The Coolest Airbnbs and Vacation Rentals in Auckland, New Zealand

To experience Auckland like a local, book an apartment, house or villa
To experience Auckland like a local, book an apartment, house or villa | Courtesy of Cosy 3 Bedroom Villa in Freemans Bay / Expedia
Emma Sparks

Whether you want to be by the beach, among the urban thrum or in a laid-back, village-like neighbourhood, the biggest city in New Zealand delivers. Wherever you stay in the City of Sails, fabulous views, food and cultural sights are never far away. To make the most of your stay in the NZ capital, set up camp in one of these top Auckland vacation rentals.

1. Modern apartment near Ponsonby


A modern apartment near Ponsonby has a white dining table with black seats, a grey sofa and bright-red carpet
Courtesy of New 2 Bedroom Apartment in Heart of Ponsonby / Expedia

This modern two-bedroom apartment sleeps one to four guests and comes with gated security, a balcony, a shared gym and games room, and lots of natural light. As it’s close to the upmarket Ponsonby district and laid-back Karangahape Road, you’ll have easy access to some of the coolest art galleries, cafes and vintage shops in Auckland. You can hunt for sartorial treasures at People Being People, then swing by St Kevins Arcade for sake and yakitori at Japanese-inspired restaurant Nook.

2. Charming suburban villa with pool


A 1920s villa in Remuera has a lounge with wooden floors, a white coffee table and a fireplace
Courtesy of Newly Renovated 3 Bedroom Villa in Remuera / Expedia

This beautifully renovated 1920s villa in the leafy suburb of Remuera has three bedrooms and sleeps up to six guests. Are you a water baby? If so, you’re in luck – there’s a little private pool in the garden and a broad terrace where you can dry off between dips or dine under the stars. You may never want to leave this homely bubble, but if you do, it’s just a 10-minute drive to the city centre.

3. Stylish central apartment with sea views


A stylish apartment in Auckland has a blue sofa, Scandi-style furniture and a separate bedroom
Courtesy of City and Sea Views for Miles – by Urban Butler / Expedia

In the heart of the central business district (CBD), this two-bedroom apartment for four has a balcony with commanding views of the city and waterfront. You can take a short walk to see the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and the Sky Tower (the second-tallest free-standing structure in the southern hemisphere). You can also take a dip in the shared outdoor pool or try a vinyasa class followed by an all-you-can-eat vegetarian meal at the Loft Yoga Lounge next door.

4. The Sebel Quay West Auckland


An apartment at The Sebel Quay has a cream sofa facing a TV, a wooden table with a laptop on, and sea views
Courtesy of The Sebel Quay West Auckland / Expedia

It’s all about the water at the Sebel Quay West Auckland. The large one- and two-bedroom apartments (sleeping four and six, respectively) overlook the harbour. The New Zealand Maritime Museum and ferry terminal are just five minutes away on foot, and some of the finest seafood in the country can be found nearby. Tuck into freshly shucked oysters and garlic-butter prawns at Auckland Fish Market before heading to Viaduct Harbour for kumara (sweet potato) coladas at rooftop cocktail bar Parasol and Swing Company.

5. Cosy villa with garden


A villa in Freemans Bay has a snug lounge with a fluffy rug, wooden furniture and a TV on the wall
Courtesy of Cosy 3 Bedroom Villa in Freemans Bay / Expedia

Want to spend your time in Auckland eating at the hippest restaurants, browsing the wares at fancy boutiques and chilling out at urban beaches? This three-bedroom Freemans Bay villa – which sleeps six and has mid-century decor and a private terrace and garden – could be your ideal base. The achingly cool Ponsonby neighbourhood is on your doorstep, and Herne Bay’s sandy coves are just a short walk away.

6. Top-floor apartment in Auckland’s shopping district


A top-floor apartment in Newmarket, Auckland, has two grey sofas and an outside terrace with extra seating
Courtesy of Toodle’s Panoramic Views, Style and a Great Location / Expedia

This light-filled three-bedroom apartment, sleeping six, is in one of Auckland’s buzziest neighbourhoods. Newmarket is the fashion capital of New Zealand, so you’ll want to save room in your suitcase for a spur-of-the-moment purchase or two. Bit of a foodie? That’s covered, too, especially if you’re in the mood for something French. Acclaimed for its fine dining, Sid at the French Café is a 15-minute walk away, and on the weekends, you can stock up on cheese, pâté and crêpes at La Cigale French Market in nearby Parnell Village.

7. Barclay Suites


An apartment at Barclay Suites has two grey sofas, light-wood furniture and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors with city views
Courtesy of Barclay Suites / Expedia

Centrally located, Barclay Suites has the comforts of home and the perks of staying in a hotel, such as room service, a spa and access to a neighbouring gym with free fitness classes. You can choose from one- and two-bedroom apartments with city views – the largest sleeps up to five guests. The Sky Tower is just around the corner, so now’s the time to brave an urban bungee jump.

8. Spacious high-spec luxury home with garage

Villa, Luxury

A holiday home in Orakei has a large dining/living room with Scandi-style furniture, a modern kitchen and a white cello
Courtesy of Spacious High-Spec Luxury Home With Garage / Expedia

This three-bedroom house in Orakei – one of Auckland’s most affluent suburbs – has a double garage (perfect for road-trippers), terrace and room for six guests. It’s a 20-minute cycle or 10-minute drive from the city centre. However, if you stay east of Hobson Bay, you can explore the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park – home to landscaped gardens and an impressive obelisk dedicated to New Zealand’s first Labour Party prime minister – or chill out at Okahu Bay Beach.

9. Luxury Devonport bed and breakfast – the Croft

Short-term Rental

This beautifully renovated cottage is the perfect choice for a couple who relish a complete B&B experience. A stay at the Croft comes with a continental breakfast served at a time that suits you. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, the cottage is fitted with everything you need to feel right at home, from modern self-catering kitchen amenities to classic furnishings and bedding. A garden area enables you to access the Cambria Reserve in Devonport as well as the much-loved beaches, cafes and restaurants in the suburb.

10. Herne Bay luxury townhouse – double bedroom

Short-term Rental

There is one bedroom available in this stunning modernist townhouse in Herne Bay; it’s upstairs and has access to a deck overlooking the lovely garden with palms, mature oaks and native trees. With interesting artworks and statues, the house feels like an art gallery. Its location is another plus – it’s within walking distance of a park and several beaches. The hip bars and cafes in Ponsonby are within a five-minute bus ride, and the city centre is 15 minutes away on public transport.

Thalita Alves contributed additional reporting to this article.

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