A love letter to ... Auckland CBD

Tarannum Shaikh in the middle of a busy Queen St pedestrian crossing.

Tarannum Shaikh in the middle of a busy Queen St pedestrian crossing.

I'm a JAFA (Just Another Fun-loving Aucklander) through and through.

So what better place for me to live than right in the heart of the metropolis, Auckland CBD?

You can find all-sorts roaming the streets: businessmen and women, buskers, Hare Rama Hare Krishna followers, students, band members. You name it.

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I've often said a time-lapse of those who walk on Queen Street would be a fascinating watch, just to see the characters that are drawn to the inner city.

There's rarely a dull moment around here: the year kicks off with the Auckland Arts Festival, followed by the International Comedy Festival.

Even the cold weather attracts people from all over to visit the winter wonderland set up in Aotea Square, which includes an ice rink and slide.

A quiet moment to yourself isn't impossible even in the rambunctious district.

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The CBD has a lot of secret cafes, with a personal favourite being Chuffed on High Street, tucked away down a corridor at No. 43.

The Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter and Silo Park are rampant with restaurants and bars, but a peaceful spot by the sparkling waters is easy enough to find.

Upper Queen Street's Grafton Gully cycleway, parallel to the motorway, is great for a quick jog or bike around.

Start near the magnificent three-storey high mural Hine by Owen Dipple and make your way toward Parnell from under the Grafton Bridge, with Rangitoto Island peeking at you from below the 107-year-old structure.

The suburbs may be quaint and breathtaking, but there's nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a busy Auckland afternoon.

Minus the traffic, of course.

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