christmas Day itself, and then the period between 27th December — 3rd January.

Somm Cellar Door & Bar

Somm is shutting its doors from Christmas Eve until December 27th, opening up again between 28th — 31st December for those staying in the city and looking for a perfect spot to enjoy a festive tipple and a celebratory afternoon in the sun, before taking a break during the 1st and 2nd of January.

Left: Somm Cellar Door & Bar. Right: Soul Bar & Bistro

Soul Bar & Bistro

Aside from Christmas Day, Soul Bar & Bistro’s hours are remaining more-or-less normal. Despite being closed for Christmas Day, Soul is back open on Boxing Day, with the bar open from 11am and DJs kicking off from 5pm, set to play through to the wee hours to keep the festive spirit going. Soul will also close on New Year’s Day, to give its team some much-needed R&R. Might we suggest you do that too?


Michael Meredith’s impeccable new restaurant serving elevated Pacific fare is keeping its doors open throughout the break. With a special Christmas offering available on the day itself, a New Year’s Eve set menu, and their usual fare and delightful drinks available throughout the festive period, Metita will be a lively spot to spend a long lunch or convivial dinner over the break.

Commercial Bay Eateries

All of Commercial Bay’s wonderful eateries are staying open for the entirety of the break, only shutting down for Christmas Day, meaning you’ll be able to dine at the likes of Ahi, Pōni, Gochu, The Lodge Bar, Gemmi and more all summer long.

Left: Gochu. Right: Amano


Securing a table at Amano is not typically an easy task, so while most people are out of town, use this time as an opportunity to dine at this widely-loved, modern Italian restaurant. Amano will only be closed on Christmas Day, before returning to its regular hours for the rest of 2023.

Bar Magda

We’re never short of reasons to visit Bar Magda — from their delicious fare and inventive cocktails to the nightcap menu and more, and we’ll be heading in over the break (likely for all of the above) and suggest you do, too. They’re shutting up shop for a much-deserved break on the 24th, 25th & 31st December, then again from the 1st — 9th January.


Those sticking around the City will find comfort in Commercial Bay, with its sprawling French bistro staying open for the entirety of the holidays. Although holiday hours will mean the restaurant is closed for Christmas Day, we have it on good authority that both the kitchen and Le Bar are planning the most divine celebratory New Year’s Eve affair. You can make your reservations here.

Left: Origine. Right: Jervois Steakhouse

Jervois Steakhouse

The carnivorous amongst us will be delighted to find that Jervois Steakhouse is open for most of the holidays, only shutting its doors between the 25th and 27th of December, then again on January 1st and 2nd. Visit the Herne Bay stalwart at any other time and it’ll be business as usual.

Park Hyatt Auckland

Dine in at Park Hyatt’s Onemata and Living Room eateries right through the holidays, with only slight changes to their usual scheduling. While Onemata will take a momentary reprieve and close for Boxing Day lunch, The Living Room will suspend its afternoon tea service between the 25th of December and the 1st of January. Otherwise, you can book as usual, as Park Hyatt is open on both the 1st and 2nd of January and beyond.

Non Solo Pizza

Our go-to Parnell institution Non Solo Pizza will still be serving its delectable Italian fare and (importantly, given the timing) pouring all manner of lively libations across the festive period, only shutting up shop on the official public holidays to give their lovely staff a much-deserved break.

Left: Non Solo Pizza. Right: Kingi.


The Hotel Britomart’s flagship restaurant is welcoming patrons most days over the holidays, including Christmas Day (find details for its Christmas lunch here) and New Year’s Eve (find here). For those seeking a much-needed staycation, we happen to think The Hotel Britomart’s adjacent dining offering is perfect.

QT Hotel

The QT Hotel’s Mediterranean must-visit, Esther, is open right through the holidays and is also offering a delicious New Year’s feasting menu — find details here — on the 31st of December. The Rooftop at QT is also putting on a fun New Year’s Eve party not to be missed.

Left: Esther. Right: MoVida


With a beautiful, elevated outlook, and inspired cuisine unlike anywhere else in the City, MoVida is one destination you’ll find us at often this summer. Service here will only be taking a momentary pause with the kitchen closing from the 24th until the 26th of December, then opening its doors a little later than usual, at 5pm, from the 27th — 31st of December for dinner and plenty of convivial celebrations.

Hello Beasty

If you’re making the most of a sunny day in Auckland with a stroll around Viaduct Harbour, why not stop in at Hello Beasty? The flavoursome fusion restaurant will be closed from the 24th of December until the 8th of January — just in time for a delicious long lunch to mark your return to the office.

Left: Hello Beasty. Right: Saint Alice

Saint Alice

Another Viaduct Harbour mainstay, Saint Alice has even more days open on its calendar, this year offering both a Christmas Day lunch and a New Year’s Eve party, only closing its doors for a short reprieve on Boxing Day. A festive lunch up high above the water, with some of the best food in town? Sounds like a great way to mark a special occasion if you ask us.


Consistently providing delicious food and stellar service, Prego is an Auckland stalwart and we are incredibly thankful that the restaurant will only be taking Christmas Day and Boxing Day off this year, remaining open for the rest of the break.

Other holiday hours worth noting:

A — B

Akarara Eatery: Closed 24th — 25th December & 1st — 2nd January, open 7.30am — 3pm on 24th December.

Alma: Closed 24th December — 4th January.

Annabel’s: Closed 24th December — 27th December & 31st December — 2nd January, open from 3pm-9pm 28th — 30th December & 3rd — 4th January.

Azabu Ponsonby: Closed 25th December — 11th January.

Azabu Mission Bay: Closed 25th and 26th December.

Bar Non Solo: Closed 24th — 26th December and open from 5pm from 27th-21st January.

C — D

Candela: Closed 24th December — 11th January.

Cassia: Closed on 25th December, then open for dinner only (from 5pm) throughout the break.

Culprit: Closed 24th December — 28th December. Open 29th-31st December, then closed 1st-11th January.

Daily Bread: Ponsonby, Point Chev, Britomart, Belmont, Newmarket — Closed 25th — 26th December & 1st — 2nd January. Federal St — Closed 23rd December — 8th January.

Depot: Closed 25th — 27th December, open from 11am 28th — 31st December, closed 1st — 3rd January, open from from 11am 4th — 7th January.

Duo: Dinner closed 18th December — 10th January, Brunch closed 24th December — 5th January.

Dr Rudi: Closed 25th December.

E — H

Ebisu: Closed 25th — 26th December, open from 5pm — 10pm from 27th — 31st December.

Gilt: Closed 24th — 28th December and 1st — 2nd January, open from 5pm on the 29th December.

Gochu: Closed 25th December.

Honey Bones: Closed 22nd December — 12th January.

Hotel Ponsonby: Closed 23rd December — 4th January.

Huami: Closed 25th — 26th December & 1st — 2nd January.

I — O

Inca: Closed 24th — 25th December & 1st — 2nd January.

Kol: Closed 24th — 25th December & 31st December — 1st January.

Lilian: Closed 23rd December — 11th January.

Masu: Closed 26th December & 1st January.

Mr Morris: Closed 24th — 25th December & 1st January.

Norma Taps: Closed 23rd December — 10th January.

Omni: Closed 24th December — 16th January.

Onslow: Closed 25th-28th December, open from 5pm 29th — 31st December, closed and 1st — 2nd January, open from 5pm 3rd January.

Orbit: Open from 11am — 8pm on Christmas Day. Closed 26th — 28th December & 1st — 4th January.

Ortolana: Closed 25th December.

Osteria Uno: Closed 24th December — 9th January.

P — S

Palmer: Closed 24th December — 16th January.

Paname Social: Open throughout.

Pōni: Closed 25th December.

Ragtag: Closed 23rd December — 5th January.

Schapiro’s: Closed 23rd December — 4th January.

Sid at The French Café: Closed 24th December — 10th January.

Sidart: Closed 24th — 27th December & 1st — 8th January.

Siso: Closed 25th December — 3rd January.

Skybar: Closed 25th December.

SPQR: Closed 25th — 26th December & 1st January.

Swings: Closed 24th December — 15th January.

T — Z

Tala: Closed 24th December — 9th January.

The Brit: Closed 24th — 26th December and 1st and 2nd January.

The Candy Shop: Closed 25th December & 31st January.

The Chamberlain: Closed 25th December— 5th January.

The Engine Room: Closed 24th December — 12th January.

The Fishmarkets: Closed 25th December.

The Pantry at Park Hyatt: Closed 25th December — 6th January.

The Store: Closed 25th December.

The Sugar Club: Open 12pm — 6.30pm on Christmas Day. Closed 26th — 27th December & 1st — 2nd January.

The Terrace: Closed 25th December.

Tobi: Closed 25th December & 30th December — 3rd January.

Tokki: Closed 25th December — 24th January.


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Nail your New Year’s Eve makeup with these easy-to-do party looks

The end of the year is nigh, so alongside planning your various New Year’s Eve celebrations (or preparing to attend one of the epic parties happening around Auckland) it’s time to start thinking about your look. Outfits aside, New Year’s Eve offers the perfect opportunity to try out some new beauty looks, whether it’s a bold eye, a standout lip or colours you wouldn’t usually dare to wear on a normal night out. It is an evening of celebration, after all. Here are five easy-to-do makeup looks that will have you turning heads this New Year’s.

Make it Metallic

Giving classic New Year’s Eve glamour a decidedly futuristic edge, this beauty trend is all about making the eyes stand out and embracing a sleek, metallic look.

DIOR Diorshow 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette from AdoreBeauty
FENTY BEAUTY Glitty Lid Eyeliner from Sephora
NYX Jumbo Eyes Pencil from AdoreBeauty
DEAR DAHLIA Paradise Shine Eye Sequins from Sephora

Glitter Glow

Give yourself the ultimate glow with a good dose of glitter. Best when applied liberally to the eyes or cheeks, this sparkly trend is sure to turn heads.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner from Mecca
GOOD GLITTER Stardust Aurora from BodyFX
Glitter Power Strass False Lashes from Sephora

Go Graphic

Trade the classic, demure cat-eye for this bold iteration and command attention at any party. When trying this look at home, don’t be afraid of using a heavy hand. The trick here is a thick, dark line, extended beyond the bounds of your natural eyes to make them look dark and mysterious.

DIOR Diorshow 24H Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner from AdoreBeauty
Napoleon Perdis Sketch Pot Gel Eyeliner from AdoreBeauty
Roller Lash Mascara from Sephora
HOURGLASS Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner from Net-a-Porter

Heavenly Holographic

Another futuristic beauty trend, holographic hype is transforming our makeup from minimalist matte to light-reflecting radiance with the flick of a brush. Designed to give your eyes an ethereal pop, this trend is for those who want to stand out in a more subtle (but no less effective) way.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Eyes To Mesmerise – Sunlit Glow from Net-a-Porter
Ciaté London Shadow Flip from Mecca
Rituel de Fille Celestial Sphere Gelée Eye Gloss from Mecca

Kissable Lips

2023 was undoubtedly the year of the lip, and we all found ourselves seeking the products to achieve the soft, supple and insanely kissable lips taking over the Internet. To enter the new year with a polished pout, perfect your base (hydration, hydration, hydration), followed by a striking nude — finishing with a gloss for shine.

TARTE Maracuja Juicy Lipstick from Sephora
CHARLOTTE TILBURY Lip Cheat Lip Liner from Net-a-Porter
Liquilust Matte Lipstick from Sephora


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Skincare switch-up: Five ways to update your skin regimen for summer

As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to change your skincare to adhere to the conditions that will be affecting your visage. More sun means increased importance on SPF, while higher humidity and sweating means paring back the richness of your moisturiser. Here, we line up five simple ways that you can update your summer skincare regimen to retain your glow for the months ahead.

1. Lighten up

Opt for a lighter, foaming cleanser over a heavier oil-based one and swap the hefty day and night creams for something more lightweight, like a gel moisturiser. 

Denizen Recommends
Purifying Foaming Gel from Sothys
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cleanser from Revolve
Dr. Dennis Gross
Alpha Beta Daily Cleansing Gel from Commercial Bay
Dr. Nigma Talib Cleanser No1 from Net-A-Porter

2. Double down on vitamin C

If you haven’t already, invest in a good vitamin C serum. Using this is incredibly important in summer because of the ways it can help to prevent hyperpigmentation.  

Denizen Recommends
Noble Panacea The Exceptional Vitamin C Booster Serum from Ssense
Hyper Skin Hyper Even Brightening Vitamin C Serum from Revolve
Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum from Net-A-Porter

3. Remember to exfoliate

This step is crucial for clearing pores that might be clogged with sunscreen, sweat and saltwater. But be aware, if you choose to use an AHA exfoliating product, your skin will become extra-sensitive to the sun, so be vigilant with your SPF.

Denizen Recommends
Biological Peel from Sothys
Illuminating Exfoliant from Emma Lewisham
codage scrubbing Cream from Spring Store

4. Go for non-comedogenic

Look out for ingredients that are considered comedogenic, or pore-blocking. If you’re unsure, check on a website like acneclinicnyc.com, which invites you to copy and paste ingredient lists and highlights all of the inclusions that are comedogenic. 

Denizen Recommends
Ilia the true skin serum foundation from Commercial Bay
Tower 28 SOS Daily Barrier Recovery Cream from Revolve

5. Hydration is key 

Focus on hydration in your skincare routine over the summer months to offset the environmental effects. Whether it’s a hyaluronic acid serum or a hydrating mask that you use once or twice a week, this is an imperative step in maintaining your glow.

Denizen Recommends
Gezeiten Stimulation & Rejuvenation Serum from Net-A-Porter
111Skin Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Booster from Revolve
Supernatural Sleeping Mask from Emma Lewisham


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Gentlemen, update your grooming ritual with these essential products and tools

There is simply no reason why men should spend less time on their grooming regimens than women do, and there are a raft of products specifically targeted at men that prove it.

From those designed to deliver a glowing visage, to must-haves for meticulous beard maintenance, meet the latest products and trends in masculine grooming, proving that men’s beauty is as exciting and as innovative as its female counterparts. 

Hair Helper

A breakthrough for men’s hair growth, the innovative Cellreturn mask device is a fusion of science and self-care, boasting two potent LED settings that bathe the scalp in rejuvenating red light waves. The result? A healthier scalp and stronger, more luscious locks. Elevate your hair care routine with this essential tool.

Cellreturn Hair Alpha Ray from Net-A-Porter

Chill Pill

Indulge in the olfactory elegance of Louis Vuitton’s Pacific Chill. Crafted by the renowned Jacques Cavallier, this aromatic fragrance is a harmonious blend of citrusy top notes, delicate florals and earthy undertones. With each spritz, embark on a scented journey that evokes the tranquil allure of the Pacific, encapsulated in a chic Louis Vuitton bottle

Pacific Chill from Louis Vuitton

Reduce Frizz

Cleanse and condition your facial hair with Murdock’s pH-balanced Beard Shampoo. Created by barbers, this gentle but effective product is free from parabens and sulphates and is infused with coconut and cinnamon oils for anti-static benefits and purification. Promising a clean, soft and strong beard, this is a must-have for the modern man.

Murdock Barbers of London Beard Shampoo from Commercial Bay


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