Credit: Tourism New Zealand/Instagram

“We wanted something that represented our clan, just a bunch of ratbags,” recalls Steve Dunstan of his ambition at just 24-years-old to co-found a range of technical outerwear “for ourselves and our friends, who happened to be some of the best skateboarders and snowboarders in the country as well.”

Nineteen years later, and that ambition has blossomed into Huffer, a considered lifestyle offering with five retail stores in his home country of New Zealand and, as of this year, two in Sydney. In occasion of Huffer’s recent arrival in Australia, below Dunstan extends an offer to spend 24 hours in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand – think of it as a kind of cultural exchange. His advice?

“Start the morning early with plenty of coffee at Dizengoff Cafe in Ponsonby, then head 45 minutes west to the dramatic black sands of Piha beach for a surf. Stop at the legendary Piha Store on the way home for one of their famous homemade pies. Return to the CBD for a late lunch at Ostro in Britomart, seated on the deck with panoramic views of the Waitemate Harbour. Catch a ferry across to Waiheke Island and make your way to one of many vineyards for wine and watch the sunset across the city. Ferry back to the CBD for an espresso martini night cap at Ostro and some local DJ’s spinning tunes to the early hours. No rest for the wicked!”

A great way to experience Auckland is Airbnb. There are plenty of Auckland batches or unique homes in interesting communities. This is a good way to get under the skin of Auckland and see an organic side of the city. If you feel like venturing to Waiheke Island in Auckland’s Waitemata harbour, Oyster Inn hosts small boutique rooms with an amazing restaurant looking out to the outer gulf. Hotel De Brett is a boutique spot nestled right in the heart of the CBD with Britomart shopping precinct, Auckland’s art gallery and hospitality at your doorstep.

Cafeteria Allpress on Drake Street is the home of Allpress coffee with an on-site roastery serving fresh coffee made to perfection and a fresh breakfast and lunch offering. There are plenty of Allpress staff about to educate you through some of their special blends or even try some of their filter brews. Coco’s Cantina is situated on Auckland colourful K’rd (Karangahape Road). Sit on the street side and try their famous meatballs while enjoying the service from the team, which operates as one big local family. Barilla Dumpling on Auckland’s famous Dominion Road is a great stop for a cheap and cheerful fast-paced meal while soaking in the action on the street. The Refreshment Room is located in the foothills of the Waitakere’s with outdoor seating that makes you feel you’re nestled in the bush. They specialise in homemade Italian style food made with passion. New to Auckland’s Britomart hot hub is  Amano, a must see for the amazing fit-out and a menu to match.

Downtown Britomart is at the waters edge and is an emerging new shopping hotspot showcasing plenty of New Zealand designers and international fashion, mixed in with some of Auckland’s best hospitality. Ponsonby also offers a unique cluster of boutique fashion, furniture and coffee shops. A great place to bounce from spot to spot and have a coffee along the way.

Bush walks are so diverse and all in relatively close proximity. You can climb Rangitoto, a volcano in the middle of the harbour, or walk through the Waitakere Ranges cutting into the amazing west coast coastline with phenomenal views. Brick Bay Sculpture walk in the Matakana Wine Region is also an amazing place to spend a warm afternoon – The Glass House Kitchen offers all-day dining paired with Brick Bay wines. The drive from Auckland to Tawharanui is also breath-taking.

Tile and cover image: Courtesy of Amano