Xmas In Devonport – Some Speculative Suggestions

Posted by on Dec 20, 2010 | 1 Comment

Devonport is definitely the place to be this week, with the Cadbury Snow Dome in Windsor Reserve from 21st to 24th December, giving all those hankering for a white Christmas an opportunity to step inside and be temporarily transported to a winter wonderland. Unlike our European cousins at the moment however, you will be able to step back out into the warmth of a Kiwi summer afterwards. The snow machine will be working full time to generate enough raw material for the most ardent of snowman builders and snowball fighters.

During the rainy weather, don’t forget to get down to the Vic and see some of the excellent films on offer.  Speculady recently saw ‘Matariki’, a gritty but heart-warming slice of NZ life featuring some on NZ’s favourite actors and some impressive new talent.  See the Vic’s advertisement for details. Matariki is rated 13 (be warned, lots of swearing) – the 15 year old Speculad definitely enjoyed it.  Not for the faint hearted, but well worth seeing.  Narnia and  Harry Potter are still featuring and the Vic has a good array of specials (2 kids free with 2 paying adults) so check out your local cinema, the Speculator loves it!

The Vic is now extremely well-served with cafes and restaurants,  Didas Tapas Bar having just opened right next door, and Corelli’s Café also now open in the old Zigana café site.  Just round the corner is the Olive Press, a very good quality Mediterranean style bistro serving lunch and dinner.  Speculady took a friend to lunch there last week and was highly impressed with the quality of the food,  the sunny outdoor courtyard and elegant refurbished interior. Give it a try before or after your film!

If your Christmas shopping list still has lots of unticked items on it, Devonport is the ideal place to find all those last minute gifts. We are incredibly blessed with numerous gift shops including the new French-themed Cosi Fan Tutti on Calliope Road near the junction with Victoria Road. If you haven’t checked this out yet, go and have a look – it’s a real Francophile’s dream.  In addition, we have the old favourites; Abigail’s, the Glass House, Riva, Green Planet and Toti, in addition to the newer shops in the Old Post Office, Fitzgerald Taylor and the Haven to name just a couple. Paradox for all the latest literary publications and Nord (was Scenario) for Swedish gifts and Christmas decorations are also well worth a visit.

A particular favourite is the Puzzle Shop on the wharf.  Full of fascinating jigsaws, puzzles and board games, you can try before you buy and waste a happy half hour trying to figure out some of the more complicated-but-simple-looking puzzles on offer.  I could go on at length about all the wonderful Devonport shops (and have been known to!) but I will simply urge you to remember our local retailers when doing your Christmas shopping. Many of us lucky locals can walk down to the village to shop, thus avoiding the need to find a parking space. So forget Lake Road and support your local economy this Christmas.

Food and drink:  Devonportians are unlikely to go hungry or run dry with the plethora of retail outlets for food and wine.  New World, Glengarry, Spooners and the greengrocer have us pretty well covered for everything we might require,  and don’t forget Devonport Chocolates for that all-important antioxidant top-up. If you can’t be bothered to cook this week, there are too many cafes and restaurants to count to keep you fed.  Apart from those already mentioned, all the old favourites are open – Manuka, Monsoon, Sigdi, Mecca and the Patriot, not to mention the newer Platter on King Edward Parade.

If you like your Christmas traditional, then try to get along to one or more of the church services that Devonport has on offer this Christmas. There’s nothing like singing a few carols to get the Christmas spirit going!

Holy Trinity and St Augustine’s Anglican Parish are holding the following Christmas services:

Christmas Eve (Friday 24th)
5.00pm Christingle at Holy Trinity
6.00pm Christingle at St Augustine’s
7.00pm Christingle at Holy Trinity
11.00pm Carols at Holy Trinity
11.30pm Midnight Eucharist at Holy Trinity

Christmas Day (Saturday 25th)
8.00am Choral Eucharist at Holy Trinity
9.30am Family Eucharist at Holy Trinity
10.00am Holy Communion at St Augustine’s

The Methodist Church will be holding a carols by candlelight service on Christmas Eve at 8pm.

Keeping the kids entertained:  once they’ve made as many snowballs as possible in the snow dome, try the Maritime Museum – even if you’ve been there before, there is always more to see.  Cheltenham and Narrow Neck Beach are great stand-bys, even in the rain. Try walking from Cheltenham round to Narrow Neck at low tide on the rocks, grab an ice cream at the newly refurbished Narrow Neck café, and then walk back again. Climb Mount Vic or North Head and take a picnic, visit the beautiful and secluded Mount Cambria with a ball or frisbee, or take the littlies on their bikes – there is a great slope for them to ride down. Go for a late-night walk around Devo and look at all the Christmas lights, or even get the kids to get a few mates together and go carol singing round the houses like we used to.

There will be a fireworks display off Orakei Wharf on Wednesday night 29 December at 9:30pm for a duration of 8 minutes. An exclusion zone of 50 meters will exist around the Orakei Wharf.

Then on New Year’s Eve at midnight, there will be another public firework display from two barges moored in the middle of the Waitemata Harbour west and east of Princes Wharf.  The barges will be anchored at 2300 and the fireworks display will commence at midnight for a duration of 10 minutes.

An exclusion zone of 1000 metres x 500 metres will exist around the barges. All boat owners are warned to navigate with caution during this event and to follow instructions given by Patrol Craft.

So make sure you pack up a picnic, and take the kids down to anywhere along the front from Torpedo Bay to Stanley Bay on those two nights. And don’t drive!

Lastly, don’t forget all the old and lonely folk in our community this Christmas. If you have an elderly neighbour who is alone, invite them in for a mince pie and a cuppa. Smile at people you see often but don’t usually greet, and spread a bit of Christmas cheer and happiness in our little town. We are truly blessed to live in Devonport. Merry Christmas to you all!

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1 comment

  1. Mike says:

    A great round up to compliment a thoroughly community focused service. Many thanks Ed. Job well done (Particularly like the last paragraph)

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