Friday, October 7, 2011

Hobsonville Farmers Market

A few Sundays ago we decided to head to Hobsonville point in Auckland to check out the farmers market. It was a bit of a drizzly day but with nothing else planned and a busy 3 year old, we had to get out. I had been to the area before doing a 10km fun run (Runway challenge) and knew the area but had never been to the market. 

History of the area

In 1924 Hobsonville was chosen by the government as a site for both land and sea based aviation. The Landing, a key feature of the site, was constructed in 1928 by hand and horse-drawn scoops. An access road, slipway and jetty were constructed in 1929.
By the 1930s, the land airstrip was too short for larger planes and Hobsonville eventually became a repair and equipment facility. The base has also since that time provided housing and support facilities for the nearby Whenuapai airbase.
In 2001 the NZ Defence Force began the gradual relocation of its operations from Hobsonville.
(Taken from
Now, Hobsonville Point is fast becoming a purpose built housing development area for mid to high priced houses equipped with a cafe, playground, coastal track and of course the farmers market. The houses are compact, mostly two story and with minimum outdoor lawn/garden. This seems to be the way of living in New Zealand now, gone are the days of a quarter acre section, gone too are the days of having the time to tend to the garden and lawn. Saying this if I lived in Hobsonville I wouldn't mind as there is lots of space and flora extremely close by...

An overcast day but perfect to blow away the cobwebs
What a bonus, the market was undercover, even better it was in a large enclosed barn like building. When we arrived we could smell crispy mussel fritters simmering away and a waft of strong roasted coffee. Perfect!
The set up of the stalls is around the perimeter and a few rows in the middle. There was lots of space to walk around, even with buggies, kids and scooters. Dogs had to camp outside!
This beautiful dog was guarding the entrance but secretly dreaming of what was inside...
I actually expected the market to be full of fruit, vegetables and herbs but discovered that yes there were a couple of stalls, most of the market was delicious foodie creations. There was fish, meats, sausages, jams, chutneys, baked goods, flowers, sushi, homemade lemonade, coffee, cheese, pies, langos (Hungarian bread puffs with toppings), olive oil, flavoured salt, fritters and even curry made on the premises. 
What a welcome!
We started the day with coffee and a donut for Jake, not the best breakfast for him but when you have a 3 year old that isn't a great eater in the mornings, you settle for almost anything. Lewis whipped back in to buy a mussel fritter whilst I supervised the sugary and jammy mess about to happen...
Finger lickin good - I got to finish it! 
Looking around the markets with a 3 year old is hard work, we were forever avoiding collisions with others and had to have eagle eyes to avoid disaster so I suggested Lewis took Jake to the playground while I meandered around getting a few pics. Ahhhh Perfect solution! 

Photographing when there are lots of unknown people around can be challenging! I didn't want to be intrusive and was very aware of peoples privacy BUT was desperate to get my lens in to all the delicious food. I was using our NEW 100mm Canon Macro lens so looked the part although was pretty green using it! It made the camera heavier and the focusing a bit tricky when not using a tripod so the first few frames were a disappointment. The lighting was also a challenge because shooting at 100ISO/ASA and a low aperture created blur! I cranked up the ASA/ISO to 400 and played around till I got it right or at least until I was happy. 
A perfect breakfast finished off with a takeaway coffee
You cant go past coffee at farmers markets and just recently preggers, I have been on the decaf with the odd regular coffee. In fact once I got over the initial detox few days (Oh the headaches) I didn't crave coffee like I used to. I still love the idea of sitting in a cafe, car or walking around a market with my steamy takeaway cup of aromatic coffee. This particular morning I very keen to fulfill the pre-pregnancy coffee addiction. There were a couple of places selling great coffee as well as the cafe Catalina, across the way. The thing that excited me the most however was the sign that said "Coffee Sacks $3". Not really having a use for them, I bought 2 and gave one to Ingrid. maybe one day they will feature in one of our blog posts or like the sign also said "A great mat for your pets". My lucky cat Saoirse (Irish for freedom) 
A perfect present a bag of fresh coffee with a bunch of flowers
Boy did I miss out on the samples!
Pregnancy definitely had its challenges. Walking around the markets and avoiding the samples is just one of them. On offer were all sorts of delicious looking meats and cheeses as well as salmon, dips and chutneys. 
My stomach was rumbling (It does this all the time now) so lunch was a couple of pies. Now Kiwis are precious about their pies - they love the things. I am partial to them and enjoy when I indulge but don't usually seek them out. I bought a Thai chicken for me and a butter chicken for the lads. The Thai chicken was to die for, my only disappointment was I only bought one!     
Unfortunately no pics of the pies, they were too good to stop and shoot!  
So to wrap it all up I recommend the farmers market at Hobsonville Point, its convenient to get to, undercover, spacious and with lots of parking. Take your walking shoes and combine it with the coastal walk or let the hubby look after the kids at the playground and chill out at the market. 


  1. Love this blog, keep up the great work wish you all the best.

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  2. Thanks, its taken a while to get our style and keep up with regular posts (we both work full time with a kid each) BUT finally we have something we are both really proud of and others are actually taking notice and reading it!
    Thanks for your comment...