50 ways to find inner-peace in the city

by India Hendrikse / 09 June, 2016
We all know we shouldn't look at our phones first thing in the morning and last thing before closing our weary eyes, but over-stimulation is now a fact of modern life. Thankfully, this city is bursting with screen-free activities to temper our phone addictions. Work your way through this list and we reckon you'll be the chillest in any room.

Read more: 50 things to do in Auckland for under $2050 Auckland date ideas; 50 ways to relive your youth in Auckland.

  1. Stretch out tired limbs at a Yin yoga class, a style of yoga that prioritises slow, gentle movements. The Yin classes at the luxurious Studio Red (City Works Depot) are accompanied by calming music and mood lighting for ultimate escapism.

  2. Sing your heart out, or simply lie on your yoga mat and feel the vibrations of a group mantra at The Sound of Yoga.

  3. Float. Soak your worries away inside a sensory deprivation pod at Float Culture. The Epsom-salt-filled water makes you buoyant, so you’ll float and feel as light as a feather.

  4. Meditate. The Auckland Buddhist Centre is an all-welcoming meditation hub in the heart of Grey Lynn. Start your weekend well with the Saturday morning session.

  5. Craft a bouquet. Flowers brighten even the greyest of Auckland days. Gather a bunch of friends and book a floristry workshop at Auckland’s best florist, The Botanist.

  6.  Climb a waterfall. Drive 40 minutes west of Auckland CBD to Karekare Falls and unleash your inner Mowgli by walking the Taraire tramping track to the top of the waterfall.

  7. Eat on the floor. At popular K'Rd Hare Krishna restaurant Mukunda's, you can get a steaming plate of dahl, curry, rice and halva for less than $10. Sit cross-legged on cushions at low tables and let your savvy financial decision fill you with inner-peace.

  8. Downward dog at Mondays Wholefoods’ blissful Ivy Studio. There’s a maximum of 14 people per yoga class, so each session is intimate and peaceful.

  9. Buy a plant. There’s such an abundance of foliage at Roger Hunter’s Garden Centre that it’s actually a maze. Nab yourself a pink wheelbarrow and fill it with greenery.

  10. Eat noodles at the top of a volcano. Eden Noodles specifically. Take a takeaway container of the hand-pulled dandan noodles with special sauce and spicy dumplings to the top of Maungawhau (Mount Eden) to watch the city lights.

  11. Get a massage. East Day Spa’s aromatherapy massages combine Eastern and Western techniques with pure essential oils.

  12. Colour between the lines. Colouring-in is a popular way to calm down, and the craze doesn't show any signs of slowing. The Women’s Bookshop on Ponsonby road has a great selection.

  13. Colour outside the lines at an art class, we recommend the wonderful art school and gallery Te Tuhi in Pakuranga.

  14. Eat dessert for breakfast. The sublime, head-clearing view of Myers Park from St Kevins Arcade deserves to be enjoyed alongside ricotta doughnuts and hotcakes with ice cream from Bestie.

  15. Learn to knit. Knitnstitch is a one-stop-shop for all your crafty needs. Buy wool in every colour of the rainbow, and then learn to knit at one of the many workshops on offer.

  16. Foster a cat from the SPCA. Don’t blame us if it’s too hard to give it back.

  17. Watch the bees at Orphans Kitchen and thank them as you devour homemade crumpets drizzled with rooftop honey.

  18. Volunteer. Give back to your local community by serving morning tea to the elderly, planting trees or becoming someone’s mentor.

  19. Buy cute stationery from Frank and feel good about it, because for every book you buy, Frank donates a school book to a child in need.

  20. Picnic at Homestead. Wrap up in a gingham blanket on the lawn, surrounded by sculptures, and start the day right with slow-cooked mushrooms with soft polenta, shallot and salsa verde.

  21. Drift along a river. Paddle the beautiful Puhoi River with family or friends, and then explore the historic township.

  22. Thrift at the myriad op shops (Save Mart!) scattered around Auckland and pat yourself on the back when you find jeans that aren’t too large or too small.

  23. Watch planes arrive and depart, and dream of your next overseas adventure at Auckland Airport’s viewing platform on Puhinui Road.

  24. Party before work. It sounds counter-intuitive but a morning jig can instill a sense of peace that will last all day long. Attend a pre-work rave courtesy of Morning People and find out for yourself.

  25. Keep a gratitude diary. Don't roll your eyes at us! Head to Father Rabbit, choose a journal from their well-designed selection and find your mindset transformed by the daily ritual of giving thanks.

  26. Breathe better. Follow the instructions of this very smart bearded man in a quiet space to reduce tension and gain some serious #beardgoals inspiration.

  27. Shower outdoors at Piha Eco Sanctuary. Lynne’s treetop studio accommodation has a tranquil, private outdoor shower so you get squeaky clean in the middle of native bush. Bliss.

  28. Drink tea and get your hair did. Dry and Tea cuts, twirls and fluffs your hair into tip-top shape, while you sit back and sip brews with names like Gorgeous Geisha.

  29. Curl up with a good book. The hunt for a good book can be very therapeutic, too, especially when you have places like Jason Books and Unity Books to visit.

  30. Become a cat whisperer at Barista Cats. Pretend you’re in one of Tokyo’s famous cat cafes by sipping tea and scratching as many cat ears as you can.

  31. Make pasta from scratch, and then eat it passionately, dripping tomato sauce down your chin and licking the bowl afterwards. Give family-operated Italian eatery Pasta & Cuore a call to enquire about their pasta-making workshops.

  32. Swim. Splash out your freestyle, then relax in a spa or sauna at Auckland CBD’s historic tepid baths.

  33. Take your pup for a walk, or if you don’t have one, earn eternal gratitude from a friend and take theirs for a stroll. Auckland has a bunch of dog-friendly walks in all parts of the city.

  34. Go to the ballet. Get lost in the rhythmic beauty of it all. The Royal New Zealand Ballet have regular Auckland seasons.

  35. Slurp soup. Welcome Eatery whips up a great soup, served with a fresh, crusty baguette, good butter and a pinch of salt.

  36. Visit a temple. Fo Guang Shang Buddhist Centre in Flatbush is the country’s largest temple. Purchase incense from the shop and then sip tea at the lovely Tea House.

  37. Watch movies where no dogs die. People seem to become heart-wrenchingly sad when a dog dies in a film. Save the tears: here's a handy list of films where this doesn’t happen.

  38. Take a stroll from Mairangi Bay to Browns Bay to clear your head, and then clear your sinuses with a steaming bowl of ramen from Ramen Takara.

  39. Surf. Piha, with its gusts of sea-spray and crashing waves, is a wake-up-call for the soul. Don a wetsuit and brave the water with Piha Surf School.

  40. Watch the full moon. Orakei Basin puts on a pretty sweet spectacle.

  41. Dance like nobody’s watching. At No Lights No Lycra; nobody is watching, because the lights are off and it’s just you and the music.

  42. Hang with your besties. Craft a sheet into a makeshift movie screen in your lounge, hire a projector, and munch on Moustache’s delicious cookies.

  43. Pamper your skin. The Tonic Room uses natural and organic products your skin will soak up like a sponge. Indulge in a Bespoke Facial or consult with a naturopath to tackle issues from the inside out.

  44. Dream well. Auckland artist Isabella Pachter of Hydrangea Ranger makes the loveliest hand woven dream catchers to help you have sweet dreams. If only they could catch the sound of roadworks too...

  45. Reboot your phone with all the best relaxation and anxiety-reducing apps. Here’s a list of last year’s best.

  46. Pat a pony. Kelmarna Gardens’ resident pony, Jafa, has the softest mane in all the land.

  47. Spend a whole day at a spa. The Eternity Treatment at The Langham’s Chuan Spa is the ultimate in luxury; you’ll be treated to a full body scrub, a massage, a facial, then a mani or pedi.

  48. Unleash your inner Nigel Thornberry and go bird-watching. Whitford Bird Garden has a spectacular range of native and exotic birds and plants.

  49. Fly. Well, not quite, but come close to it in a hot air balloon expedition.

  50. Sail the harbour. On a crisp, clear winter’s night, hop aboard a cruise and sail about the Waitemata Harbour whilst sipping wine and feeling pretty darn great.


Read more: 50 things to do in Auckland for under $20, 50 summer date ideas, 50 ways to relive your youth in Auckland.

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