Here are ten ideas for what to do in Auckland when the rain is coming down in November.
1. Portage Ceramic Awards
New Zealand's top award for contemporary ceramic artists starts 9 November. Always an interesting show, this year you'll see work by finalists like Jim Cooper, Blue Black and Madeleine Child, to name just a few. Head to Te Uru gallery in Titirangi for this free exhibition.
2. Gallery hop
It’s an obvious choice but there are few places where you can while away a couple of hours like a gallery or museum – best of all they are mostly free for New Zealand residents.
Dane Mitchell's Iris, Iris, Iris is on at Auckland Art Gallery, which "considers the entanglement of our senses, specifically the ocular and the olfactory". Mitchell is representing New Zealand at the next Venice Biennale.
Don't miss the Secret World of Butterflies at Auckland Museum, featuring thousands of butterflies. Adults and kids will both appreciate this one. On until May 2019.
3. Escape Room
Gather some friends and find out who's possibly a psychopath. You all get locked in a room, tasked with a series of puzzling tasks that will – if you can solve them – lead you to the key to unlock the room; it's challenging and full of surprises. There are several places around Auckland to try out this frustrating, but rewarding activity.
4. 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 opened a Cellar Door in Kingsland. North of the city, Metro Top 50 bar The Beer Spot offers 40 beer taps for you to make up a tasting flight and every week a different food truck turns up at the Northcote site.
5. Just drive
Cruise around, blast some tracks and park up somewhere on the coast to watch the wild weather take its course over the sea (if it's particularly stormy, check for warnings). Try the Eastern Bays, or go north to Milford, Takapuna or Devonport. 95bFM's Totally Wired show with Jess Fu on a Saturday usually has an excellent line-up of new releases if you want something fresh to listen to.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Play a wholesome board game
Head to Metro Top 50 bar Peach Pit for a drink and a board game from their weird and wonderful collection. 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.
9. 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, clothing swaps, seed exchanges, knitting groups and children’s readings and activities.
10. On the box
Support some locally made shows on the box or on TVNZ on Demand. New Zealand finally gets its own version of The Great British Bake Off, the new season of Anika Moa Unleashed is out, and on Māori TV, Takes a Village is a local comedy series wearing its nuttiness on its sleeve.
The new Doctor Who, on TVNZ on Demand, with Jodie Whittaker is "not your grandmother's Doctor Who", writes Diana Wichtel. Also streaming is The Human Element, a spectacular new doco bearing witness to climate change.
While you're here, enjoy some long reads
Peruse noted.co.nz for in-depth journalism from Metro, Listener, North 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 2018.
This article was updated 1 November 2018.