Two days is a seriously short amount of time to pack in everything Auckland has to offer. But if you’ve only got a weekend to spare, with some careful planning, you can enjoy some great food and fun activities in the vibrant City of Sails (and still feel like you’ve had a holiday).
Staying in the CBD? Don’t just hang out in your boutique hotel. Start the weekend off right with a drink at one of Britomart’s many bars. Britomart Country Club, Tyler, Xuxu and Orleans are all pumping for Friday night drinks. If you prefer something more sedate, try Northern Steamship, Oaken or Ortolana.
Then either: Make your way up town and check out an eclectic mix of eateries, try Elliott Stables, Depot Eatery or Tanuki’s Cave.
Or: Head to the Wynyard Quarter for a bite to eat in one of downtown’s newest and trendiest precincts.
In the morning, and if the weather’s behaving itself, take the glass fronted lift to the top of the 328 metre tall Sky Tower for fine views out over the Hauraki Gulf. If you’re feeling adventurous there’s the option of a skywalk or a skyjump to fuel your adrenaline rush.
Then either: Head down to the ferry building and take a quick jaunt over to Devonport for lunch, a quaint Victorian seaside village with a yesteryear feel. The Patriot is a great place to have a pub lunch, and later on you can work it off by climbing North Head and exploring World War II tunnels.
Or: Stay on the mainland, hire a bike, and spend the afternoon cycling round to the urban beaches of Mission Bay, St Heliers, Kohimarama. Be sure to stop for an ice cream or a coffee at one of the many cafes.
Head back to your hotel to freshen up and then try out the fare at the Viaduct with Euro, Soul, Industry Zen and Oyster & Chop within walking distance.
Or: If you want to dress up and be seen, head up to trendy Ponsonby where you’re spoilt for choice with high-end dining. This inner fringe suburb is extremely accessible from the CBD with just a short taxi ride or jumping on the inner link bus in Queen Street.
Spread your wings and stray further afield with a tour out west to the Waitakere Ranges (either guided or self-guided), where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and recharge your batteries. Piha and Karekare are the two most popular beaches and there are plenty of bushwalk trails if you feel up to hike; stop off at Arataki Centre for a trail map. With a tour, you’ll get bush and beach combined plus a commentary.
Or: If you didn’t take a ferry ride yesterday, jump on a ferry to Waiheke Island and do a Taste of Waiheke winery tour. This is the easiest way to take in a few of the island’s more than 30 wineries in a short amount of time.
Or: If you prefer to stay in town for some cultural sights, the Auckland Art Gallery and the Auckland War Memorial Museum are the two biggies to tick off your itinerary, and you can easily do one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Where did the time go? If you’ve planned it well your 48 hours in Auckland will be a rejuvenating boost to start the working week off right.
If you’re after more ideas for an extended trip to Auckland, visit the Auckland travel guide here.