Danijela Unkovich's Auckland

I was born and raised in Auckland. I’m a registered nutritionist by trade, with additional training in culinary arts. My professional background spans community nutrition, nutrition practise and workplace wellbeing.

When I’m not working, I love sharing recipe ideas on my wellbeing platform and creative passion project Nourish and Tempt, encouraging Kiwi's to get cooking in their kitchens. I’m passionate about sharing the joys of good food, particularly anything local, sustainable or mindfully produced. On the weekends you'll find me reading a good book or hanging with my dog.

Smoothie bowl from Bowl and Arrow

Level 1, Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St, Auckland Central

Guaranteed one of the best smoothie bowls to enter your mouth (subjective, but please trust me!). Bowl and Arrow hero simple, fresh and unprocessed ingredients; whizzing together delicious and inventive flavour combinations into nutrient-rich smoothie bowls that are smooth, creamy and oh-so refreshing! They're pretty on the eye too, decorated with granola, fruit, coconut chips and dollops of nut butter. Well worthy of a square on the IG feed #foodporn. I’m usually tempted by their limited-edition bowl of the month. Find them in Westfield New Market, Commercial Bay and Orakei Bay Village.

A smoothie bowl on a table.

Climb Maungawhau-Mount Eden

Mount Eden, Auckland

I like to get the endorphins-pumping early with an AM hike. Maungawhau-Mount Eden is a dormant volcano -  one of more than 50 dotted across the Auckland region - with a majestic bowl-like crater sitting 50m deep at the top.

I love a stroll up the wide road snaking around the mountain (free of cars!). Sometimes I go for a quick, fresh air lung hit by darting up the steep grass. As the highest natural point in Auckland, it gives epic views and perspective of the city. Most convenient access is to take the Summit Road, also known as Puhi Huia Road, from either Mount Eden Road or Clive Road. Great for all physical activity levels!

The view of Auckland central from Mt Eden.

Stretch it out at Sala Studio

Level 1/56 Brown Street, Ponsonby, Auckland

Located in the heart of Ponsonby, Sala is an insanely hip gym and fitness studio delivering a range of classes from yoga to HIIT to pilates. The concrete-grey minimalist design is inspired, and their studio makes me feel way cooler than I actually am when my gangly self is upside down in down-dog.

With more than 30 classes, there is something for everyone, whatever your day looks like. They have super thick and nice complimentary yoga mats so you don’t need to have your own with you.

Photo cred: Blake Dunlop

The Sala Studio space.

Find foodie bliss at Giapo

12 Gore Street, Auckland Central

Ice cream is more than just a dessert at Giapo in Gore Street. It's art. It's a celebration of imagination and passion. But most importantly, it's downright delicious.  Everyone should get a cone here, at least once.

For my foodie plant-based friends in the house, there are always a couple of insanely good vegan options on the menu. One lick will have you scratching your head as to how this sorcery could come about without traditional ice cream ingredients - think coconut cookies and cream or the perfect creamy hazelnut drool. It's typically pretty busy, but don't let the line deter you...wait patiently and you'll transcend into pure foodie bliss come your turn. You're welcome.

Two Giapo ice creams.

Morning tea at Scarecrow

33 Victoria Street East, Auckland Central

Warm and welcoming, tucked away on Victoria Street East off the bustling Queens Street, Scarecrow is part-kitchen, part-grocer, part-florist, and oh so pretty. Scarecrow offers unique and organic products, with a big focus on local and natural.

I love to have my Kokako Organic coffee all nestled amongst the homely cozy flowery decor. Check out the menu for fermented sodas, smoothie galore and wholesome rustic-style food.  The vegan shakshuka is outstanding! There is plenty of room for dietary flexibility, with many vegan and gluten-free options.

People at the counter at Scarecrow.

Shop pre-loved at Tatty's

161 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

I believe being good to the environment is good for wellbeing. Tatty's specialise in recycled designer wardrobe pieces from Kiwi-land and further abroad. Rummaging through their racks on racks on racks, you'll find designer, retro and vintage items for a fraction of their original price. Check them out in Ponsonby or High Street in Auckland's CBD. I’m always chuffed knowing you have saved a piece of clothing from heading to a doomed life in landfill!

Necklaces on a table at Tatty's.

A dose of green at Kelmarna Gardens

12 Hukanui Crescent, Herne Bay, Auckland

Kelmarna Gardens is a city farm and organic community garden, established in 1981 and sitting pretty on 4.5 acres of council land in Ponsonby. As you walk around spy beehives, veg plots, a food forest and, if you're lucky, even a Welsh pony.

They run educational workshops throughout the year, hosting expert facilitators to share their organic garden know-how. Stroll the gardens for fun, or head to their on-site farm shop for fresh, local organic produce. All proceeds from their shop sales fund their work teaching humans about the joys of growing your own food.

Flowers being picked and placed in a basket.

Visit a Farmers’ Market

107 Monument Road, Clevedon, Auckland

For me, farmers’ markets are a perfect fit with a healthy eating ethos. I go for the fresh produce, raw juices, freshly made goodies, smoothies and more. No two farmers markets are the same. I love to bring a wallet full of loose coins and spend the morning wandering between the stalls being enticed by the different aromas and colours. It’s a great way to support locally grown produce and celebrate what's in season. Lucky for you, Auckland is resplendent when it comes to market locations and check out Clevedon, Parnell, Britomart or Grey Lynn to name a few.

Aerial view of trays of dougnuts at Clevedon Market.

Dine at Little Bird Organics

1 Summer Street, Ponsonby, Auckland

One of the holy grail eateries when it comes to healthy cuisine in Auckland, the spectacularly successful Little Bird Unbakery has quickly become one of Auckland’s most established go-to health spots.

What sets the Bird apart is its inventive and innovative approach to raw food that is fresh and inspiring, creative and daring but, most importantly, damn tasty. Utilising only the highest quality, raw and organic ingredients, the chefs at Little Bird have crafted some utterly exquisite dishes across their extensive kitchen menu and sweet treat cabinet, which will totally knock the socks off even the most skeptical of folk.

A waiter walking with plates of food.

Jog the Tāmaki Drive Coastal Path

Tāmaki Drive, Auckland

Starting in the seaside village of St Heliers, down an espresso at one of their hip cafés before hitting the flat shared concrete path with your runners on (utilised by walkers, runners, prams and cyclists alike) along the waterfront.

On your journey, you'll enjoy totally unobstructed and panoramic views of the outstanding Rangitoto, the largest of Auckland Volcanoes, as well as the Hauraki Gulf.

Near the end, you'll emerge in the vibrant and busy Mission Bay. Here, take a swim to cool off at the popular beach, soak up some vitamin D or hang under a shady tree to recover and stretch it out.

Joggers running along Tamaki Drive.