Before hitting the road Auckland was our home. We loved it here. Auckland has so much to offer from 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
- Imperial lane (CBD), a cool central coffee shop that also does a great brunch and happy hour;
- Kokako (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;
- Ceremony (Grafton), location just by Auckland Hospital this new coffee house serves excellent drip coffee and they make a perfect flat white.
Our favourite restaurants in Auckland
- Depot (CDB) a small rustic Italian restaurant, that does great coffee and a mean breakfast sandwich, breakfast is cheap but dinner can be expensive;
- Orphans Kitchen (Ponsonby) an upmarket fusion restaurant serving homemade pasta, venison and a great wine selection;
- Burger Fuel (Burger chain found across NZ), all the products are free range and fresh and leaves Macdonals in the gutter;
- 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;
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.
- Bethells beach (West Coast), a rugged notorious black sand surf beach and only 45min from downtown. You can also visit its more famous neighbour Piha.
- 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 Volcanos
- 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.
We really loved it here and hope you enjoy it as much as we did.