Given it’s New Zealand’s biggest city, one might look at the idea of spending 24 hours in Auckland with a hint of skepticism. Sure, you might not get to see all of the area’s vineyards, islands and beaches in such a short time span, but you can – and should – get the most out of its best-known attractions. Here’s a quick how-to guide to show you.
Auckland’s foodie scene is quite a treat. If you happen to be in town over the weekend, La Cigale operates a downtown market on Saturdays, and its traditional Parnell event every Saturday and Sunday; both these options will provide you with plenty of ready-to-eat treats and a nice cup of coffee to match. For those who prefer a proper sit-down meal, some of the popular central-city breakfast/brunch spots include Remedy Coffee, The Store, Odettes Eatery, and the Federal Delicatessen.
Remedy Coffee, 1 Wellesley St West, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-377 1030
The Store, Galway St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-366 1864
Odettes Eatery, 90 Wellesley St West, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-309 0304
Pick and choose from a few of your favourite inner-city attractions to do a bit of exploring. Queen Street, High Street, and the Britomart precinct are the best places to visit if you want to hit the shops bright and early. Up the hill on Victoria Street, you’ll find the iconic Sky Tower, where you can either relish a pleasant panorama of the city, or you can opt for a thrilling bungy experience. If you need a breather from the downtown bustle, the Auckland Art Gallery and Albert Park are a stone’s throw away too.
Sky Tower, Victoria St W, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-363 6000
Auckland Art Gallery, Wellesley St E, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-379 1349
A quick bus trip from downtown will take you to Mt Eden. From there, you’ll be able to take a brisk, 30-minute walk up the Maungawhau/Mt Eden summit. The journey will bring you up close and personal to Auckland’s highest natural point – which, incidentally, is also one of the area’s most famous dormant volcanoes – as well as rewarding you with a full 360-degree perspective of the city.
While you’re in the area, why not hit up the Mt Eden suburb for lunch? Mt Eden has a ton of eateries for you to choose from, including Circus Circus, Olaf’s Artisan Bakery Café, and Bolaven. If you can spare another quick bus ride, Dominion Road is another nearby lunch option: there are restaurants and eateries for all tastes and budgets along this elongated stretch of road.
Getting from Mt Eden to the Auckland Domain is as simple as a 40-minute walk (or a 25-minute bus journey – whatever suits the occasion). From there, you can spend the rest of your afternoon strolling around the city’s oldest park, as well as its lovely Wintergardens and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. While you’re ambling along the park’s various walking trails, make sure to keep an eye out for the interesting modern art sculptures that are scattered throughout the grassy plains. After you’ve had a good look around, you can take a quick stroll back into the city centre to wrap things up on a dynamic note.
Auckland Domain, Park Rd, Grafton, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-301 0101
Day or night, a walk down the Viaduct Harbour is always scenic and pleasant. Before the sun goes down, make sure to take a proper stroll around the marina and the Wynyard Quarter. Then, when the evening looms, hit up the area’s bars and restaurants. Marvel Bar & Grill, Baduzzi, Soul Bar and Bistro, and Euro Bar & Restaurant are among the various venues where you can wine, dine and party by the waterfront.
Marvel Bar & Grill, 1 Jellicoe St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-377 8828
Baduzzi, 10-26 Fish Ln, Auckland 1010, New Zealand, +64 9-309 9339