Rediscovering West Auckland
I’ve lived in West Auckland for over 10 years now and thought I knew the area well. How wrong I was!
Since opening up Sprout West Auckland, a kiwi business helping other small kiwi businesses grow, I have started to really immerse myself in the community, within the companies and amongst the people.
There is still so much to uncover about the ‘Wild West’, but this is what I have learned so far.
There are some real hidden gems out West. You may have to dig under rocks or look behind trees to find them, but once you go looking you’ll find all sorts of amazing, inspiring businesses.
The assumption is that there are mostly retail and industrial businesses out West.
While this might be true on the surface, there are some forward thinking, innovative start-ups emerging out of West Auckland too, ranging across a wide variety of industries from technology to food and beverage. Take for example Grinding Gear Games, who are taking the global world of gaming by storm. Starting out of a garage in New Lynn, West Auckland, they have recently sold for over $100mil.
Café culture is king
The café and restaurant scene is thriving. Again, coming back to hidden gems, I have found some wonderful little eateries and cafés out West. Some of my favourites include The Villa Rose in Hobsonville, The Grounds in Henderson, Blossoms café in Riverhead, Boric and Soljans in Kumeu. The list could go on, but I know café culture isn’t the sole focus of this post!
Passionate, down-to-earth people
The ‘Westies’ are a really down-to-earth bunch. Having worked in the city for over 10 years you get used to the more corporate culture and way of life. However it’s refreshing meeting the business owners, Directors and managers of West Auckland. They are humble, hard-working entrepreneurs who have put in the work to get where they are.
The growth of female leaders in West Auckland is noticeable. The actual numbers may still be light, but there are some incredibly inspiring West Auckland Ladies heading up businesses and organisations. Think Oh Baby magazine, or Chalmers Organics both headed up by women, and there are countless other emerging business being started by ladies.
Watch this space as I predict we will continue to see a whole new generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs coming through in the next decade.
They may have closed a lot of the Waitakere walks to protect the magnificent Kauri from dieback disease, but there are still some beautiful places out West where you can walk amongst nature. The Waitakere Dam, Bethells Beach’s Te Henga Walkway and Piha’s numerous coastal walks are some of my favourites. These are especially useful when I need the kids to burn off some energy!
Fun for the kids
Speaking of kids, West Auckland is an AMAZING place to bring up kids with an abundance of options for keeping them entertained. From Chipmunks to Jump, Whoa Studios to Kiwi Valley Farm and some wonderful playgrounds, beaches and the wild walks I already mentioned. There are some great sports facilities too with bike trails, skate parks and The Trusts Stadium. We also get some world-class musicians and bands coming to play out West, so there’s a lot to keep them entertained!
These are just some of the things I have discovered about West Auckland and reasons why I loved being a ‘Westie’, or ‘upper Westie’ … or ‘north Westie’, whichever you want to refer to us as!
Maybe next time you are looking for something to do over the weekend, get out and get West!
In the meantime, I’m truly inspired to continue to support these beautiful surroundings, innovative businesses and great people through what we do at Sprout.