Follow us as we unearth Auckland’s best!
Planning a visit to the cosmopolitan streets of Auckland? After visiting the amazing Art Gallery and taking in the view from the iconic Sky Tower, leave the tourist teasers behind and explore the city’s secret spots, the hidden places that make the city so beloved by locals.
Celebrating New Zealand’s past as well as its present, Queenie’s Lunch Room serves up delicious food and coffee with a side of nostalgia. Open 7 days, Queenie’s serves breakfast and lunch at moderate prices on Spring Street in Auckland City. Coffee connoisseurs should indulge their caffeine fix at Revel Cafe, Karangahape Road, Auckland.
Take away lunch or dinner and enjoy one of Auckland’s 1400 parks. The food truck revolution has hit Auckland in a big way but for fresh flavoured organic food that packs a woody punch, head to DragonFired at Little Onerea Beach, Waiheke Island. Offering a range of organic, woodfired foods from pizzas to pitas to polenta plates, DragonFired pleases the palates of locals and tourists alike.
If fine dining’s more your forte, book a table at SidArt Restaurant in Ponsonby. The culinary brainchild of owner/chef Sid Sahrawat, SidArt combines New Zealand’s premier produce with Sahrawat’s signature innovative flair. Join the team for a Tuesday Test Kitchen; the team use Tuesday’s to test out new concepts and recipes – on you! Bookings are $80pp and the menu is set, although some dietary requirements can be catered for if booked in advance.
From dens to dives, Auckland boasts an eclectic mix of destinations to meet and mingle. For an intimate, friendly affair, try Mo’s on the corner of Wolfe & Federal Streets in Auckland Central. It’s you’re quintessential lounge bar – mix one part cocktail, one part fine cigar and one part after work smooze and you’ve got the recipe for a great night at Mo’s.
Looking for some live music with your refreshing beverage? Check out Atticus, one of Auckland’s best live music venues.
Another not so hidden, not so small secret is the Britomart Country Club, a beautiful large garden bar; balance a cleansing ale in one hand with playing pétanque with the other. Or enjoy a round of putting on the private green. The waitstaff, attired in vintage sports outfits, give the Britomart Country Club a hint of yesteryear but the modern marble slab and shipping container bar fix you firmly in Auckland’s buzzing present.
If you’re craving some quintessentially quirky wares, whip over to Skylark Boutique at the entrance of Canterbury Arcade or Aunty Mavis, home of all things retro, at St Kevin’s Arcade. You’ll find handbag heaven at Tiny Space, also in St Kevin’s Arcade. Take yourself (and your credit card) to Tatty’s in Ponsonby – a recycled clothing mecca for any budget conscious fashionista.
Head away Auckland’s popular and crowded Takapuna or Milford beaches and you’ll find Thorne Bay, a secluded stretch of white sand and crystal clear water that’s popular with locals (and their dogs!). Thorne Bay is a bit off the beaten track, with no nearby car parks or boat ramps, so access is limited to those willing to do a little exercise; your energies will be well rewarded by the calm, protected waters and a quiet stretch of soft, pale sand – perfect for walking barefoot and squeezing between your toes.
Looking for a place to rest after all the sightseeing, shopping and indulging? Book a bed at The Hotel Romantic. Don’t let the name alarm you – it’s actually Auckland’s premier luxury boutique hotel, complete with spacious suits and clawfoot baths to soak away all the aches and pains of the road weary traveller. If the clawfoot bath is breaking your budget, stay at the cheap and cheerful Quadrant Hotel in the city centre.
With so many beaches, bays, bars and boutiques to visit, check out Europcar’s car rental deals and take the hassle out of getting from one side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the other. Explore, uncover and enjoy Auckland!