So, you and your significant other are looking for new adventures in New Zealand’s City of Sails. Whenever ‘dinner and a movie’ feels like a tired, clichéd trope, you can count on Auckland
to offer more unusual activities to try out. Here are 11 unique date ideas that will make for a memorable experience.
Spend an afternoon at Spookers
Lovers, beware: this is not an experience for the faint-hearted. Spookers is New Zealand’s only haunted theme park. It is located in a the former Kingseat Hospital grounds – which, naturally, is one of the country’s creepiest buildings. The experience takes its ‘victims’ through theatrically themed haunted houses and outdoor spaces where they will have to flee from the most fearsome of creatures.
Spookers, 833 Kingseat Rd, Kingseat, Auckland 2580, New Zealand +64 9-291 9002
Courtesy of Spookers
Play a board game at Cakes n Ladders
Cakes n Ladders is a good place to chill out with a cup of coffee, some baking and an ever-growing selection of board games. Whether you’re more of a Scrabble person, a Cards Against Humanity fiend, or a fully-fledged RPG geek, there’s always something interesting to look forward to. They even sell a few games themselves if you want to take a souvenir home with you.
Cakes n Ladders, 173 Symonds St, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Go dessert tasting at Milse
Craving something sugary and refined? Auckland has an incredible range of gourmet dessert offerings – and Milse’s multi-course tasting menu is definitely the creme de la creme of the Britomart precinct. Pick your favourite a la carte flavour and, if you’re feeling extra fancy, add a wine match to your sweet sensory experience.
Milse, 31 Tyler St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand +64 9-215 8996
Try some Stand-up Paddle Boarding at Mission Bay
Whether you’re a seasoned or novice paddler, Auckland’s ever-popular Mission Bay is the ideal place for a summer’s SUP session. There are rentals and lessons for all skill sets – and if you feel like you need a quick refresher, you can get a complimentary lesson with any paddle board hire of an hour or more.
Snorkel with the marine life at Goat Island
If you’re looking for a day trip idea, Goat Island is a good option. Located in Leigh, just over an hour’s drive north of Auckland City, this is one of the best places to get close to some aquatic critters. Hire some snorkels and a wetsuit for a self-guided dive, or go for an all-inclusive tour of the marine reserve. If you’re headed there on the weekend, the Matakana Markets are a good stopover to check out on the way.
Spend the evening laughing it up at The Classic
The Classic on Queen Street has been the home to Auckland’s comedy scene for 20 years. Their events calendar is always filled with a variety of local and international talent, from up-and-coming comedic stars to seasoned veterans. Go to The Classic on Mondays for their Open Mic nights, and Fridays and Saturdays for some great late night laughs.
Classic Comedy & Bar, 321 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand. +64 9-373 4321
Play with the kitties in one of the cat cafes
Auckland has no shortage of quirky eateries, but the cat-themed ones are definitely the cutest. BaristaCats on Queen Street and The Cat Lounge in the North Shore are two great options. Book in advance so that you and the kindred cat lover in your life can spend some quality time playing and cuddling your new friends. You can grab a coffee and bite to eat from the separate cafe areas, before or after your play date.
BaristaCats, 95 Queen St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand +64 9-379 8966
The Cat Lounge, 173A Archers Rd, Hillcrest, Auckland 0627, New Zealand
Pick some Sweet Red strawberries
A nice, seasonal option for those who happen to be in town between Boxing Day (26th December) and Auckland Anniversary (30th January). Massey Gardens and Orchard is located in West Auckland, and is known for producing its Sweet Red Strawberries. The farm has been owned and operated by the Marinovic family since 1974, and offers plenty of treats for a daily outing – from pick-your-own experiences to a farm shop that’s famous for its milkshakes and ice creams.
Massey Gardens and Orchard, 45 Fred Taylor Dr, Massey, Auckland 0814, New Zealand +64 9-416 6040
Have a picnic at Wenderholm Regional Park
Have a picnic at Wenderholm Regional Park
Auckland has an array of parks and gardens to explore – many of which are ideal for a picnic outing. Wenderholm Regional Park is one of the most scenic options at your disposal. It is located at the mouth of the picturesque Puhoi River some 48 kilometres (29.8 miles) from Auckland CBD – you can easily catch a bus from town to get there too. A quiet forested wonderland with an interesting coastline to match makes this a fantastic place to unwind and relish the outdoors.
Wenderholm Regional Park, 37 Schischka Road, Waiwera 0873, New Zealand +64 9-301 0101