Grandpas Guide to Driving in Takapuna

My grandson just logged out from facebook. I watched him play Farmville and Café World —for more than three hours. Hmm. I'm really wondering why kids these days are really into planting and cooking online when they can grab there trowels and boots and work on their grandparents' gardens or aprons and utensils and try cooking in a real  kitchen —and make “real” people happy. I sound like a party pooper. 
Well, I can't blame them. That's their generation. *chuckling* If we had these technology during my childhood days, I think I'll also be really fond of playing what the kids are playing now.
As my grandson was surfing the net, I saw a particular topic on one of the websites he accidentally opened. And I think I really am getting old because of these countless flashbacks. A suburb dominated by a large volcanic crater. Hmmm. That's it! Takapuna! *laughing*
Takapuna is central, coastal suburb of North Shore City, located in the northern part of the North Island, New Zealand. Geographically, Takapuna is situated at the beginning of a southeast-facing peninsula the forms the northern side of the Waitemata Harbor.
Takapuna has an estimated population of only 2,811. Even though this suburb is very small, it is the center of the North Shore City Council and has extensive shopping and entertainment area thus, making Takapuna the Central Business District of North Shore City. Awesome reputation for a place with a small population right!?
Well, I've been there, rented a car for my private use for the length of my stay, and drove around the area and was not disappointed. I rented a car from this website: At first I thought that renting cars online was totally bogus. But then, I gave it a try and my first impression immediately evaporated. They have the cheapest rental rate but have the best services!
Here are some details about my trip: 
1. Takapuna Beach
Takapuna Beach was wonderful. It's a popular beach where visitors and locals alike, flock to play and picnic.
Good thing that when I went there, the sky was clear. I had a great view of the volcanic island of Rangitoto and other Hauraki Gulf islands.
Takapuna Beach has good parking, a large boat ramp, toilets and a changing block. 
Another catch is that the beach is only a short stroll to cafes, boutiques, and modern shopping centers. There's also a coastal walkway that runs from Takapuna Beach to Milford Beach and  my, the view from the walkway was fantastic.
2. Fort Takapuna
The edifices located on this site offer a rare historic complex having features from all periods of coastal defence in New Zealand. Major Tudor-Boddam, designed twin 6-inch gun fortress, and was built sometime in1886 and 1889.
During that period Russia seemed to be advancing a war against the British Empire. There were 3 forts: Fort Kelburn in Wellington which was destroyed in the 1960's; Central Battery - Ocean Beach Dunedin destroyed in the 1950's; and the one at Bastion point which was turned into a mausoleum dedicated to M. J. Savage.
This place is something really worth seeing than reading its descriptions from brochures.
3. Lake Pupuke
I stopped at Lake Pupuke and took a time off the road. The best access to the place is at the end of Northcote Road, or from Sylvan, Henderson and Killarney Parks.
Lake Pupuke is a place where you can feed ducks and swans! Watch the mono-hull yacht racing, swim, kayak and have picnics —there are definitely a lot of things to do in this place.
Hmm, here's a trivia. Lake Pupuke isn't really a lake. It's a volcano! One of the oldest in Auckland —according to some people, it's up to 150,000 years old. *chuckling* If it doesn't look like a volcano to you then just forget about the height factor and think of it more as an explosion crater.
Home to the North Shore Rowing Club and Takapuna Boating Club, the waters of Lake Pupuke is always humming with activity. The Boating Club has yacht racing every Sunday, year round.  Rowing, dragon boating and windsurfing are common on the lake and are great to watch.  
After the trip to Takapuna, I realized that the population size of an area doesn't determine how visitors will enjoy during their stay.
And about my grandson, I bought him a puppy so that instead of spending too much time playing with the computer and in the end suffering from that too much radiation, he could enjoy the company of a real pet. 
-Grandad Ben