Auckland is a fascinating city, with the largest population in Oceania and a wealth of exciting options for residents and tourists. The central business district is the main economic hub in New Zealand, and Auckland is also a leader in cultural, sporting and culinary areas. It is unique for having harbours on both the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, lending the city special character.
Moreover, the University of Auckland is the largest in New Zealand, bringing an unprecedented amount of culture, sports and performing arts to the city. By now, you probably get the picture: people are spoiled for choice regarding things to do in Auckland. Keep reading for an overview of the best things to do in the City of Sails.
Auckland has a thriving restaurant scene, so eating out is a must. MASU is one of the most exciting options available, offering top-tier modern Japanese food from the critically acclaimed chef Nic Watt. Diners love the open plan layout and visible kitchen, but the main incentive is the unbelievably delicious food. Watt has designed a Japanese-inspired menu that takes full advantage of unbeatable local New Zealand produce – it’s a match made in heaven.
Elsewhere, Gemmayze Street is a beloved Lebanese restaurant known for its vibrant sharing dishes and beautiful heritage building. Prices aren’t overwhelming either, so you can relax and enjoy the excellent food without breaking the bank. If none of these take your fancy, check out some of the other best restaurants in Auckland. Be warned; there are many!
There is no shortage of fantastic music venues in Auckland, no matter what you’re into. One of the most intriguing places is The Bunker, a folk-orientated live space that used to be an actual bunker. It is situated on the side of Mount Victoria in one of the most unique and beautiful sites for a music venue we’ve seen. The only problem – it requires quite the climb to get to!
There are several late-night dancing sports in Auckland if electronic music is more your cup of tea. Cassette Nine in the CBD is adorned with indoor foliage and disco balls, creating the perfect retreat from the humdrum relentlessness of real life. You might also enjoy the Powerstation, a legendary venue that has welcomed The Ramones, Kendrick Lamar, Paolo Nutini and more in its 30-plus years in business.
Auckland has a couple of world-renowned casinos if gambling is your thing. SkyCity Auckland is a sprawling casino, hotel and leisure complex nestled in the heart of the CBD. Gamblers enjoy a wide variety of casino games alongside a theatre, multiple bars and restaurants, two hotels and the imposing Sky Tower.
Nevertheless, land-based casinos aren’t for everyone. If you would rather unwind at home playing casino games, check out online casino platforms like Nitro Casino NZ. It has all the best slots and table games alongside a remarkable selection of live casino options. New players may also enjoy a generous welcome bonus, so there are more than enough reasons to play.
Fans of art galleries and multidisciplinary creative spaces will feel right at home in Auckland’s CBD. Shortland Street is a hub for independent art galleries such as the Gus Fisher Gallery and the Auckland Art Gallery. Walking tours of the area are the best way to experience the vibrant art scene, especially if you want to pack as much art into one day as possible.
Gow Langsford has two exciting spaces on Lorne Street and Kitchener Street that offer cutting-edge art across textiles, painting and photography. Previous exhibitions from the likes of Michael Hight and Grace Wright have wowed audiences, so expect more globally renowned art in the future.
Despite the wealth of incredible restaurants, live music venues, art galleries and other attractive cultural spaces, you can have a fantastic time in Auckland by just seeing the sights. The Sky Tower is a dominant spectacle on the skyline, standing 328 metres tall and offering an incredible view of the city. It also houses a casino, several restaurants and a hotel.
Waitematā Harbour, an impressive natural waterway linking the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean, is also worth seeing. You can really feel the history of the place, as it was an integral part of the New Zealand economy during the 1800s.