*Updated April 2019*
Auckland is currently the place we call home. We live right in the CBD and take advantage of everything New Zealands biggest city has to offer. Auckland has great beaches, vineyards, close proximity to great North Island destinations and multiple restaurants and cafes.
So here is a list of our favourite things about Auckland;
Our favourite cafes in Auckland
- Between (KRd) – a cool central coffee shop that also does a great brunch
- Postal Service (née Kokako Café) (Grey Lyn) – serving fair trade organic coffee and a great selection of vegetarian brunch options
- Little Bird (Ponsonby and CBD) – an organic vegetarian cafe, serving drip coffee, breakfast bowls and the most intense Green Smoothy in town
- Remedy Coffee (CDB) – a cool little cafe in the heart of town, where there is a great book selection, a good cheap breakfast menu and get $0.50 off your coffee the you bring your keep cup
- Major Sprout(CBD) – the best Açai Bowl ever!
Our favourite restaurants in Auckland
- Orphans Kitchen (Ponsonby) – an upmarket fusion restaurant serving a fresh seasonal menu and a great wine selection. They always have a vegan and/or vegetarian item on the menu
- Burger Fuel (Burger chain found across NZ) – all the products are free range and fresh and leaves Macdonals in the gutter. Also has great vegetarian burgers
- Oh Calcutta (Parnell) – probably our favourite indian restaurant in town, it is a little pricy but there is a cheaper alternative in Sandringham called Paradise.
- 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 and cheap in the heart of the city
Our favourite 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.
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.
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 and 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
Favourite Yoga studios
- Golden Yogi (Takapuna) – Awesome varitey of yoga styles offered
- OM Yoga Studio (Stonefields) – Great classes and one off special events
- Urban Ashram (Ponsonby and Browns Bay) – Good for one off classes – 3 for $30
- Kawai Purapura (Albany) – Home to the New Zealand International Yoga Festival and a nice oasis from the city. Offers lots of workshops
Although a large city Auckland has lots to offer all visitors and locals. There are great cafes and beaches so there is plenty to keep you busy for a weekend or even a week!
For more on New Zealand check out;
- Camping in New Zealand
- What to expect when hiking the Milford Track, New Zealand
- Wedding elopement – New Zealand