The Kentish Hotel

The Kentish Hotel is a historic hotel, pub and restaurant in the historic township of Waiuku, south of Auckland.

thumb_IMG_1989_1024

The hotel is located at number 5 Queen Street, Waiuku.

It was built in 1851 by Edward Constable. It was granted a liquor license in 1853, which means it has the honour of having the longest continuous liquor license in the country.

The hotel has hosted many dignitaries over the years, including the Māori King Te Whero Whero, Governor Sir George Grey, Prime Ministers Richard Seddon, Sir Joseph Ward and William Massey.

The Kentish survived a fire in Queen Street in 1926. While the fire destroyed a block of wooden buildings opposite, the hotel was saved by volunteers who hung wet sheets over the hotel’s façade.

thumb_IMG_1972_1024

thumb_IMG_1967_1024

thumb_IMG_1976_1024

I stopped for lunch here a couple of Sundays ago and unfortunately it was a disappointing experience. The service was cold, impersonal and slow (in their defence they did have a party of 9 and 6 to be served ahead us). When the food did arrive the presentation was poor.

If in Waiuku definitely check out this historic building – maybe just have lunch elsewhere. Or maybe you will have a better experience – have you been to The Kentish Hotel before let me know in the comments what you thought.

Glenbrook Vintage Railway

Glenbrook Vintage Railway is a heritage steam railway in Glenbrook, south of Auckland.

thumb_IMG_1809_1024

The Glenbrook Vintage Railway runs on a 7.5km portion of the old Waiuku Branch line, which opened in 1922 and closed in 1967.

The railway is run and maintained entirely by volunteers. The volunteers are dressed in uniforms based on New Zealand railway uniforms from the early 1900s.

At the station souvenir paper tickets can be purchased from the ticket window, a variety of cold and hot food and drinks are available from the refreshments room, and souvenirs can be purchased from the station bookstall.

I recommend arriving early to see the train being coupled.

thumb_IMG_1959_1024

thumb_IMG_1805_1024

Trains depart at 90 minute intervals: 11am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. The return trip takes approximately 65 minutes.

Passengers can either travel in the rich wood-panelled carriages or in the open viewing cars – smell and breathe in that coal smoke!

thumb_IMG_1826_1024

thumb_IMG_1838_1024

After approximately 20 minutes the train will stop for 10 minutes at Victoria Avenue, Waiuku. Passengers can disembark here and explore the historic township of Waiuku and catch a later train back (1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm).

On the return journey the train will stop at Pukeoware Workshops for approximately 15 minutes where passengers can look at locomotives and other stock under restoration.

thumb_IMG_1937_1024

thumb_IMG_1938_1024

Adults $20, Child (4-14) $10, Under 4s are free. There family pass and group concessions available as well.

Trains run Sundays and most public holidays from late October to early June. Occasionally they host special events, such as Thomas the Tank Engine themed days.

Castaways Resort

Castaways Resort is a cliff top resort overlooking Karioitahi Beach.

thumb_IMG_1449_1024

Castaways Resort

The resort is located at 685 Karioitahi Road, Karioitahi Beach, Waiuku. Approximately 45 minutes drive from Auckland Airport.

My flatmates and I had lunch at the Agave Restaurant, which is open 7 days from 9.30am till late for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

For lunch I had the Southern Fried Chicken Wrap, a Louisiana style crispy chicken, sundried tomato tortilla with frijole, corn kernels, cos lettuce, tomato salsa, served with guacamole, sour cream and rocket. Sandip had the Beer Battered Fish n Chips served with chunky fries, a light salad, tartare sauce and fresh cut lemon. Yana had the Cajun Chicken Gourmet Burger with bacon, aioli, lettuce and tomato, served with chunky fries.

thumb_IMG_1438_1024

Southern Fried Chicken Wrap

Beer Battered Fish n Chips

Beer Battered Fish n Chips

Cajun Chicken Burger

Cajun Chicken Gourmet Burger

For dessert I had Apple and Rhubarb Crumble, a ginger and oat crumble topping served with plum ice cream. Sandip had Honey and Lemon Crème Brulee with vanilla bean ice cream and pistachio biscotti. Yana had the Castaways’ Chocolate Brownie served with Manuka honey ice cream & spiced berry compote.

To drink I had Clifftop Passion, a cocktail made with 42 Below passionfruit vodka, passionfruit pulp, Cointreau, apple juice, lime and soda. Sandip and Yana had each a mocktail – a Blushing Sunset and Kiwi Mango Delight.

thumb_IMG_1443_1024

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

Honey and Lemon Crème Brulee

Honey and Lemon Crème Brulee

thumb_IMG_1444_1024

Castaways’ Chocolate Brownie

While we were only there for lunch and to admire the views, the resort also has the Bersanti Day Spa for pampering and they offer adventure activities including archery, blokarting, clay target shooting, kayaking, volleyball, and 4 wheel drive tours.

Accommodation wise they have ocean front studios, chalets and glam camping options.

thumb_IMG_1492_1024

Karioitahi Beach

Karioitahi Beach

Waiuku Christmas Display

The Waiuku Memorial Hall has been transformed into a Christmas Wonderland.

Waiuku Christmas Display

Waiuku Christmas Display

The Christmas Display, which is on at the Waiuku Memorial Hall (80 Queen Street, Waiuku) is open Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm until 24th December. From 16th to 24th December it will be open every day.

Adults are $6 and children are $2.

Also on Sundays visitors can catch the train from Glenbrook Vintage Railway (153 Glenbrook Station Road) to Waiuku and experience both these attractions.

The Christmas Display is created by Waiuku residents Jim and Phyllis Sneddon. They have been building their collection for the past 20 years and have been displaying it for the last 5 years at Waiuku Memorial Hall.

This is the last year the Sneddon’s will display their collection as they plan to sell the collection next year. Hopefully someone will take over the collection and continuing displaying it.

0002

0003

0004

0005

0010

0012