Skip to main content

DSC_6073 Photo: Clive PigottOn Sunday 15 Feb­ru­ary, an estim­ated 20,000 people will des­cend on Island Bay’s Shor­land Park and the sur­round­ing coastal area. They’ll be there for Day in the Bay, the main event dur­ing the suburb’s annu­al Island Bay Fest­iv­al. Attendees are treated to a full day of food stalls, craft stands, live music, vari­ety shows and group activ­it­ies. It’s the per­fect oppor­tun­ity to soak up some well-deserved sun on the grass or down at the beach.

Once you’re there, why not go swim­ming? If you’re vis­it­ing from the city, chances are you’ll be head­ing up or down The Parade, Island Bay’s main strip. There is a lot going on along this stor­ied road and a trip to the fest­iv­al is the per­fect excuse to make fur­ther discoveries.

DSC_6155 Photo: Clive Pigott


When you’re headed to Shor­land Park, one of the first places that sticks out is Para­dise Sea­foods, at num­ber 67 on The Parade. A delight­ful old Eng­lish-style fish ’n’ chip shop, it spe­cial­ises in bur­gers as big as your head, fresh fish and hearty, chunky fries to match. I stopped off there for a chat, but instead I ended up hav­ing the most filling crumbed chick­en-breast bur­ger I’ve had in my life, and bantered in between fla­vour­some bites with a reg­u­lar nick­named Macca. “It’s the best bur­ger spot in town,” Macca, a house paint­er by day and power­lift­er by night, enthuses. “It’s fresh, reas­on­ably priced and the por­tions are big. Basic­ally, it’s lovely mate. I love the fish, the crab­sticks and the pāua frit­ters. I come here twice a week.”


DSC_6114 Photo: Clive Pigott

It’s not about profit, it’s about involve­ment in the com­munity.” — Fran Dys­art, The White Room Gallery

Fur­ther on down the line, when you hit the Island Bay Shop­ping Centre, The White Room Gal­lery at 147 The Parade stands out — a ver­it­able treas­ure trove of afford­able, hand-made items for gifts and home. They stock beau­ti­ful sta­tion­ery, organ­ic tex­tiles, items made from wood, wool, clay, stone, leath­er, flax and met­al. The White Room Gal­lery also dis­play, pro­mote and sell works by loc­al visu­al artists along­side the gift sec­tion. “For me, it’s not about profit, it’s about involve­ment in the com­munity,” own­er Fran Dys­art explains. “We’re an advoc­ate for loc­al cre­ativ­ity. We have a fant­ast­ic loc­a­tion and the com­munity have embraced us. It’s a win–win.”

Kor­uHub, which homes Koru Health and Well­being, has just moved to 118 The Parade. It has three health prac­ti­tion­er rooms and is fron­ted by a gift shop which sells essen­tial oils, nat­ur­al NZ skin­care products, as well as the work of loc­al artists.  The health mod­al­it­ies prac­ticed there, include: aro­ma­ther­apy, deep tis­sue and preg­nancy  mas­sage; coun­selling; reflex­o­logy; ayurved­ic medi­cine; reiki, eso­get­ic col­our punc­ture and shi­atsu. “We are often described as a haven, a sanc­tu­ary — a place to revive the senses,” says Alex Rodrig­uez who helps run the centre as well as prac­tising reflex­o­logy, mas­sage and Reiki. “People love that we’re loc­al and work­ing to sup­port the health and fab­ric of our community.”


DSC_6102-Edit Photo: Clive Pigott            Sev­er­al doors fur­ther south, you’ll find a delight­ful fam­ily-friendly pub called Brew’d. They spe­cial­ise in qual­ity beers, bur­gers and piz­zas, as well as fam­ily nights and com­munity fun­draisers. It’s the per­fect sub­urb­an com­bin­a­tion of some­where to eat, drink and soclaise with friends. With an open, friendly feel and even friend­li­er staff, it’s hard to ima­gine not feel­ing wel­come there. As the man­ager Helena Gill enthuses, “We opened with the per­cep­tion that we’d be a pub, but I think we sur­prised people with the qual­ity and vari­ety of our food. People come in for food; every­one loves our bur­gers and pizzas.”

Open from 3pm to 11pm from Monday to Thursday, and for brunch from Fri­day to Sunday, Brew’d also hosts quiz nights and numer­ous oth­er fun­drais­ing events for the com­munity and its loc­als. The place is pretty swell.


DSC_6047 Photo: Clive PigottJust around the corner at 6 Med­way Street sits Island Bay New World, run for the last 16 months by third-gen­er­a­tion gro­cer Aman­da Elli­ot. It’s a col­our­ful and vibrant super­mar­ket, the sort where you don’t feel the need to rush in and out. If you’re a loc­al, chances are you’ll end up trad­ing stor­ies with a friend or two dur­ing your shop. “His­tor­ic­ally speak­ing, the gro­cery store was the heart of the com­munity,” Aman­da says. “Today we still are, but in a lar­ger premise. It’s really cool to have this role in the com­munity.” Heav­ily involved, Island Bay New World sup­ports and helps loc­al play­groups, kinder­gartens, schools and com­munity groups where they can. They also spe­cial­ise in glu­ten-free, dairy-free and loc­ally made pro­duce, as well as craft beers.




Head down to 296 The Parade and you’ll arrive at Illu­sions Beauty Sanc­tu­ary. A one-stop beauty ther­apy centre for men and women, Illu­sions offers a com­pre­hens­ive range of ser­vices delivered with _DSC2734-Edit Photo: Clive Pigotta per­son­al touch and pas­sion. “We like our cli­ents to think of Illu­sions Beauty as their little relax­ing space,” explains own­er Tina King. “Our wish is for cli­ents to feel as if they are escap­ing their busy lives for a moment to rest, be pampered and leave feel­ing restored. It’s a per­son­al­ised exper­i­ence that is all about them.” Illu­sions’ ser­vices include facials, mas­sage and body treat­ments, wax­ing, elec­tro­lys­is, man­i­cures and ped­i­cures, tints, eyes, makeup and more. “I love own­ing a busi­ness and liv­ing in Island Bay,” Tina con­tin­ues. “It’s a fant­ast­ic com­munity to be part of. People are so friendly and giving.”

If you haven’t spent time there already, why not spend a week­end after­noon in Island Bay and dis­cov­er the sub­urb for your­self? Day in the Bay would be a splen­did jump­ing-off point, but if you’re look­ing for a reas­on to vis­it, why wait?