Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't hit me with your rhythm sticks...

Today, we decided to revisit one of our early discoveries after moving to Auckland - the Otara markets.
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

Breakfast time...

C. with his rhthym sticks!

Down they go...

And throw!


Honey the Great Dane said...

Hey - we've lived here for years and have never been to the Otara markets! Thanks for sharing your visit - we might pop down and check it out sometime - it sounds like a fantastic event!

By the way, have you been to the Farmer's Market in Matakana? I think that is on once a month on a weekend - if you enjoyed this, you'd probably enjoy that - it's a green, organic, healthy version! And much smaller but lovely atmosphere and great places around to explore. You must take the kids to do the glass-bottom boat trip around Goat Island - you can see this HUGE eagle rays swimming underneath you...very cool!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Forgot to say - I've now added your RSS feed to Honey's list of blog friends so we'll be able to keep up with your updates more easily!