Unusual Date Ideas in Auckland, New Zealand

The Puhoi River in Wenderholm Regional Park is a scenic spot for a picnic date when you're pulling out all the stops in Auckland, New Zealand
The Puhoi River in Wenderholm Regional Park is a scenic spot for a picnic date when you're pulling out all the stops in Auckland, New Zealand | © David Wall / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Thalita Alves
18 April 2021

Do you like your dates scary, sweet or sporty? If you’re looking for novelty first date ideas – or you and your significant other are planning a romantic night out – you can count on Auckland to offer some unusual activities for two. Whether you want to be scared out of your wits at Spookers or go sunset paddleboarding at Mission Bay, New Zealand’s famous city has some quirky dates on offer for a memorable experience.

Spend an Afternoon at Spookers

Amusement Park
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Lovers, beware: this is not a date for the faint-hearted. Spookers is New Zealand’s most terrifying theme park and immersive scare experience. In the grounds of the former Kingseat Hospital (one of the country’s creepiest buildings) you’ll venture through theatrical haunted houses and outdoor themed spaces where you’ll have to flee from the most fearsome of creatures: zombies with bloodied mouths and murderers with chainsaws. Needless to say you’ll be screaming your head off and clinging to your date by the end.

Play a Board Game at Cakes n Ladders

Cafe, European, Coffee
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Cakes n Ladders is a good place to chill out with a cup of coffee, a gooey chocolate brownie and an ever-increasing library of board games – we’re talking hundreds. Whether you’re more of a Scrabble person, a Cards Against Humanity fiend, or a fully-fledged role-play geek, there’s always something interesting to look forward to at this gaming cafe. While away the hours with your special someone, or (if you prefer) you can purchase a game onsite and continue the fun at home.

Try Standup Paddleboarding at Mission Bay

Natural Feature
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AUCKLAND - JAN 11 2016:Person paddle boarding in mission bay in Auckland New Zealand.It's an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage.It's an ancient form of surfing for longer distances.
© Rafael Ben-Ari / Alamy Stock Photo

Whether you’re a seasoned or novice paddler, Auckland’s ever-popular Mission Bay is the ideal place for a summer’s standup paddleboarding (SUP) session. There are rentals and lessons for all abilities – and if you feel like you need a quick refresher you can get a complimentary lesson with any paddleboard hire of an hour or more. Head down to the beach at sunset for the ultimate romantic date night.

Snorkel at Goat Island Marine Reserve

Natural Feature
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Snapper fish underwater swimming over kelp forest at Goat Island, New Zealand
© paul kennedy / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re looking for a great day trip date idea, Goat Island is a fun option. Just over an hour’s drive north of Auckland City, in Leigh, this is one of the best places to get close to some aquatic critters. Hire your snorkel and a wetsuit for a self-guided dive, or go for an all-inclusive tour of the marine reserve. If you’re headed here at the weekend, the Matakana Village Market has plenty of snacks to sample along the way.

Spend The Evening Laughing at The Classic

Bar, Cocktails
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The Classic on Queen Street has been the home of Auckland’s comedy scene for 20 years. The events calendar here is always full to the brim with a variety of local and international talent, featuring up-and-coming comedy stars and seasoned veterans. Come to The Classic on Mondays to experience the open mic night, and Fridays and Saturdays for some great late-night laughs. You’ll be guaranteed a few chortles, whatever your date is like.

Test Your Ice-Skating Skills at Paradice

Skate Park
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The indoor Paradice ice-skating rinks are an epic attraction for all seasons. Skating sessions are accompanied by colourful lighting and banging tunes, and the flagship rink in Botany even has its own Laser Tag room – another fun activity to try after you spend a few hours gliding hand-in-hand on the magical ice.

Mountain Bike Around Woodhill Forest

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Adrenaline-junkie couples are definitely going to enjoy a date on the Woodhill Forest tracks. This mountain biking park is the only multi-purpose cycling network of its kind in Auckland, and has some stunning scenery to boot. It’s only a 35-minute drive from the city centre and offers bike hire options for all abilities. It even has its own Disc Golf course if you fancy something a bit less risky.

Play With Some Kitties at a Cat Cafe

Cafe, Coffee
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Auckland has no shortage of quirky eateries but the cat-themed ones are definitely the cutest. Purrs & Beans on Queen Street is the longest-running and best option. Book in advance so that you and your kindred cat lover can spend some quality time playing and cuddling your new friends. You can grab a coffee and a bite to eat before or after your playdate – and if you’re totally enamoured and ready to take the next step in your relationship, you can even look into adopting one of the furry pet rescues.

Pick Some Sweet Red Strawberries

Natural Feature, Park
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A seasonal option if you happen to be in town between Boxing Day (26th December) and Auckland Anniversary (30th January) is strawberry picking. Sweet Red is 35 minutes by car northwest of Auckland, and is known for producing the sweetest, juiciest strawberries. The farm has been owned and operated by the Marinovic family since 1974 and offers plenty of treats for a day trip including pick-your-own outings and a farm shop that’s famous for its milkshakes and ice creams.

Have a Picnic at Wenderholm Regional Park

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© John Kershaw / Alamy Stock Photo
Auckland has an array of parks and gardens to explore, many of which are ideal for a picnic. Wenderholm Regional Park is the most scenic option at your disposal. At the mouth of the picturesque Puhoi River, 45km (28mi) from Auckland, you can easily catch a bus from town to get here. A quiet forested wonderland with an interesting coastline to match makes this a fantastic place to unwind and relish the outdoors with your favourite friend.
These recommendations were updated on April 18, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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