Gazing out across the dewey mountain vista, calm tides and late sun frame the view. Only the faint shuffling of passersby, or clinking cafe cups interrupt the mood. As Rangi (the heavens) bows to kiss the trees, everything else melts away in between, and just flittering fantails have access to the air above.
Standing atop Lopdell House – worries whisking into the breeze – it’s easy to see how this art deco inspired building gained the nickname ‘Castle on the Fringe of Heaven‘.
Built around 1930, Lopdell House has long been the beating heart of Titirangi Village, but has played various roles to its chic current character – originally entertaining guests with tea rooms and a rooftop terrace under the guise Hotel Titirangi.
Jiggling and jamming into the old school elevator may have transported you to those early days, but look behind you – luring you back to earth swirls a spiralling tower stair case.
Nowadays gliding down around the bannister leads you past public upper level exhibitions, all the way to the basement cinema. As a child, painting, pottery and a plethora of other art classes was a favourite after school activity here.
Truly transcending the future though is Te Uru – Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, chilling in a sea foam cube just next door. It’s the classic match made in heaven, separated by generations.
Ascending to Titirangi’s ethereal elevation is even more magical in the winter mist.
In 25 minutes by car or about an hour by bus from the Auckland city, you can be breathing in the trees and waltzing between cafes in this quaint yet creative corner of Auckland – but don’t stop here. Titirangi is also the gateway to many of Auckland’s famous West Coast beaches such as Piha and Karekare, plus the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.