Surrounded by volcanoes, islands and forests, this metropolitan city in the North Island of New Zealand is known for its nature and outdoors. But it also has a wealth of food, art and culture on offer. With a different food market open every night and free films in the park every weekend, you will never need to go indoors. Here’s our pick of the best.
A true inner-city oasis, Silo Park is a friendly community hub for Auckland residents. Home to the Silo Bar, this waterfront park is a wonderful green space that’s open to the public every day, as well as regularly holding events over the year. Within Silo Park sits one of Auckland’s favourite cinemas. The outdoor cinema has a regular programme of new releases and old films, and you’ll also find food trucks and local DJs, who play late into the evening at weekends. The cinema is free and visitors can arrive from 5pm to get a drink and bite before the film starts.
A cafe, bistro, shop and market all in one, La Cigale French Market is a weekend must-visit for any foodie. Open every Saturday from 8am to 1.30pm, and Sunday from 9am to 1.30pm, the market takes its inspiration from France. Here you will find everything from andouillettes to escargots, as well as some classy champagne. A feature is the long communal tables that run between the stalls, where you can take a seat to enjoy a pain au chocolat and coffee, or red wine and cheese plate, depending on the time of day.
Opened in 1913 in Auckland’s biggest park, the Domain Wintergardens is a great location for a relaxing walk with a little history, culture and horticulture thrown in. With a mixture of temperate and tropical plants, the glass walk-through gardens are registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and house spectacular examples of neoclassical sculptures and architecture. Bring a picnic with you and make a whole day of it. As one of the biggest green spaces in the city, it’s usually full of people playing, lounging and walking around – it’s a lovely place to while away the afternoon.
Based over seven different locations in the city, Auckland’s night markets have become extremely popular evening events for locals. Free to enter, they offer a range of world cuisines that change from month to month, as well as regular on-stage music performances, local buskers, magicians and dance troupes. The Auckland Night Market currently has locations running throughout the week in Sylvia Park, Mt Wellington, Botany Town Centre under Hoyts, Henderson under Kmart, Papatoetoe under Kmart, Birkenhead and Pakuranga under the Warehouse. Arrive early to avoid queues.