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Guidebook for Auckland

Julie

Guidebook for Auckland

Food Scene
Really good coffee, nice atmosphere and a play area for youngsters. Good to visit any time; closes at 4pm
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Catroux
129 West End Road
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Really good coffee, nice atmosphere and a play area for youngsters. Good to visit any time; closes at 4pm
Best fish and chips in Auckland. Service can be a bit slow
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The Fish & Chip Shop Westmere
127 West End Road
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Best fish and chips in Auckland. Service can be a bit slow
Great food, lovely harbour views in the center of the city. Not cheap, but totally worth a visit for a special occasion.
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Soul Bar & Bistro
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Great food, lovely harbour views in the center of the city. Not cheap, but totally worth a visit for a special occasion.
top food, not cheap, very special
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Euro Bar and Restaurant
147 Quay St
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top food, not cheap, very special
One of our favourites, big enough to usually have tables available at the last minute, great seafood, quite pricey. If booking in the summer ask for a table on the balcony.
Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill
99 Quay St
One of our favourites, big enough to usually have tables available at the last minute, great seafood, quite pricey. If booking in the summer ask for a table on the balcony.
Really nice food, great views, great location by the beach. Have lunch or just ice creams. We always take friends and family here when they're visiting from abroad. Check out the fossilised tree stumps whilst your waiting for your table, or have a walk on the beach. This is an absolute favourite place of ours.
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Takapuna Beach Cafe
22 The Promenade
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Really nice food, great views, great location by the beach. Have lunch or just ice creams. We always take friends and family here when they're visiting from abroad. Check out the fossilised tree stumps whilst your waiting for your table, or have a walk on the beach. This is an absolute favourite place of ours.
Fabulous views from the top of the sky tower, the restaurant rotates 360 degrees so you get to see the whole city whilst eating. It's a bit pricey and other restaurants do better food for the price, but no other restaurant has these views. Great for day or night. Booking is essential days in advance.
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Orbit 360° Dining
78 Victoria Street West
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Fabulous views from the top of the sky tower, the restaurant rotates 360 degrees so you get to see the whole city whilst eating. It's a bit pricey and other restaurants do better food for the price, but no other restaurant has these views. Great for day or night. Booking is essential days in advance.
Heaps here including fresh food market, cafes, bars and restaurants for all budgets. Walk down Ponsonby High street for more food choices, clothing stores and much more.
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Ponsonby Central
136-146 Ponsonby Rd
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Heaps here including fresh food market, cafes, bars and restaurants for all budgets. Walk down Ponsonby High street for more food choices, clothing stores and much more.
Drinks & Nightlife
There's a bar and restaurant at the top of the hotel. The bar has very nice views and is generally quite quiet. We haven't tried the restaurant yet but it looks good.
Grand Mercure Auckland
There's a bar and restaurant at the top of the hotel. The bar has very nice views and is generally quite quiet. We haven't tried the restaurant yet but it looks good.
An art deco bar full of character, and an atrium with fabulous roaring fire in the winter. The restaurant is also pretty good.
Hotel DeBrett
2 High St
An art deco bar full of character, and an atrium with fabulous roaring fire in the winter. The restaurant is also pretty good.
Raucous, loud and always packed in the evenings. Great live music, and a buzzing atmosphere.
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Danny Doolan's
204 Quay St
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Raucous, loud and always packed in the evenings. Great live music, and a buzzing atmosphere.
Entertainment & Activities
good little zoo, our kids love it.
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Auckland Zoo
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good little zoo, our kids love it.
Great one for the kids especially on a rainy day
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Uptown Bounce
565 Great North Rd
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Great one for the kids especially on a rainy day
Great fun, combine it with a visit to a vineyard. It's very expensive though.
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EcoZip Adventures
150 Trig Hill Rd
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Great fun, combine it with a visit to a vineyard. It's very expensive though.
A good one for kids and teenagers, but adults can enjoy too. Explore the forest whilst there, make a day of it.
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Tree Adventures [BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL]
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A good one for kids and teenagers, but adults can enjoy too. Explore the forest whilst there, make a day of it.
Home of the 2011 rugby world cup. If you're lucky enough to be in town for an All Blacks game it's a must see, the haka is world famous, and the team is the best in the world. The Blues is the local Auckland team, worth watching too. Or in the summer hopefully catch an international cricket game
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Eden Park
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Home of the 2011 rugby world cup. If you're lucky enough to be in town for an All Blacks game it's a must see, the haka is world famous, and the team is the best in the world. The Blues is the local Auckland team, worth watching too. Or in the summer hopefully catch an international cricket game
Arts & Culture
Always something here for the kids, especially in the school holidays. Some really nice old planes in MOTAT2 for the adults which is an easy walk from the house. Catch a tram from there (fare is included in the admission fee) to MOTAT1 for all the activities and some Kiwi history. A lot of it is under cover, so it's a good all-weather option
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Museum of Transport and Technology
805 Great North Rd
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Always something here for the kids, especially in the school holidays. Some really nice old planes in MOTAT2 for the adults which is an easy walk from the house. Catch a tram from there (fare is included in the admission fee) to MOTAT1 for all the activities and some Kiwi history. A lot of it is under cover, so it's a good all-weather option
Parks & Nature
A natural and wild beach. swimming is limited and there is little shelter so it gets really hot in the summer sun. It's a good beach, with plenty of places to walk and explore, plus toilet and shower facilities. There's a mobile cafe that's there in the summer. Be sure to check out the giant sand dune and lake - park up about 1km before you get to the actual beach and follow the stream
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Bethells Beach
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A natural and wild beach. swimming is limited and there is little shelter so it gets really hot in the summer sun. It's a good beach, with plenty of places to walk and explore, plus toilet and shower facilities. There's a mobile cafe that's there in the summer. Be sure to check out the giant sand dune and lake - park up about 1km before you get to the actual beach and follow the stream
Very pretty beach, great views, and some good nearby walks.
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Piha
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Very pretty beach, great views, and some good nearby walks.
No hunting or fishing allowed here so the fish are so tame they'll swim right up to you. The waters are very clear. There are glass bottom boat trips available from the mainland. Snorkel and wetsuit hire is available.
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Goat Island
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No hunting or fishing allowed here so the fish are so tame they'll swim right up to you. The waters are very clear. There are glass bottom boat trips available from the mainland. Snorkel and wetsuit hire is available.
Nice parkland here, and good place for a picnic. The cafe is nice. There are nice views up One Tree Hill, which is iconic. You might also catch a game of cricket here in the summer.
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Cornwall Park
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Nice parkland here, and good place for a picnic. The cafe is nice. There are nice views up One Tree Hill, which is iconic. You might also catch a game of cricket here in the summer.
Driving up in to the Waitakere ranges gives some scenic views all the way back to Auckland. This is a lovely area of rainforest walks, including the Fairy falls. The Aarataki visitor center is worth a visit if you're in the area. The Waitakere dam walk is also well worth doing.
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Fairy Falls Track
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Driving up in to the Waitakere ranges gives some scenic views all the way back to Auckland. This is a lovely area of rainforest walks, including the Fairy falls. The Aarataki visitor center is worth a visit if you're in the area. The Waitakere dam walk is also well worth doing.
Sightseeing
If you only have one day free, go to Waiheke. Fabulous views and vineyards and beaches, this is an idyllic island. There's a bus service on the island and taxis. Catch the ferry from the center of Auckland city to get there. Pre-book a wine tour, or just go there and explore. We love Cable Bay, but all the vineyards are great.
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Waiheke Island
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If you only have one day free, go to Waiheke. Fabulous views and vineyards and beaches, this is an idyllic island. There's a bus service on the island and taxis. Catch the ferry from the center of Auckland city to get there. Pre-book a wine tour, or just go there and explore. We love Cable Bay, but all the vineyards are great.
Devonport is an old and lovely part of Auckland. It's just a short ferry ride from the city center. Exploring by Segway is fun for the whole family.
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Magic Broomstick Segway Tours
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Devonport is an old and lovely part of Auckland. It's just a short ferry ride from the city center. Exploring by Segway is fun for the whole family.
A really nice part of Auckland with a very good beach, great views of Rangitoto Island, and some nice shops, bars and cafes.
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Takapuna
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A really nice part of Auckland with a very good beach, great views of Rangitoto Island, and some nice shops, bars and cafes.
Highest point in Auckland, it's an extinct volcano with the best views over the city and beyond
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Mount Eden
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Highest point in Auckland, it's an extinct volcano with the best views over the city and beyond
We love coming here all year 'round, but especially in the summer. There is so much going on here: bars, restaurants, cafes, fish market; a playground for the kids; views of the harbour; super yachts... There are also heaps of occasional activities including outdoor movies, dance lessons, markets, music... The first hour of parking is free. The Viaduct is just a short walk over the bridge with even more great restaurants and bars.
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Wynyard Quarter
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We love coming here all year 'round, but especially in the summer. There is so much going on here: bars, restaurants, cafes, fish market; a playground for the kids; views of the harbour; super yachts... There are also heaps of occasional activities including outdoor movies, dance lessons, markets, music... The first hour of parking is free. The Viaduct is just a short walk over the bridge with even more great restaurants and bars.
Essential to visit here, the views from the top are spectacular. Handy tip: if you're eating at Orbit restaurant then you don't have to pay separately to go up the tower.
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Sky Tower
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Essential to visit here, the views from the top are spectacular. Handy tip: if you're eating at Orbit restaurant then you don't have to pay separately to go up the tower.
Shopping
A lovely European style market open Sat and Sun mornings. Grab coffee and danish. Buy fresh vegetables, wine, cheese, and other produce. It's a great atmosphere and partially under cover if the weather is bad.
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French Market
69 St Georges Bay Rd
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A lovely European style market open Sat and Sun mornings. Grab coffee and danish. Buy fresh vegetables, wine, cheese, and other produce. It's a great atmosphere and partially under cover if the weather is bad.
Some nice designer clothes shops here. The area has a very pleasant vibe and it's nice to have a coffee in the sun in the summer. The water features are fun, especially for the kids. There are some nice bars in this vicinity too.
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Britomart
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Some nice designer clothes shops here. The area has a very pleasant vibe and it's nice to have a coffee in the sun in the summer. The water features are fun, especially for the kids. There are some nice bars in this vicinity too.