It’s just across the Tasman, yet many Aussies are still yet to set foot on Auckland soil. Quite a shame if you ask us, because New Zealand’s largest city is filled with things to do, see and taste. In town for a weekend? Here are a bunch of activities to get you started.
Any good city guide ought to start with food, right? Auckland is home to an eclectic mix of eateries, from high-end dining along the waterfront at the Viaduct Harbour, to the quirky food court style set up at at Elliott Stables. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Giapo absolutely needs to be top of your list. Run by Giapo himself and his wife, the ice cream shop serves up wild looking and tasting creations from their central Auckland location. Think crazy creations inspired by Auckland landmarks and flavours you wouldn’t expect to find in an ice cream. Their tagline is ‘art will save the world’ afterall.
2. Go On A Day Trip To Waiheke Island
No trip to Auckland would be complete without venturing to the green rolling hills and vineyard-covered Waiheke Island. Just a 40-minute ferry from downtown Auckland, Waiheke is home to over 30 wineries, myriad restaurants, and boutique accommodation options. There are buses that criss-cross the island making winery-hopping easy for a day amongst the vines, or if you’ve got more time to spare, book a night and stay in paradise a little longer.
3. Bar Hop From The Viaduct To Britomart
Auckland has always had a strong connection to the sea, and the overhaul of the Viaduct Harbour in the 1990s was the catalyst for a city-wide overhaul that has been going ever since. Today the Viaduct Harbour and neighbouring Wynyard Quarter are home to appealing waterfront restaurants, the Auckland fish market, and a sprinkling of cocktail bars. A short walk away in the city’s historical heart, Britomart has also undergone a revolution from industrial warehouses to a retail and nightlife hub. Find speakeasies behind hidden doors, and slick rooftop bars alongside grand pubs in converted storehouses.
After all of the eating and drinking, a dose of fresh air and views are in order. Head to Mount Eden, just south of the city centre. The site of Auckland’s tallest volcano, the crater, now a public park offers walking trails to the summit, and sweeping views across Auckland city and the Hauraki Gulf.
5. Enjoy An Adrenaline Rush
Right in the heart of Auckland is the Sky Tower. While taking a trip to the summit and enjoying views over the city is suitable for anyone, adrenaline-junkies can get a rush on either the Sky Walk, traversing the building on the outside, or Sky Jump, a bungy jump off the side of the tower. Now that’s a unique way to see the city!
6. Get Cultured
Auckland is home to a number of excellent museums and galleries, from a number of independents in the inner city suburbs to the country’s largest art institution, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is also worth a visit, offering an interesting look at New Zealand’s Maori and war history.