Kiwi music sensation Lorde’s highly anticipated new single has dropped three-and-a-half years after her debut Pure Heroine launched her on to the international stage. In the lead up to the album release Lorde teased her fans in New Zealand with a cryptic map leading to landmarks in Auckland central.
Auckland-born and educated, Lorde is probably looking forward to some downtime and her hometown has plenty of options to chill out away from the spotlight.
Auckland's dramatic coastal scenery is just the beginning of the contrasting landscapes found within a short distance of New Zealand's largest city. Set between two oceans (the Pacific on one side, the Tasman on the other) with two harbours and endless coastal expanses, Auckland is awash with lovely settings perfect for reflection.
Auckland's North Shore is Lorde’s patch. She grew up on this side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge which is a quick drive or a short ferry trip across the water from downtown Auckland.
The North Shore is known for its calm family-friendly beaches and Lorde isn’t shy about taking a dip at her local swimming spots. Takapuna Beach is a gorgeous swimming beach with classic views of Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano that rises from the Waitemata Harbour.
Seaside suburb Devonport offers amazing views of the harbour and back to downtown Auckland. Dotted with cool cafés and welcoming pubs, Devonport is a popular spot for a coffee, afternoon beverage or fish and chips on the beach.
The city fringe suburb of Ponsonby is where Auckland’s coolest of the cool gather to eat, drink and shop. Home to flagships stores of some of New Zealand’s top designers like Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Juliette Hogan and many more, Lorde could pick up some new threads to show off when she takes the new album on tour.
Not just a fashion stop, Ponsonby Road is well known for its cafés and restaurants. Orphans Kitchen serves up ultra-modern dishes with a distinctly New Zealand flavour, Burger Burger is widely touted as Auckland’s best burger stop and Golden Dawn is an unassuming spot for a cocktail and shared plates.
True Food and Yoga
It is highly likely that Lorde will need time to relax and just breathe. The new True Food and Yoga studio is the latest arrival in Auckland’s burgeoning wellness scene. Set in a heritage-listed building looking across the sparkling Waitemata Harbour, this once tired seafood restaurant has been transformed into a cool not-to-be-missed wellness destination by local food personalities Nic and Kelly Watt.
Auckland's Wild West Coast
Just 45 minutes from downtown Auckland, the black sand beaches of the rugged west coast are in direct contrast to the previously mentioned North Shore spots. Wild and beautiful, the famous surf beaches are only slightly off the beaten track and with the Waitakere Ranges for backdrop Lorde will feel that she’s miles away from city life. The Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland covers more than 16,000 hectares of temperate rain forest and coastline. The park includes 250km of walking and hiking tracks, beaches, breathtaking vistas, spectacular rocky outcrops, waterfalls and cliffs.
We all know Lorde is a superstar so a luxurious hideaway in the Hauraki Gulf would be a the ideal way to escape her celebrity status. The exclusive Hurakia Lodge on Rakino is located a stone's throw by water, float plane or helicopter from Auckland’s busy centre and is both secluded and extravagant. Diving into the hilltop pool looking back at the city she loves, Lorde would be living like royalty, just as the song suggests.