Flight Centre Travel Expert Greer Gardiner takes to the skies yet again as part of the 48 Hour Destination TV series. This time, she’s in Auckland to discover what the waterfront city has to offer in 48 hours. Here’s her action-packed itinerary.
5pm The Langham hotel
Greer meets up with Flight Centre consultant Danielle Rutherford, who is based in Auckland. The two are chauffeured to their city hotel, The Langham. After a quick tour of the hotel offerings, as well as admiring the views of the skyline from their balcony, it’s time to head out and enjoy Greer’s first Auckland experience: a sunset tour.
8pm Bularangi Motorbike Harley sunset tour
…But it’s not just any sunset tour. Danielle introduces Greer to Baz and Pete who run Bularangi Motorbike Harley tours. Helmets on, the girls hop on the back of the motorbikes and speed off on a city tour. They stop at Bastion Point and check out the views of the North Shore and Rangitoto Island in the distance, before ending their experience at One Tree Hill. There’s undoubtedly no better place in Auckland to enjoy the vibrant colours of the sinking sun than at the summit of this lush volcanic peak.
9pm The Golden Dawn Tavern of Power
Feeling peckish, Danielle and Greer head to The Golden Dawn Tavern of Power, a covert bar on the corner of Ponsonby and Richmond roads. This clandestine haunt is a favourite among locals seeking a cosy corner to while away an evening. Light, contemporary bites accompany an extensive bar menu of innovative beers, wines and cocktails, and the group samples a tasty selection of treats.
7am Auckland Seaplanes
Danielle’s taxi pulls up to The Langham Hotel and Greer jumps in, eager for the first adventure of the day. Danielle and Greer are off to Auckland Wharf to board an Auckland Seaplanes tour led by the owner, Chris. The seaplane takes off over the city, and Chris points out notable landmarks below, including Rangitoto Volcano. The plane eventually lands right on the beach at Waiheke Island.
8:30am Waiheke Island
With no time to waste, Danielle and Greer take flight yet again, this time, with the wind rushing through their hair while skimming in the treetops. EcoZip Adventures on Waiheke Island offers zip-line fun for all ages, and Greer and Danielle discover the thrill of flying over the lush landscapes of Waiheke Island.
12pm Mudbrick Vineyard
And now, for the most anticipated part of the day: lunch! Greer and Danielle make their way to what is arguably Waiheke Island’s most talked-about destination, Mudbrick Vineyard. They meet cellar door manager Bob and take a tour of the vines before enjoying a tasting of Mudbrick’s finest drops in the barrel room. Later, they sit down to a beautiful local lunch at Mudbrick Restaurant while enjoying the panoramic views that extend all the way to Auckland city from the vineyard.
4pm Cruise to Garden Grove
They’re back on the mainland but not for long, as Greer and Danielle meet Steve, the owner and operator of Luxury Cruising NZ, at the waterfront. Steve is taking the girls on a yacht trip out to Garden Grove, and they spend the rest of their day enjoying watersports right off the back of the boat. Steve prepares a barbecue for them to enjoy, and they sail off into the sunset.
9am Auckland city walk
Greer and Danielle spend the morning pounding the pavement of Auckland CBD. They stroll the cosmopolitan heart of the city, with a visit to foodie hotspot Elliot Stables, and stop off for a hearty brunch.
10am Milse Restaurant
They head towards Britomart, Auckland’s hip waterfront enclave dotted with flagship fashion stores and restaurants – including the city’s only dessert restaurant, Milse. Andrew, the owner, greets Greer and Danielle and takes them on a tour of the cosy restaurant and busy kitchen.
They take a seat and a flurry of colourful desserts is brought out for them to try – yum! You can opt to while away an afternoon or evening with a multi-course dessert degustation, or try takeaway treats such as macarons and stick gelato on the run. For sweet tooths, a visit to Milse Restaurant is a must.
Greer and Danielle excitedly make their way to the Sky Tower, Auckland’s iconic tower standing an incredible 328 metres high. Greer can hardly contain her excitement (she loves heights) as they exit at level 60 and onto the Sky Deck. The view is incredible, and down below they point out a number of landmarks they visited on their adventures and reflect on what an incredible few days it’s been.
5pm SkyTower Base Jump
The fun isn’t over just yet as Danielle has one (technically two) more experiences in store for Greer. The girls don jumpsuits and safety harnesses and are led out onto the SkyWalk Edge. There are no ledges, no handrails, just incredible panoramic views of Auckland in front of them.
Greer is then interrupted and led away by a base jump guide – her Auckland adventure ends with a truly heart-racing leap off the Sky Tower! On the count of three, Greer takes the 192-metre dive. The Go-Pro footage says it all!