A 50-minute train ride from Britomart delivers you to Papakura, one of Auckland’s southernmost suburbs. We mentioned Papakura in an earlier article about affordable houses and often visit the area, so we wanted to write a little more about this great community.
Papakura is just over 30km south of Auckland City. Originally Great South Road was part of the main artery traveling south. However, this was replaced with SH1. The township of Papakura has both a lively and sleepy feel to it, with numerous cafes, bars, bowls, and cultural areas all within 1km of each other. Papakura has a surprisingly strong military history, with the Military Camp established in 1939, where it still trains the SAS today. You can visit the Papakura War Memorial across the road from Central Park in the township’s heart.
Aucklander’s are generally environmentally conscious. Papakura is at the forefront of minimising waste in our community as the first area in the Auckland region with a formal food scrap collection service. This service has been a considerable success in the area, with over 70 tonnes of food waste collected in the first-month set to become future compost. Applied to Papakura’s rates in August, this is due to be rolled out region-wide by 2021, we are looking forward to this! Papakura also gives back to Auckland by hosting five dams in the area supplying around 60% of the Auckland regions water. The local New World even has a picnic bench made out of recycled plastic bags!
With around 1.1% of New Zealand’s population living in the Papakura district and a Facebook page with 18,000 members, Papakura is an active and social community providing facilities for all hobbies and interests. The local theatre company performs regular shows at both the Papakura Theatre Company and the nearby Hawkins Theatre, the latter also showing films. Pottery is also popular in Papakura. The local Potters Club regularly meets at the old schoolhouse in central Papakura with two kilns and five wheels for its members to use.
Further to the area’s cultural and arts scene is a hive of sporting activity. The local and surrounding area has a BMX Club, tennis and squash and 2 rugby clubs – the Papakura RFC and Ardmore Rugby and Sports Club, football club and rugby league club to name a few. If you’re looking for something a low impact while still social, the Papakura Club hosts social and club table tennis, indoor bowls, darts, snooker and supplies a big screen for live games.
Walking is also popular in the area with the Hūnua Ranges situated southeast of the area stretching toward the Firth of Thames where you can visit the local dams and enjoy short and long walks. However, please check what is open before walking as Kauri dieback is present and some areas are closed. A popular spot for locals and tourists, you can also find the Hūnua Falls. If visiting this area, please watch for flooding and swim safely! If you prefer something a little more coastal, we suggest you check out the Pahurehure Inlet, where there is a new boardwalk that all ages and abilities can enjoy (keep an eye on the little ones around the water!) A dedicated local team called Pips (Pahurehure Inlet Protection Society) is also working hard to protect and develop the inlet, and we do recommend you check out what they do.
If you’re feeling hungry, there are many cafes and restaurants in the area. Stampede is a local classic, the cowboy theme is excellent for the family during the day, and the restaurant turns in to a club in the evening. Pizza Box is another Papakura mainstay with great coffee and booths to fit the whole family. For something a little more intimate, you can’t go past Red Earth (Papakura’s English namesake), which serves lunch, dinner, and a late-night menu along with an extensive wine list. And an area isn’t an area without a local Farmers Market. A short 15-minute drive on a Sunday morning, you will find the Clevedon Farmers Market – grab a coffee, doggie treats, and your weekly produce while listening to the live music and enjoy the atmosphere.
Papakura is a great place to visit, and we are sure a brilliant place to live. Let us know if you’ve been to Papakura and what you love about it!
A shoutout to Annabell Dogger for the amazing photo