Billed as the largest Polynesian markets in the world, Otara is an experience like no other.
Every Saturday morning, Auckland's South Pacific and Polynesian community gather in the carpark of the Otara Shopping Centre.
It's really busy with crowds of people eating, drinking and shopping; and the first time we went, so many months ago, the kids had a meltdown. H. doesn't do crowds very well, and C. was cranky because he'd been naughty in the car, so we didn't give him any spending money!
These days, Miss Six is more comfortable with crowds, and they'd both been good so they had money burning holes in their pockets. That meant we spent a pleasant few hours browsing, and taking in the colour.
We picked up some great gear for the kids, including a gorgeous suede jacket for H. for just NZ$15. She looks very cute in it. C. got a warm Ben Ten top - NZ$10. Husband picked up a fab DJ-mixed CD ($10), and even I treated myself to a T-shirt ($5).
There were bargains everywhere we looked! C. had his first taste of bargaining - he got a $3 Ben Ten toy for $2.50, much to his delight.
The food options are among the reasons Otara is so much fun. There are takeaway hangis - Kiwi pork, sweet potato, potato, mussels and other treats for $12. (None of us could come at that at 9 in the morning though!)
Other foods include roast duck, Chinese pork buns, noodles, hot dogs on a stick (like our Dagwood dogs but with a pork sausage inside), whitebait fritters, souvlaki, Maori fried bread, and Puha and brisket (Puhu is a green, a little like watercress).
There are a treasure trove of items on sale - Maori bone and jade carvings, jewellery, lavalavas (like sarongs, worn by men), handwoven baskets and hats, funky T-shirts, fashion contact lenses, and even headstones!
Husband and I stocked up on fresh fruit, vegies and tofu, all at bargain prices. I couldn't even identify some of the products on offer!
The kids favourite purchase - some Polynesian rhthym sticks. C. has already had fun learning new tricks!
Having fun spending her own money
Gorgeous fabrics for sale
C. with his rhthym sticks!
Down they go...