Aotearoa's Underground Haunts, Rooftops and The In-betweens

A view of the Pink Lady building looking up from the ground.

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.

Rooftops

Pink Lady - Christchurch

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Level 7/159 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. 

Mockingbird - Wellington

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8 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington

Vegan ‘junk food’ is on the menu at this burger and beer rooftop joint on Courtenay Place. With colourful decor, five Sangria flavours and 13 beers on tap, you won’t have any problem finding a drink to wash down your burger with.

Underground Haunts

Austin Club - Christchurch

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Basement Bar 236 High 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

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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. 

In-betweens

Hawthorn Lounge - Wellington

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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

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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.