News | 23 June 2023
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Friday Five: Explore Island Bay

Loved by locals, this beach-side suburb has it all – a gorgeous sandy beach looking out at Taputeranga Island, a popular park overlooking the water, a range of tasty eateries and much more.

We’ve put together five things you can do to explore the area.

Panorama shot of Island Bay beach.

1. Explore the waters at Island bay beach

Known for its sandy beach, this spot is a popular destination for those wanting a dip in the ocean.

People can either swim up to Taputeranga Island, or divers and snorkellers can follow offshore reefs on a marked dive trail around the marine reserve to see a variety of wildlife. 

2. Take a tasty tour through some eateries

Feeling peckish? Luckily Island Bay has some great eateries on the parade that you can get stuck into. Why not check out the likes of Betsy, the local favourite Patrisha's Original Pie Shop, the Blue Belle Cafe or the new kid on the block, cafe Cou Cou. 

There’s also delicious fish and chips shops closer to the beach and the Grocer's Shed across from Shorland Park if you feel like an icecream! 

Kids playing on a playground.

3. Make the most of Shorland Park

Just a stones throw away from the beach is Shorland Park, which is jam-packed with great features including a playground for all ages, a basketball half court, picnic tables, electric BBQs and the War Memorial Band Rotunda. There’s plenty to do for you and the whānau! 

 Shorland Park is also the start / finish points for the City to Sea Walkway, which, if you have the energy, will lead you back to the city centre (5-hour walk).

4. Relax at the boutique cinema

On the corner of The Parade and Mersey Street is Empire Cinema & Eatery, which has been a part of the community since the 1920s. It now has three boutique cinemas and a café, and shows mainstream movies, alongside family and art-house titles. 

It’s the perfect place to unwind! 

5. Tour the suburb by bike or on foot

Plans are in place to rejuvenate Island Bay Village, with more space for outdoor seats and tables, better lighting, garden areas and prioritised pedestrian access.

With bike lanes connecting from the beach down to the shops, it’s the perfect spot to explore on two wheels. There’s heaps of bike parking available in the shopping area, so make sure to stop off and explore the local boutiques and cafes!