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Worth a flavour-filled detour
Driven by immigration and intra-country migration, Auckland’s 2013 population of 1.5 million has increased by 26% since 2000 – and the tastiest way to explore the city’s cosmopolitan mix of cultures is at the night markets popping up in the suburbs. Year round from Thursday to Sunday, more than 80 international food stalls transform car parks and shopping centres around Auckland into bustling mini-versions of Bangkok or Budapest. Definitely arrive hungry and pack a culinary sense of curiosity to try dishes including langos (Hungarian-style pizza) and Laotian-influenced Isaan fermented sausage. Check the Auckland Night Market website for each night’s different locations.

For a more relaxed experience, get an early start and drive 100km north from Auckland to Matakana village’s Saturday morning farmers market. With more than 35 regular stallholders, the laidback riverside market is a great place to grab an alfresco breakfast. On offer are plump mussel fritters, whitebait fritters and smoked salmon, and tasty drinks from local artisans include craft cider from the Zeffer Brewing Co and small-batch slow-roasted coffee from Matakana Coffee Roasters. If you are visiting in summer, continue to the sweeping sandy arc of Pakiri Beach for swimming, surfing or horse riding.

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