Auckland’s Hobsonville Point is a well planned out, sparkling new suburb full of modern family houses and apartments, yet has retained the character of former Air Force buildings which now house restaurants and bars, shops and a farmers market.
The area includes Catalina Bay on it’s northern tip, where the Hobsonville Point ferry collects and drops off passengers commuting to and from Auckland City. The site of a former New Zealand Air Force Base it features a number of heritage buildings which have been restored and re-purposed, and is named for the Catalina seaplanes that were once housed the hangars here.
Catalina Bay Farmers Market
The Catalina Bay Farmers Market is open Friday to Sunday from 8:30am until 2pm. Stores offer local produce, fresh bread, coffee, treats and gifts. During summer daylight savings time night markets are also held the third Thursday of each month.
The Hobsonville Point Coastal Walkway
The enjoyable and largely flat 5km coastal walkway loop follows the shoreline and cuts across the Hobsonville Point township. It takes in the whole of the area including parks, neighbourhoods, sculptures, coastal boadwalks, Catalina Bay, gardens, lookouts and sites of significant military heritage. It makes great way to explore the Hobsonville Point area.
Where to eat in Hobsonville Point
Siamese Doll – 3 Boundary Road
Be sure to book ahead if you want to eat at Siamese Doll. Hobsonville Point has a real buzz on a Friday nights.
The place has a cool, industrial style fitout with features like words in fluro lights. There was an abundance of front of house staff and the barfront is open so you can watch drinks being shaken and stirred.
My locally based friend Renee and I shared a number of small plates including pad thai and dumplings which came out quickly and were super tasty. The gin offerings are brilliant; you choose your gin, tonic and seasonal garnish and the staff are able to make suggestions according to your taste and what mixes well.
Fabric Cafe & Bistro – 3 Boundary Road
Fabric makes for a chilled Hobsonville venue any time of the day to catch up with a friend or two over brunch or a desert. I understand that Fabric’s alcohol licence restrictions mean you have to order a meal with your drink but fortunately there are plenty of mouthwatering options to go with their beautiful wine list or Storm and India tea selection.
Renee and I visited for desert we chose the dark chocolate parfait (given it was recommended by our server) and the rosemary brûlée to share. He was right about the parfait – it was delicious and the slices of mandarin toned down the dense sweetness nicely. As a non-eat eater the rosemary in the brulee just reminded me of eating roast lamb as a child but Renee loved it.
Little Creatures – 2 Boundary Road
The award-winning Little Creatures craft beer microbrewery in a restored aircraft hangar seems to be the social hub of Hobsonville Point on a Friday and Saturday night. Their menu is full of shareable plates like platter boards, prawn tacos and a smokey Mac & Cheese, as well larger, substantial meals including pumpkin ravioli and a lamb shank shepherds pie. It goes without saying that the food here is best enjoyed alongside a hoppy Little Creatures Pale Ale or Pilsner.
Kittyhawk – 2 Boundary Road
For those less partial to craft beer, sharing Sunderland Hangar with Little Creatures is Kittyhawk, a fancy café and bistro which serves wine, cocktails and coffee, wine. Their menu of small Italian plates is a little lacking, but you can take your cocktail out to the main hangar area to have with a meal from little Creatures.
Spend a weekend day in Hobsonville Point
I’d recommend taking the ferry over to Hobsonville Point from Auckland City to spend a leisurely day and evening here. New housing is popping up everywhere but while the township is still under construction the community feel here is already alive and thriving.