Auckland

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Auckland

Things we love:

It’s called the ‘City of Sails’ because every third person owns a boat. Hello, sailors!
There are over 800 restaurants in Auckland – better wear some stretchy pants.
It’s considered one of the top 10 most liveable cities in the world.
There are islands all around Auckland – hop on a ferry and get your nature hit.
Wine. They do it pretty damn well.
In summer, there is always a festival on in a park somewhere, guaranteed.

Things we wish we’d known:

There’s no public drinking anywhere, and they’re strict about it.
Single measures are 15ml. Time to double up.
This is a city full of fitness buffs, who get on it, hungover or not. If you love running, this one’s for you. And they love their mini golf.
There are 53 (dormant) volcanoes in Auckland alone.
Stay somewhere central – public transport is slow, taxis are expensive and the city is sprawling.

Best bars in Auckland
Best bars in Auckland
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1885
1885

A serious night-time hangout… if you’re looking for a big one, you’ve found it. Dress to impress and get ready to cause mischief. Built in 1885 (hence the name) this is a pretty daunting building, taking up the better part of Read More

46 & York
46 & York

Set in a landmark brick building from the 1920s, this place has nailed some seriously dapper elegance. It’s all about refined, old school charm, the kind that’s synonymous with a roaring good time and generous lashings of fun. Think bright and Read More

Bedford, Soda & Liquor
Bedford, Soda & Liquor

Wanna call the shots? This place puts you in the driver’s seat. Build-your-own cocktails from their selection of booze and housemade sodas, and when you get peckish hit up the menu of meatballs and sauce, and, you guessed it – Read More

Bellota
Bellota

This place is a welcome break from the rowdy masses in the bars around Auckland’s Skycity Casino and hotels. It’d be easy to bypass the cosy little corner that Bellota occupies, but if you’re any sort of wine and cheese Read More

Bonita
Bonita

Classy, casual and small without being too stuffy; there’s nothing we don’t love about this Spanish wine and tapas bar. The booze is bang on, too. Sultry lighting creates a rustic, homely atmosphere and even the paint is purposely peeling itself Read More

Britomart Country Club
Britomart Country Club

This is an up-market garden party set amidst a series of repurposed containers. Get comfy in this alternative spot amidst the greenery, and watch the world unfold. The huge canopied space happens to be the biggest courtyard bar in the Read More

Cable Bay Vineyards
Cable Bay Vineyards

Smack bang on top of a cliff on Waiheke Island overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and City, the views at Cable Bay are pretty spectacular, especially from the comfort of a beanbag on the infinity lawn with a glass of chilled Read More

Cassette 9
Cassette 9

From a few relaxed diner-style burgers to a full-on debauched party as soon as the lights go out, there is definitely fun to be had here. The predominantly black interior is well lit by day, and a family of four Read More

Chapel
Chapel

Located on a corner in Ponsonby, this spot is particularly easy to find – just look for the throng of boozers out front. The beer is always cold, the pizza piping hot and the wine list offers a decent selection. Read More

Fukuko
Fukuko

This is Auckland’s answer to a Harajuku-style bar, and it’s a whole heap closer than Tokyo. This small, wacky little shochu spot in the heart of Britomart is the perfect place to start the night. The interior is a mix of Read More

Golden Dawn
Golden Dawn

This magical, mystical place looks a bit innocuous from the street; the windows are completely blacked out making it look like a shutdown shop by day. But come nightfall the sound of a boisterous crowd will lure you in. This dimly Read More

Ipanema Food & Art Society
Ipanema Food & Art Society

Get involved with a little slice of South America. Even though it’s half way across the world, the authenticity more than makes up for the distance. Most of the staff are Brazilian and the tables are packed out with hotties who Read More

La Zeppa
La Zeppa

Big, bold and beautiful… La Zeppa comes served just how we like ‘em. Once you track down the big wooden double doors on a quiet back street, you’ll walk in to find raw brick walls and exposed wood all swathed Read More

Mea Culpa
Mea Culpa

This is an Auckland cocktail institution. Spend an epic night here and blame tomorrow’s hangover on bar owner Tim Martin and his small team of cocktail connoisseurs. The intimate, rustic interior is reminiscent of a New York hole-in-the-wall or even a Read More

Mexico
Mexico

If you like tequila and tacos then step right up! This is everything you’d expect from a tequileria: dim lighting, lots of deep, dark red with chaotic splashes of colour and a huge array of Mexican paraphernalia all over the Read More

Mudbrick Vineyard
Mudbrick Vineyard

Sunset views, sculpted gardens, flowers and exceptional wine. Pretty damn romantic. Mudbrick Vineyard on Waiheke Island comes with its own cute back-story too: a husband and wife team who wanted to get away from the big city, and boom, they Read More

Neighbourhood Brew Bar
Neighbourhood Brew Bar

Need a huge courtyard on a hot day to cool down in? Throw in patches of grass and a couple of trees, some booze, a DJ and a ton of people and you’ll find yourself in Kingsland’s Neighbourhood Brew Bar. Inside, Read More

Ponsonby Social Club
Ponsonby Social Club

With its minimal signage, industrial style courtyard, bare brick, weathered leather couches, hip hop and cocktails, this is the kinda bar you’d expect to find in East London, or at least Melbourne, but no, it’s in Auckland, and we love Read More

Racket Bar
Racket Bar

A venue that once housed violent female inmates (brap!) now supplies Aucklanders with the best range of rum around. Follow the fairy lights and the live house tunes and you’ll find yourself in the slightly grungy, but ever so welcoming Read More

Revelry
Revelry

Mid-day dining to late night trouble? Bingo. As the name suggests this is somewhere to simply enjoy some good ol’ fashioned fun. This beautifully designed lounge-come-Bohemian-love-den is a lavish combination of red velvet, dark wood and oriental wallpapers. You could easily Read More

The Tasting Shed
The Tasting Shed

This is a little bit of a trek, but you’ll definitely be glad you made the effort. Their mission statement is simple; really good wine and insanely good food. It’s all rustic charm and gorgeous scenery with a few little quirks Read More

Xuxu
Xuxu

The Britomart precinct may be all concrete and queues, but look for the mini rainforest with twinkling fairy lights and a neon sign in the birdcage, and all will be well in the world. This is a dumpling house cross Read More