As New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland is bursting at the seams with great food, coffee, nightlife, shopping and a colourful culture to keep any visitor or local busy. Discover our favourite places in Auckland.
A passion for great food, coffee, nightlife, and shopping, Auckland is bursting at the seams with the colourful culture that comes from being the country’s most cosmopolitan city.
Once named the country’s capital by early settler William Hobson (the then governor of New Zealand), Auckland now boasts the biggest population of all urban areas. Visitors come from far and wide, with Auckland Airport seeing around one million international travellers a month, while the city is also home to the largest Polynesian population in the world.
The city straddles the Auckland volcanic field and saw quite a bit of action back in the day. The volcanic cone known as One Tree Hill stands as a dominant landmark to remind locals of their once precarious position. Neighbourhoods such as Stonefields sit atop the ancient lava flow, really adding to the mystery of the city.
The abundance of inlets and harbours mean Aucklanders are never far from the sea, and a short ferry ride away are picturesque islands and scenic reserves. Nicknamed the ‘City of Sails’ thanks to the people’s obsession with gliding upon the ocean, it’s been said that nearly one in every three households in Auckland has a boat.
Keep your eyes peeled on Ponsonby Road for famous faces, eat and drink from some of the best hospitality spots the country has to offer, and soak up the special feeling that you won’t get anywhere else of sharing a city with over 1.5million other people.
12 hours Auckland
The best things to see, eat and do in Auckland.
Icing on the cake: Where to find the best sweet treats in Auckland
Without sugarcoating it, Auckland has us well covered when it comes to sweet treats. The city is popping at the seams with culinary wonders, so it should really come as no surprise that sweet tooths can easily embark on a journey of indulgence, tantalising even the most discerning of taste buds. Whether it be to neighbourhoods with quaint corner bakeries or to institutions with queues a mile long, sweet enthusiasts won’t have to search too hard for their perfect piece of sugar-coated paradise.
Neat in the Neighbourhood: Grey Lynn
Said to be home to Auckland’s ‘free thinkers’, Grey Lynn prides itself on being a neighbourhood with charm and a different way of doing things. Houses in the district were mostly built in the 1880s, and low rent in the 1950s attracted many immigrant workers who quickly made this neighbourhood home. Now, having undergone a similar renewal to Ponsonby, Grey Lynn has become a much sought after place where locals live close to neighbourhood shops and within easy reach of Point Chevalier beach.
Dine Al Fresco-Style in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau
One of Auckland’s greatest appeals is its prolonged summers, often sticking around until well after the last of the Easter bunny’s goodies are gone. And even when it starts getting cooler, there’s something invigorating about cosying up with a delicious bowl of food or hot drink, a blanket and an outdoor heater.
Neat in the Neighbourhood: Your Guide to Point Chevalier
Just a stone’s throw from the CBD (well, almost), Point Chevalier is one of central Auckland’s outermost suburbs and a patchwork of family friendly activities, funky eateries and natural attractions.
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Sumer Art Gallery
It’s hard to miss. The building façade is painted in semaphore-like triangles of bright purple and white, located centrally on Beach Road near Britomart.
Roses Dining Room
Roses Dining Room may seem a little unconventional, but they’ve certainly got the recipe right.
Tucked away up a narrow central Auckland staircase lies Culprit, a trendy and sophisticated inner city hideout serving nostalgic New Zealand cuisine with a modern global edge.
An eclectic mix of all things homemade, handcrafted, New Zealand made and vintage.
Maison des Lys
Maison des Lys is an artisan French pâtisserie but with a real point of difference.
What started out as a humble sandwich stall has evolved to become a much-adored, artisanal bakery and cafe that has more than made its mark on Auckland’s Karangahape Road.
Anyone who appreciates the genius behind Auckland’s Pici - an intimate space with a limited offering, is going to love Ooh Fa: the same owners, the same philosophy and...
Forest may be one of Auckland’s only semi-formal vegetarian restaurants, but owner and chef Plabita Florence hopes it is so much more than that.
Very few big city eateries pull the masses all hours of the day, seven days a week, but at much loved Amano, this is simply the reality.
Japanese cuisine comprises a whole lot more than just sushi rolls and tempura, and more fish types than simply salmon and tuna.
Sen Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar
SEN, meaning lotus flower, is an authentic Vietnamese kitchen and bar that has long been a mainstay in Mount Eden.
Located on the waterfront in the city centre, Ebisu also lies at the heart of Japanese cuisine in Auckland.
Azabu has long been considered a mainstay in Auckland's culinary scene, for good reason.
Browns Eatery and Store
Nestled amongst a row of busy shops along Remuera Road lies Browns Eatery and Store. It’s a deceptively big, welcoming space, offering something of a European vibe.
Kepa Road Café
Kepa Road Café is the younger, cooler sibling to Remuera’s popular Browns Eatery and Store.
We all know that Karangahape Road is a melting pot of global cuisines, but until recently Latin-influenced options were notably lacking from the scene.
Tucked away on Queen Street (in the middle of Auckland’s arts precinct) lies Tanuki’s Cave: a not-so-secret, gem of a yakitori bar.
Williams Eatery is one of the stalwart eateries of the centrally located Wynyard Quarter in Auckland.