Arkham City Comics Haul

The terrible weather didn’t stop us from driving to the mall to get our hands on some comic books which were being sold by the kilogram at Arkham City Comics.

The set-up was quite different to the book sale events that we’ve been to. Due to the size of the shop, the tables were set-up in a straight line just outside the shop entrance. The patrons had to fall in line and wait for their turn while the people before them start browsing through the collection of comic books.

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We had to wait for a few minutes before we got our chance to go through the selection of comics. Although there wasn’t much left to choose from because we arrived late, we still ended up with 2.27kgs!

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And now time for a cup of tea…

Loving Saturdates!

Kay & Gelo

“Surfing Weekend” at Sandy Bay, Tutukaka Coast

During the  Auckland Anniversary weekend we traveled up north to visit Tutukaka Coast . One of the many activities that we were fortunate enough to try (because the weather was just perfect) was surfing. A few weeks before traveling, we were able to find a company offering surfing lessons in Sandy Bay, named Tutukaka Surf. We opted to sign up with them because of the good reviews and its close proximity to Sandy Bay Retreat.

We have been communicating with Simon for the booking for our surfing lessons and the instructor who greeted us on the day was Shane. The wet suits, sunblock, and soft boards were all provided, and it was about a two-hour session. We had so much fun, despite the nosedives and the flipping boards, that we decided to go back once we get another chance.

As the Easter weekend started to roll in, we discussed about the possibility of going back to the Tutukaka Coast, particularly at Sandy Bay to try and catch more waves.

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Planning the trip became quite tricky when Sandy Bay Retreat and most of the other holiday homes close to the beach (that suited our needs) were already booked for the long Easter weekend. We blame it to the fact that it was quite late when we started looking for an accommodation. However, we continued to scour the internet and we found a holiday park offering ensuite cabins. Grant, who was the contact person, replied efficiently to our query and we ended up booking an ensuite cabin at the Tutukaka Holiday Park. It also turned out that it was actually the perfect option because of its location which was close to the shops and was just a 6-minute drive to Sandy Bay.

As for the activities, because we were so focused on surfing, we emailed Simon again from Tutukaka Surf to enquire about the rental options for the Platino soft boards, which were perfect for beginners like us. After receiving his usual accommodating emails, we were able to reach an agreement as to where and what time we can pick the boards up.

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After two full days of lounging under the sun, of fighting our fear of drowning, and of riding and falling off our boards, we still couldn’t get enough of the excitement that one experiences on top of a wave and the slow surf towards the shore. The hours we spent on the beach haven’t really improved our surfing skills, but it has indeed taught us a few lessons which are good enough for our next surfing adventure.

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If you are visiting Sandy Bay and would like to try your knack at surfing, you can reach Simon of Tutukaka Surf at simon@tutukakasurf.co.nz. And if you are looking for a good accommodation, you can contact Grant or Colleen of Tutukaka Holiday Park at tutukakaholidaypark@gmail.com.

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Sushi Train, Chancery Lane, Auckland

Like every normal human being, we too live very busy lives, which primarily means working most days of the week. Amidst this reality, we try to spend as much time together as possible especially during our times-off that fall on the same day.

Saturday mornings mean pancakes and coffee for breakfast, a bit of vacuuming and mopping, then off we go (Gelo goes to the gym and Kay wanders around the city). And because this is the only day that our restdays jive, we often splurge and go for a late lunch at the Sushi Train in Chancery Lane. It is one of the best places to eat in Auckland, in our opinion, because they serve a variety of sushi options which are freshly prepared, their staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating, and every plate, regardless of the colour, is $3.50 (unlike in the other branch which is located near the Viaduct where prices vary depending on the colour of the plate). On a normal day, we often end up with ten plates in a stack; however, during those rare instances wherein we are incredibly famished, the stack becomes doubled.

And to share what our enthusiasm is all about, here are some of our regular sushi choices:

Top left: Tiger Roll, bottom left: Grilled Pork Sushi, bottom right: Grilled Salmon, middle right: Grilled Scallops, top right: Grilled Beef.

Some of the “fried” food options:

Left: Takoyaki, top right: Spicy Chicken Karaage, bottom right: Calamares.

Options that we have tried only once:

And because we do not eat them often, we are unfamiliar with the names, except for the one on the top left hand corner which is the Volcano Roll.

And you can also get desserts like Creme Brulee, Tiramisu, Chocolate Mousse, and Gelatin.

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The highlight of every Sushi Train visit! 🙂

So if you are ever in the city and are looking for a great sushi place, Sushi Train in Chancery Lane is a must-try.

Sushi Train
201A/32 Courthouse Lane, Chancery, Auckland
PH: (09) 368-7200
Sunday to Thursday | 11:30 am to 9:30 pm
Friday to Saturday | 11:30 am to 10:30 pm

Safe Travels,

Kay  & Gelo

Tutukaka Coast: Mermaid Pools

Mermaid Pools is one of the famous spots to visit at Tutukaka Coast. It is not a place where mermaids swim, as the name suggests, it is rather a group of rock pools which are deep enough to allow people to dive. We weren’t able to try the water because we found the pools just as the sun was setting, and the path going back to Matapouri Bay was quite tricky especially without any light source.

Directions to the Mermaid Pools:

From Marina Road, drive towards Matapouri Bay via Matapouri Road. The beach entrance will be on your right-hand side just after the dairy.

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Facing the bay, the path to the Mermaid Pools is located on the left-hand side. It is best to go when the tide is low. Just follow the shoreline until you reach the most protruding “mountain” – a bizarre way to describe it, I admit. Walk towards the inner part and you will see a line (which was obviously formed due to people walking to and from the pools) leading up the mountain, this doesn’t really look like a properly made path, and it is incredibly steep.

There are ropes tied around the trees as you go up because of the absence of traction in some parts. Just follow the track until you see this wonderful sight.

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These photos do not really justify the actual view which is why we highly recommend that you personally visit the place. There were people swimming when arrived so we weren’t able to take a photo of the other pools but we will definitely try to take a dip and take more photos once we get the chance to travel north again.

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Tutukaka Coast: Bays and Pools

Tutukaka Coast is one of the many places in New Zealand that every traveler shouldn’t miss. If you love the sea, sun, and sand, this is paradise; if you don’t, the coast might change your mind. This is one of the best locations that we have visited since living in NZ.

The second day, of our four-day holiday, was set for exploring the beaches and the ever-famous Mermaid Pools.

If you cruise along Matapouri Road towards Marina Road from Sandy Bay Retreat, you’ll drive past some great spots including Sandy Bay, Woolley’s Bay, Whale Bay, and Matapouri Bay. We decided to park at the Whale Bay entrance and then figure out where the path towards the Mermaid Pools is located.

At the entrance, there was a map explaining the different routes leading to Matapouri Bay. However, there was no mention of Mermaid Pools. Upon consulting with Google, many bloggers have posted some information about the “possible” location which was somewhere around the Matapouri Bay area. So, we made the decision of following the trail until we locate the Mermaid Pools.

The first stop was Whale Bay. We could lounge here all day! The water was calm, clear, clean, refreshing, and most importantly “shallow” (haha!). It’s a great place to snorkel, we got to see the occasional schools of white bait swimming close to the shore and some goby wandering amongst the rocks, not as many fish species as Poor Knights Islands but it was still a beautiful sight.

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As we continued to follow the track, we saw the most amazing sight! (The photo does not justify the actual view) The Whale Bay Lookout gives you a great view of the bays and the islands in the area. It is a really steep area without any railings though, so make sure you take extra care when taking those selfies.

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Before finally arriving in Matapouri Bay, we made a quick stop at Pebble Bay. As the name entails, rather than seeing white/ brown sand similar to Whale Bay, you’ll instead be welcomed by a nice carpet of tiny, smooth stones. It’s a nice and quiet spot, great for people hoping for a bit of privacy. Although, be warned that the sea can be rough around this area especially during high tide.

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The end of the track led to Matapouri Bay. After re-reading the information on one of the blogs, we realized that it was a bit of a mission to continue to the Mermaid Pools while the tide was still high. So we just spent the rest of the time lounging and taking a quick nap before heading back to the Whale Bay car park.

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Safe Travels!

Kay & Gelo