Asparagus Drink – The Best Sleep Aid For Insomnia

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Food and Auckland Viaduct New Zealand


A Day at Auckland’s Viaduct Basin

Viaduct 2On Sunday my husband and I decided to spend a few hours at one of our favourite places – the Auckland Viaduct Basin.

Like many baby boomers, we are soon to be heading from the Big Smoke to a place less busy, where you can drive across town in minutes rather than hours, without a traffic light or mega roundabout in sight.

It’s not that we don’t love Auckland – we do, but home equity is such a waste sitting there doing nothing but keeping the roof above our heads. So with less than two weeks to go before we leave for newer pastures, the Viaduct seemed a good place to go on a beautiful early December day.

America's Cup boat

America’s Cup boat

We got there just after ten and, as usual, the place was bustling with visitors out to enjoy the sparkling water, drool over the countless super yachts (well, I could have counted them if I’d really wanted), and head off on a Whale and Dolphin Safari or a cruise around the harbour, or like us to just wander and enjoy the surrounding buzz and, of course the food.

The Viaduct

is the home of many world class cafes and restaurants – each time we visit, we choose a different one to sit back, enjoy the atmosphere, and munch our way through whatever delicacies are on offer.


Portofino Restaurant Viaduct

Portofino Restaurant Viaduct

On Sunday, we chose the Porto Vino Italian restaurant, which is positioned directly opposite a row of charter launches with the closest being a sleek black America’s Cup vessel –a stunning sight from our front-of-restaurant table.

To say the food was good would be an understatement. We started with a hot chilli flat bread then,  In keeping with the fresh air and invigorating surrounds, I opted for a healthy-sounding shrimp and scallop salad. One word – Divine.  My husband also chose salad – his with chicken.  He is always less elaborate with his adjectives but  “really good” in his language spells “fabulous” in mine.


Scollops and Pawn salad

Scollops and Pawn salad

Healthy Salads

Some might say salads are fairly safe, a dieter’s compromise, but truly these salads were well worth our choice of restaurant and proved to us that the Italians really know their food. I don’t know what the dressing on mine was comprised of, but it most definitely enhanced the flavour of the dish.

And it was all so deliciously fresh, fresh, fresh.
We washed it all down with a glass of Casa Rosso (house red), which was as good and better than a lot more expensive wines I’ve had when dining out and, at the end, Mike had his usual cappuccino and I took a scoop of vanilla gelato with an espresso on the side. A satisfying conclusion to a truly scrumptious lunch.

Excellent Service

Did I mention the service? We were served throughout by a total of three different waitresses, which ensured we were never left for long periods wondering if we had been forgotten – something that seems to happen with regular monotony in many restaurants. In Porto Vino it seemed they were all responsible for each and every table so if we looked like we’d like something to happen, there was always a waitress on hand to see to our needs.

Portofino Restaurant Viaduct.

Portofino Restaurant


Top this off with the décor –very comfortable white leather seating and pristine surrounds  –  and the price – for such a high profile destination where, obviously, leases would be high and patrons many, the cost of our meal was surprisingly low. All in all, we were entirely delighted with our luncheon experience and, as we have since discovered, there are quite a few Porto Vino restaurants dotted around the country so we won’t necessarily need to make a trip to the Big Smoke to try more of their very appetising menu.


As with each Restaurants, cafe, Places if interest we visit, NO money or goods is exchanged for the comments and recommendations made in these articles. The recommendations are made in good faith and are true and correct at the time of publication 8th December 2014

Travelling around the Coromandel New Zealand

Here at Creating Lifestyle, our blog posts include things like personal development,  living the healthy life, foods and recipes, travel, and weight loss.

The hills to descend into Pauanui  on the coromantel

The hills to descend into Pauanui

Today we want to introduce you travelling around the Coromandel  on the East Coast of New Zealand, visiting Pauanui and Tairua.

Pauanui is a resort destination with a small resident population, growing to double and triple its population in the summer because of its magnificent white sandy beach and plethora of outdoor pursuits.

Sheltered by lush green hills and bordered on the east coast by the Pacific Ocean, the small township is accessed via 30 kilometres of steep winding roads.

A short ferry ride from Pauanui brings you to the township of Tairua, a buzzing mecca for travellers seeking the gentle east coast and all it has to offer.

Looking across the water to taairua

looking across to Tairua

Photograph taken from Pauanui looking across the water to Tairua. Ten minutes by boat or twenty minutes by road.

The townships are approximately two hours drive south east of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland .

In the off-seasons the two settlements contain jointly about 3000 people but this changes dramatically during the summer months and holiday weekends when the population more than double as holiday home owners and tourists descend upon the place.

The Pauanui  shopping centre and its surrounding area lies on fairly flat ground and has its own air field, catering mainly for residents with their own air transport. During the holiday season the landing field is in almost constant use.

tiarua small settlement on the coromantel in New zealand


Unlike Tairua (pronounced Tie-roowa), Pauanui was built later by the Hopper brothers who owned and had farmed the land for several generations and saw the potential for city dwellers to fly in and out and for those without planes to come by road and build holiday homes, many of which are vacant for the greater part of the year.

The beaches are a huge drawcard with their white, clean sand and startling beauty fronting the Pacific Ocean.

There is always plenty for the holiday maker to do. The active hiker can spend hours climbing Mount Pauanui, negotiating its steep slopes. The panoramic view from the top of land, sea and bush is breathtaking, but for the less adventurous, who still love to walk and ride, there are coastal walks and bike tracks.  For the keen fisherman, fishing along this coast line is said to be second to none. Many more beautiful spots to see travelling around the Coromandel.

The hills to descend into Pauanui

waterway canal at Pananui


Boat owners might enjoy living alongside one of the elaborate canals that have been carved out as part of the resort development. Houses along here are reminiscent of the Australian Gold Coast canals, where, like Pauanui, the rich and famous play.

Pauanui rightfully boasts an enviable sub-tropical  climate where palm trees grow in abundance, loads of sunny days and ideal summer temperatures of around 25-29c.

Tairua is just across the harbour entrance from Pauanui a population of around 1100 people during the holiday season can peak at 3000 or more. A little less than two and a half hours travel from Auckland city. Tairua is a peaceful coastal settlement surrounded by beautiful farm land protected by a range of high hills, the scenery is superb. Tairua has a supermarket a very good butcher shop, a number of cafes, hardware shop , hair dresser, spur shop where you can get the best massage, I tried this one and found it very professional, the treatment was excellent. The town has a number of motels and Bed and breakfast establishments to cater for your needs.

Next time you’re travelling around the  Coromandal call in at Pauanui and Tairua.

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