The buzz around New Zealand’s largest city isn’t for no reason – Auckland is now on everyone’s must-see list. From the chic streets of the Britomart precinct to the wine haze of beautiful Waiheke Island, Auckland provides one of the world's truly surprising travel experiences. Once you’ve had a taste of this vibrant, cosmopolitan city, you’ll be wondering why you never stopped over before. With a variety of art, culture and food, this city has been a trailblazer for generations. But now, Auckland invites you in. And you’ll never want to leave!
8am – Like pavlova and Anzac biscuits, the origins of the flat white lie somewhere in the Tasman Sea. Aucklanders rebuke the claims Sydney and Melbourne have on this crafted coffee, and their commitment can be seen in the abundance of good coffee. It’d be a crime not to sample it, so head to Espresso Workshop in Britomart. This is Kiwi coffee at its finest.
10am – Now that you have the great gift of caffeine energy on your side, it’s time for a stroll. Head along the waterfront to the Wynyard Quarter, which is home to the contemporary Silo Park. Once a part of Ports of Auckland, original silos are dotted around the park with some used for art or screens for outdoor movies. There are children’s playgrounds, a fresh sea breeze and stunning views of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Midday – Peckish? Well, you’re in the right place. Wynyard Quarter is home to the recently refurbished Auckland Fish Market, which offers a variety of seafood options in a cool, casual setting. Housed in a charming heritage building, it comes with a lunch-time buzz and the chance to have freshly shucked local oysters with a glass of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. Bliss!
2pm – The Auckland Art Gallery is revered around the world for its great collection and award-winning architecture. The impressive heritage building dates back to the late 1800s, but it’s the contemporary extension that won Building of the Year at the 2013 World Architecture Festival. The exhibitions are equally impressive, representing a variety of local and international artists.
5pm – Not only is Vulcan Lane a charming pedestrian laneway with shops, bars and restaurants spilling onto the street, but it’s also home to Auckland institution The Occidental Belgian Beer Café. This is the perfect place to nibble on fresh Kiwi mussels as you enjoy a beer in this charming heritage building.
8pm – It’s time to eat! Auckland’s restaurant scene has an energy of its own, and the epicentre of that energy is in Britomart. From tasty Italian at Amano to modern Japanese at Ebisu, chic Vietnamese at Café Hanoi to lively Mexican at Mexico, Britomart has every flavour to suit any taste.
10pm – Fancy a nightcap? Head to the Viaduct Harbour. Only steps away from Britomart, this is one of the go-to areas for lively fun. As you approach the waterside precinct, you will hear the chatter of the numerous watering holes, all full of music, drinks and celebratory cheer. Dr. Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co. is a crowd pleaser, merging a microbrewery with stunning harbour views.
10am – After a relaxing sleep, head to Britomart’s La Cigale Markets, which run every Saturday from 8am – 1pm and specialise in all things French. From cheese to pastry to live music, this is the perfect way to start your day.
Midday – Now it’s time to explore Ponsonby, one of Auckland’s most charming inner-city suburbs. Start at Ponsonby Central, a bustling indoor-outdoor market that offers various small restaurants with shared dining space, as well as an artisan food market and a variety of shops. Wander Ponsonby Road to discover upmarket boutiques and trendy eateries. Be sure to take a peek at the side streets – they’re full of expertly renovated colonial villas.
2pm – Get ready to unearth some history, as the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Auckland Domain is full of an array of artefacts from a variety of eras. Get some insight into local culture and enjoy regular interactive exhibitions for the kids. Be sure to wander the beautiful domain and explore the floral wonders of the Wintergarden.
6pm – Home to Auckland counterculture, Karangahape Road (or K’Rd to locals) has most recently become a hub of owner-operated restaurants. Start at perennial favourite Coco’s Cantina for the world’s best polenta chips. Next, move on for a sweet treat at traditional Indian confectionary shop Mithaiwala. Finish off with some modern Lebanese at Gemmayze Street in the picturesque St. Kevin’s Arcade. Bon appetite!
10pm – A trip to K’Rd means one thing - music. See what’s on at one of the street’s many live music and DJ venues, including Anthology Lounge, Whammy Bar, Backbeat, The Wine Cellar, Neck of the Woods, Studio Venue and Galatos. If you’re after something different, Bamboo Tiger offers jazz piano karaoke and Caluzzi Drag Cabaret provides a lively show over dinner.