Play, Dine and Stay: Guide to Auckland

New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city, a rhythm of culture, food and nature, Auckland, or Tāmaki Makaurau, is known as the City of Sails. Perched on the Waitematā Harbour, it has more boats than anywhere else in the world. It is also one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities and is the largest Polynesian city in the world. Discover Auckland’s vibrant scene with this comprehensive guide to the best places to play, stay and dine.

Unmissable Experiences in Auckland

1. Must-Visit Districts
● Ponsonby
A fashionable suburb with a first-class dining scene, offering popular eateries, boutiques and bars. There is just so much to see and do, which makes Ponsonby a place to eat, drink, shop repeat.
● Auckland CBD
Presided over by the Sky Tower, Auckland’s Central Business District is where most travellers spend the majority of their time. Federal Street and Vulcan Lane both have a great selection of bars and restaurants and Sale Street is always popular for dining, drinking and dancing.
● Karangahape Road (K’ Road)
Karangahape Road is one of Auckland’s most vibrant and exciting streets, offering a unique blend of cultural, artistic and commercial offerings, from street art to lively nightlife.
● Mission Bay
An idyllic suburb about a 20-minute drive out of central Auckland, it offers stunning views of the Rangitoto and Auckland Harbour.

2. Nature & Sightseeing

● Black Sand Beaches
The West Coast of Auckland is dotted with black sand beaches offering world-class waves,
walking and hiking trails and wildlife spotting.
○ Piha – a scenic black-sand surf beach on the rugged coast west of Auckland.
There are several walks through native forests in the surrounding hills.
○ Muriwai Beach – Known for its impressive clifftops and gannet colonies
○ Karekare – the famous backdrop for the film The Piano.
● Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf
Just a ferry ride from Auckland and an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Entirely off the grid relying on renewable solar power and a collection of freshwater for its vibrant self-sufficient population of roughly 1000.
○ Go on a magical nighttime journey and marvel at the clear dark skies for stargazing with Good heavens dark sky experiences. Great Barrier Island is the first in the world to be designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary – one of only ten other places.
○ Great Barrier Island is covered in lush native forest and you can hike the Aotea
Track or visit the rare wildlife of Glenfern Sanctuary or relax on Medlands Beach.
● Waiheke Island
Just a 40-minute ferry from downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island boasts pristine beaches,
stunning coastal headlands, olive groves and seaside villages.
● Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto is the youngest and largest of Auckland’s 48 dormant volcanic cones and is home to the world’s largest pohutukawa forest and endangered native birds. Only a short scenic ferry ride across the harbour from downtown Auckland, the island is a favourite destination for hikers and day-trippers.

3. Experiences

● Waiheke Dive and Snorkel, Waiheke Island
Owing to their massive contributions to the environment and their community, the Waiheke
Dive and Snorkel are winners of the 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards.

Initiatives include deploying ‘seahorse hotels’ to provide a stable environment for manaia (mythological creature in Māori culture) breeding; and facilitating the ‘Kelp Gardeners Program’ – a community-based science program designed to increase stability for kina populations along the coastline.

● All Blacks Experience, Auckland
The All Blacks Experience is a state-of-the-art, interactive showcase of the All Blacks and all
our national teams in Black. The experience immerses manuhiri (visitors) in the history, culture and people who have made the All Blacks, Black Ferns and other national rugby teams in black such an important part of the fabric of New Zealand’s history.

● SkyJump off the Sky Tower or Skydive, Auckland
Try jumping off the plane for a thrilling experience with Skydive Auckland. Or go for a SkyJump from the iconic Sky Tower, or walk its edge – 192 metres above ground level! And if that’s not enough, head to the Auckland Harbour Bridge for New Zealand’s only Bridge Climb or bungy into the Waitemata Harbour.

● Matakana Farmers’ Market, Auckland
The Matakana Farmers’ Market is a Saturday ritual for both locals and visitors. Bring your baskets and reusable bags because this market focuses on sustainability and zero waste. Baked breads, freshly shucked oysters and hand crafted gin and ciders await.

Food & Beverage

Auckland is known for its cosmopolitan nature and the diverse food options are reflective of
that. Auckland is home to world-class food producers. For those that are passionate about
fresh, seasonal ingredients, Auckland is sensational – embark on a tour with The Big Foodie, Foodcraft or Bush and Beach and get to know Auckland gastronomy.

1. Restaurants, Cafes and Bars
● Ahi, Auckland
Ahi’s menu by famous kiwi chef Ben Bayly uses fresh produce from his organic kitchen garden, complemented by his indigenous Māori cooking techniques and Asian influences, the four snacks and four courses is definitely a must-try when you are in Auckland!
● Metita, Auckland
Curiously curated and shared with passion, Metita is where traditional Pacific flavours are
refined and reimagined for contemporary tastes.
● Rude Boy Deli & Eatery, Auckland
With its stunning light-filled interiors, Rude Boy offers a perfect atmosphere for a relaxed
breakfast. Choose from a selection of delicious breakfast classics with a modern twist.
● Off the Hook, Auckland
With breathtaking views of the waterfront and the iconic Auckland harbour bridge, indulge in the perfect cup of coffee made to order and delight your taste buds with our irresistible freshly baked treats.
● Sky Bar at the Sky Tower, Auckland
New Zealand’s newest and highest rooftop bar, Sky Bar is perched at the top of one of
Auckland’s most famous attractions. Situated at a teetering 182 metres in the clouds, this is the best new spot for sensational 360° views from sunrise to sunset.
● Albert Bar, Auckland
Auckland’s highest rooftop bar, located on the 38th floor of Voco Auckland City Center. It
features panoramic views of Auckland, world-class cocktails by in-house mixologists and
drinks menus curated from single-batch spirits.

2. Wineries

● Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant, Waiheke Island
Overlooking the sparkling water of the Hauraki Gulf, experience the perfect blend of fine dining and natural beauty at the Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant.
● Ananda Gourmet Food and Wine Tours Waiheke, Waiheke Island
Enjoy succulent fresh oysters, award-winning olive oil and other locally-produced speciality
foods, accompanied by wines from some of the Island’s top boutique vineyards. On Saturdays, your tour may also include a visit to the Waiheke Market. Afterwards, enjoy a platter lunch at one of our top vineyard restaurants.
● Waiheke Wine and Dine Tour with Fullers360, Waiheke Island
Enjoy return ferry tickets, a tour of Waiheke Island and an iconic winery experience at either The Heke, Batch Winery, or Stonyridge Vineyard as part of Fullers360’s Waiheke Wine and Dine package.
● Kumeu River Wines, Auckland
The Chardonnay wines of Kumeu River have gained a strong foothold within the international market, receiving outstanding accolades. The vineyard has gone on to become the globally recognised benchmark for non-Burgundy produced Chardonnay.
● Somm Cellar Door, Auckland
A stunning new urban cellar door, located enviably on Auckland’s waterfront, where visitors can discover New Zealand’s best wines.


1. The Grand by SkyCity, Auckland
Experience unparalleled luxury and sophistication at The Grand by SkyCity in Auckland.
Boasting lavish accommodations, world-class dining options, and impeccable service, this
iconic hotel redefines opulence in the heart of the city.

2. The Hotel Britomart, Auckland
Named best hotel in New Zealand by TripAdvisor in May and first hotel awarded 5 Green Star for sustainability.

3. Auckland City Hotel, Auckland
Experience the vibrant pulse of Auckland from the heart of the city at Auckland City Hotel.
Combining modern comfort with timeless elegance, this centrally located hotel offers impeccable service and convenient amenities for both business and leisure travellers.

4. Plume Villas, Matakana, Auckland
Escape to tranquillity at Plume Villas in Auckland, where luxury meets serenity in a picturesque vineyard setting. These elegant villas offer spacious and beautifully appointed accommodations, perfect for romantic getaways or family retreats

5. Unyoked, Auckland
Unyoked offers a unique escape to nature, providing off-grid cabins in serene wilderness locations. They have recently opened three new cabins catering to different preferences from adventure to wellness.

What you need to know before you fly
1. Check your eligibility: Visa, NZeTA, Traveler Declaration Form
Indonesians will need to apply for a visitor visa and the fastest and easiest way to apply is online.

Before arriving in New Zealand you will also need to fill up a Traveler Declaration Form. It will only take approximately 10 minutes and the earliest you can submit your declaration is 24 hours before your departure.

2. Weather in Autumn
Autumn arrives in March and lasts until May. Up North, temperatures can range between 10°C to 20°C while South Island encounters cooler temperatures ranging from 5°C to 15°C.

3. What to pack
To gear yourself up for the varying weather conditions and activities available during the offseason, here’s a list of items you should consider packing:
● Layered Clothing: As the weather in New Zealand can vary across the regions, pack lightweight, breathable layers like long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and cardigans. A mix of clothing allows for easy adjustment to temperature changes throughout the day.
● Outdoor Gear: If you’re planning outdoor activities like hiking, pack comfortable, waterproof boots or shoes, a day backpack and comfortable clothes for walking or hiking.
● Sun Protection: The sun can be strong despite the cool weather, so do remember to pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat to shield yourself from the UV rays.


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