New Zealand Series: Auckland

*Updated January 2020*

Auckland is the place we call home. We live right in the CBD and love to take advantage of everything New Zealand’s biggest city has to offer. Auckland has great beaches, vineyards, close proximity to fun North Island destinations and excellent restaurants, bars and cafes.

So here is a list of the best places in Auckland

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Waterfront and Viaduct Harbour

The best place to get a coffee

  • Besties (Krd) – You have to try the Snickers Slice
  • Postal Service Cafe (Grey Lynn) – Yum coffee by Kokako
  • Kokako (CBD) – Located in the new Commercial Bay shopping centre, perfect for coffee
  • Red Rabbit (Parnell, New Market & Wynyard Quarter) – The best Salted Carmel cookies in town

Coffee

Somewhere nice to eat 

  • Amano (CBD) – Great Italian food but a little pricy so good for a treat
  • Gemmazye St (Krd) – Traditional Lebanese dishes but make sure to book in advance
  • Soul Bar (Viaduct Harbour) – They have a whole separate vegetarian menu!
  • Oh Calcutta (Parnell) – Excellent Indian food
  • Carmen Jones (Krd) – Lots of great vegetarian options, great location and nice atmosphere

The best place for a cheap eats

  • Burger Fuel (Burger chain found across NZ) – all the products are free range and fresh. They have great vegetarian burgers
  • Paradise  (Sandringham) – Our favorite Indian restaurant
  • That’s Amore Pizza (CBD) – located in the Metropolitan Building. Really great authentic Italian style pizza for a reasonable price
  • Sri Pinang (Krd) – Tasty Malaysian food
  • Ponsonby International Food Court (Ponsonby Road) – A range of quick cheap food available

Best place for a drink

  • Parasol & Swing (Viaduct) – Enjoy the rooftop bar overlooking the water
  • 16 Tun (Wynyard) – Great for craft beer
  • The Churchill (CBD) – Gin with a view and Auckland best rooftop bar (Currently closed due it being located in a Covid quarantine hotel)
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Tasty wine on offer at Omaha Bay Vinyard 

The best beaches

  • Tawharanui beach (North Auckland) – set on a marine reserve and within a regional park, this beautiful beach is not to be missed on a good day. It is about a 1-2hour drive from Auckland CBD. Don’t forget to stop in at Matakana on the way and visit a vinyard or 2
  • The 4 West Coast Beaches (Muriwai, Piha, Karekare, Bethells) – these beaches are rugged and have notorious black sand. Perfect for all season for walking and surfing. These beaches are about 45min from downtown
  • Little Oneroa (Waiheke Island) – crystal clear but cool waters only 35min via ferry from downtown Auckland, it is a perfect place to rest after a few too many wines.
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Karekare Beach
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Piha Beach and the famous Lion Rock

Beach

Best place from Auckland for a weekend away

  • Great Barrier Island – Beautiful beaches, natural hot pools and native forest. Accessible by plane or boat from downtown Auckland. The summer season offers a fast boat (1 hour 45min), a 30min flight or the slow ferry (4hours);
  • Waiheke Island – Wine, wine and wine and beautiful beaches and boutique shopping and only a 35min boat ride from downtown;
  • Bay of Islands – Beaches, wine and islands of course, a 3-4 hour drive north of Auckland.
  • The Coromandel – Access some of New Zealand most beautiful beaches (Cathedral Cove and Hot Water beach) and only a 2-3 hour drive from Auckland
  • Whangārei Heads – 3hrs away to lovely beaches and hikes
Great Barrier Island. Just a few hours via boat from Auckland
Great Barrier Island. Just a few hours via boat from Auckland

View 2

The best parks and volcanoes to climb

  • Mt Eden – Auckland’s most famous and easily accessible volcano, it is close to the city and offers great views across both harbours, also check out Mt Eden village for a coffee
  • Auckland Domain – Large park close to downtown which also hosts the Auckland Museum and offers beautiful views of the Hauraki Gulf
  • One Tree Hill/Cornwall Park – short bus ride from downtown, this popular park is a perfect place to relax, take a walk up an old volcano and experience beautiful views of Auckland
  • Hunua and Waitakere rangers – Some of the best walking tracks in the city and a great place to leave the bustle of the city and head into some beautiful native forest

Forest

Great Yoga studios

  • Studio Red (CBD) – Awesome teaches in a great location
  • Golden Yogi (Takapuna) – Awesome variety of yoga styles offered
  • OM Yoga Studio (Stonefields) – Great classes and one off special events
  • Urban Ashram (Ponsonby) – Good for one off classes – 3 for $30 into offer
  • Kawai Purapura (Albany) – Home to the New Zealand International Yoga Festival and a nice oasis from the city. Offers lots of workshops
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The view of the city from Mt Eden

Summary

Auckland has so much to offer international visitors and locals. There are great cafes and beaches so there is plenty to keep yourself busy. It is somewhere that you learn to love very quickly

For more on New Zealand check out;

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3 Comments

  1. Great post and incredible pictures. Hope to seeing some of them myself one day. My friend lived in Perth for a couple of years and said I definitely have to visit one day. It is on our list 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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