Aotearoa's Underground Haunts, Rooftops and The In-betweens
From rooftop bars to underground haunts and hidden gems in-between, New Zealand has plenty of incredible spots hiding in our cities and towns. They may be a bit hard to find, but the best stuff takes a little effort, right?
With winding streets, underground locations and new high rises in cities that haven’t seen anything past a three-story for years, we’re excited to highlight the different spots of New Zealand that bring a bit of atmosphere to their location. Dive in to find out some of our favourite spaces high and low.
Pink Lady - Christchurch
Level 8/159 Manchester Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
With 360-degree views and California vibes, Pink Lady has become a fast favourite in Christchurch’s CBD. The menu features refreshing and warming cocktails, plus elegant snacks that are perfect for sharing. When it’s too cold to sit outside and enjoy the Christchurch breeze, plenty of tables inside offer a grand view of the Port Hills and the city below.
Ascot - Wellington
2/55 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Located on the corner of Cuba and Ghuznee Streets, The Ascot serves up two things you may not have thought could go together — hot dogs and wine. Their rooftop offers a cosy reprieve from the busy Cuba Street and features twinkle lights that enhance the rustic, urban feel. Come hungry and thirsty - their hot dogs are large and full of toppings, and their wine selection is just as extensive and varied.
Rooftop at QT - Auckland
4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Westhaven, Auckland 1010
With stunning views of Auckland’s harbour and cityscape, the Rooftop at QT is a great spot to take in New Zealand’s largest city. Featuring a Mediterranean-inspired menu, the classy space offers indulgence in food and libations.
Parasol & Swing - Auckland
7/204 Quay St The Viaduct — Auckland
Another spot to enjoy Auckland’s viaduct, Parasol & Swing serves up wines, beers and cocktails. With a vintage tropical theme, there are plenty of interesting cocktails to wet your whistle, with some served in big tiki glasses. When you’re hungry, peruse their selection of burgers, tacos and shared plates, making this a great spot to enjoy with friends.
The Churchill - Auckland
Level 20, 396 Queen St Auckland, New Zealand 1010
Located inside the Four Points by Sheraton, The Churchill is a classy hotel bar that shouldn’t be missed by anyone not staying the night. Alongside panoramic views of Auckland, The Churchill offers up gins and premium cocktails on their rooftop bar, specialising in gins and cocktails inspired by Churchill himself. The opulent space will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another time.
Austin Club - Christchurch
161 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
A password is needed to enter Christchurch’s basement cocktail bar, and once you’re in, you won’t want to leave. With live music almost every night and a prohibition-era vibe inside, the team at Austin Club serves up traditional cocktails from past decades and inspired new creations.
Nivara Lounge - Hamilton
266 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton
A spot place for live music, the Nivara Lounge is the perfect place to escape and enjoy international and national live music alike, complete with a dance floor and funky lights. The space offers craft beers, wines, and snack foods that will keep your feet tapping to the music while you sit and watch all night.
Whammy! Bar and Wine Cellar - Auckland
183 Karangahape Road, Auckland
Located in St Kevin’s Arcade on Karangahape Road, Whammy! is a local institution for live music. It’s funky, fun and a bit grungy, which means you’ll find the best of the best when it comes to live music. With a great crowd and fantastic acts, it’s tough to beat Whammy’s. Even better, they have a more chilled-out venue called the Wine Cellar which hosts acts of all kinds.
Hawthorn Lounge - Wellington
82 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The Hawthorn Lounge is a speakeasy-style, 1920s cocktail lounge in Wellington’s Te Aro. You'll want to settle in for a good night here with dark wood, massive leather chairs, and an extensive liquor list. Taking inspiration from classic cocktails of the past, such as negronis and martinis, you’ll find the bartenders creating something special in each glass and offering delightful service. This spot is tough to find, so be sure to look around the second floor for an unmarked door with jazz music playing behind it — once you find it, you won’t want to leave.
Strawberry Tree - Kaikōura
21 West End, Kaikōura
This special place on Kaikōura’s main drag is a must-stop when visiting the South Island town. Featuring live music in a funky, free-spirited atmosphere, you’ll find ambience and hospitality abound at Strawberry Tree. An Irish bar with a crackling open fire, they take a kiwi twist and serve up some delicious bounty that comes from Kaikōura’s waters. Be sure to check out their events calendar to find a night with some live entertainment.
More Auckland Stories
Yeshe Dawa's Auckland
9 Best Auckland Walks and Where to Treat Yourself After
Walk (then eat) your way around Auckland
Best Urban Wine Experiences in New Zealand
All around New Zealand, we are blessed with incredible wine experiences right in our own urban backyard. No matter your vino preference from a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to a Central Otago Pinot Noir or perhaps an interesting blend from a far away European vineyard, you don’t have to travel far to sample and enjoy a glass or two (responsibly of course!).
Exploring Our Top Picks for Auckland's Best Mexican
When one pictures Mexican food, many different images come to mind. From saucy, stuffed enchiladas to fresh, crispy baja tacos, cheesy quesadillas or the classic guac’ and chips, perhaps accompanied by a chilli margarita and or crunchy, doughy churros to follow; Mexican is one of the international cuisines Kiwis are probably most familiar with. It’s accessible, it’s comforting, and it’s delicious - what’s not to love?
New Zealand’s Top Hotels For Unforgettable Staycations
Forget the stale hotel stereotypes; New Zealand's staycation scene is flourishing with bold character and unrivalled charm.