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Things To Do, Where to Eat and Where to Stay in Auckland New Zealand

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand now ranks high on my list of favorite cities. It reminds me of something between Seattle, Washington and San Diego, California which I both adore! We were there for 3 nights and 4 days total which felt way too short but we sure did get a lot done (more like ate a lot). So if you're looking for things to do or where to eat in Auckland, keep reading!

See & Do:

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Sky Tower - Who else loves going to towers and tallest buildings when visiting a new city? I definitely do, so naturally I ended up visiting the Sky Tower in Central Auckland. I think it's definitely worth the visit so you can see sweeping views of the city from 220 meters high! If you're adventurous, you can also do the Sky Walk where you walk the rim of the tower, or the Sky Jump which is well, self-explanatory.

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Ponsonby Neighborhood - If you're a little hipster like me (I hate to admit it), you'll love strolling through the Ponsonby Neighborhood just a few miles from the Viaduct Harbour area of Auckland. There's a lot of boutique shopping, crafty shops, art galleries and tons of good eats.

Queen Street Shopping - I'm not a big shopper when I'm traveling but if you are, I suggest walking down Queen Street for shopping options. You'll be able to find local shops, restaurants, as well as numerous luxury brands for higher end shopping.

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Museum - I'm a history and culture nerd, so it's always a must to visit museums when I travel. The Auckland Museum is more of a war memorial but it's also a great place to educate yourself about New Zealand in general. We spent hours here and learned so much! Seeing historical happenings from views other than the American point of view is so eye-opening and educational. Highly, highly recommend the Auckland Museum! It's a beautiful space, too!

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Things to Do in Auckland, New Zealand

Villa Maria Winery - If you're new to my blog, I'm a huge wine drinker. I visit Napa 2-3 times a year and studied oenology for a while. So naturally, I couldn't wait to get to a New Zealand winery since they bottle delicious wines there! As much as we would have loved to visit more wineries, we only had time for one; Villa Maria Winery! It's a beautiful property near the airport with a cafe and a small tasting space. The white wines really blew our minds, especially the Rieslings and the Gew├╝rztraminer, which I rarely drink as I'm more of a red (cab sauv) drinker. We purchased almost 6 bottles to bring back!

Eat & Drink:

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

The Fox Sporting Bar & Restaurant
- The Fox in the Viaduct Harbour area was actually on the same property as my hotel. We admit, it was a bit of a lazy choice since we had just landed, exhausted and hungry. Good thing it was delicious and beyond our expectations! For appetizers, we had their Garlic Cheese Flatbread and oh my goodness it was delicious. Foodgasm, much? If that wasn't indulging enough, we ordered Fish & Chips but you kind of have to, right? It was unlike American fish & chips where it's 80% breading and 20% fish. It was quite the opposite and so delicious! Also, they're a sports bar so we had all our food and local beer while we watched rugby. Loved every second of it!

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Foxtrot Parlour - I have a huge sweet tooth so one of the first things I did upon landing in Auckland was look for the best donut or dessert spot. The place that kept popping up in searches was the Foxtrot Parlour and their famous 'foiyo donut', an 'inject your own donut'. Inject filling into your own donut? I was sold! We headed to Foxtrot Parlour inside the Ponsonby Central Market immediately for the foiyo donut and brunch. We went in thinking the donut was going to be the highlight but their Peanut Parlour Pancake and their Quiche Lorraine were to die for. Sure, the donut was cool by novelty but I highly recommend going for the rest of their menu!

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Giraffe Restaurant - Yet another restaurant we got lucky with that's attached to our hotel, the Sebel Viaduct Harbour Hotel. We had a scrambled egg toast with pesto butter and salmon, as well as a lemon ricotta blueberry skillet-cake. The chili oil tube was the icing on the cake! Highly recommend the Giraffe Restaurant for breakfast and brunch. I can't speak for their lunch or dinner but if it's anything like the quality of food we had (which I assume it is!), you won't regret it.

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Burg'z Burgers (Elliott Stables) - We were on the hunt for unique burgers and came across Burg'z Burgers inside the Elliott Stables. First of all, Elliott Stables is an old building that's turned into a food court (think hipster food court, not mall food court). Elliott Stables has over 12 unique and local eateries with plentiful seating. Burg'z Burgers is one of the 12 and I recommend it! Their burgers are organic, grass-fed, hormone & antibiotic free and never frozen. I had the Oh Deer! Burger and my husband got the Miss Mary Burger (lamb). It takes forever but worth it!

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Sierra Coffee - If you weren't aware, I'm a coffee snob. I'm always on the hunt for new coffee, especially when I'm traveling. The Sierra Coffee was right across from my hotel, the Sebel Viaduct Harbour Hotel and I went out there desperately one morning for a cup of joe and was pleasantly surprised. Their coffee is great but their matcha? High quality and that's coming from a Japanese gal! Sierra Coffee's matcha latte was thick, foamy and not too sweet. Absolute perfection!

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

Post Office Public House - Before heading to the Villa Maria Winery, we needed to find something quick to eat and ended up finding the Post Office Public House near the airport, a total hidden gem! The interior was hipster-charming and the food was even better. How adorable is the menu? I had the Peri Peri Chicken Burger, which was so good. I know people either love or hate polenta but if you're on the lover's side, their Polenta Fries will change your life. That's right, it's going to change your freaking life. Yum!

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand

McDonald's - The amount of hate mail I get to this day for including McDonald's on my Maui food post should discourage me from including it here but I honestly don't care! I absolutely enjoy trying McDonald's and Starbucks' all over the world since they always dabble in local flavors. How is that not fun? The McDonald's in New Zealand wasn't any different. They had a lot of lamb choices, burgers with beets and special McFlurry's. Not only that, everything was incredibly fresh! The items looked exactly the way it does in their marketing material. Here in the US? Um, no. Yum!

Places to Eat in Auckland, New Zealand







Starbucks - Yes, I'm including Starbucks. Similar story to the above. Starbucks has local flavors incorporated to their drink and food menu all over the world and I love it. We had some savory pie and enjoyed a Caramel Popcorn Frap! Oh, and I couldn't leave without grabbing Starbucks' Auckland & New Zealand You Are Here mugs! Do you collect those?

Stay:

Things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

Sebel Viaduct Harbour Hotel - The Sebel Viaduct Harbour Hotel is where we stayed and while it isn't a luxury property, the location is what made it wonderful. It's right on the Viaduct Harbour that has several restaurants and bars right outside the hotel doors and walking distance to almost any attraction in the Auckland area. If not, it's a short and reasonable ride via cab or Uber. They offer a suite style room with a kitchenette, a living area and fabulous views!

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Looking for more New Zealand posts?
- Exploring the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves in New Zealand 

- Best Places to See Kiwis in New Zealand - The Otorohanga Kiwi and Native Bird Park 
- Checking In: Woodlyn Park Waitomo for the Airplane Hotel 
- Experiencing the Hobbiton Move Set & Banquet Tour in New Zealand 

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Things to do in Auckland, New Zealand

17 comments

  1. Beautiful pictures! All the food looks amazing!! Not sure if I would do the Sky Jump though. I don’t collect the You Are Here mugs but I do collect the destination gift cards we sell. #flyawayfriday

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  2. It seems like we have similar travel philosophies - I'm very into museums and culture and food and not so much into shopping. Lol. That doughnut gimmick is so cool that I would definitely put that on my to do list lol. Happy Friday and happy 50th! #flyawayfriday

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  3. Love this type of guide all in one post! Yet another place I need to explore one day.
    #flyawayfriday

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  4. The SkyTower and the SkyWalk are right up my alley. But the SkyJump... well I've never bungee jumped before, although I'm pretty sure that if I was going to do it anywhere, New Zealand would be one of my first choices.
    That plate of fish and chips will be in my dreams for a long time! I miss fish and chips so much... And it's not like you can't get it here. It's just not the same as home. #FlyAwayFriday

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  5. It's been a long time since I visited Auckland and I loved it and want to go back. Love the McDonald's comment as well...lol...in Cyprus I had a McDonald's Halloumi breakfast sandwich it was fantastic. #flyawayfriday

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  6. Everything looks so amazing! I'm totally salivating looking at all of the food. I'm glad you ignored the hate mail about McD's! In every country, you can find something special. Thank you for sharing a wonderful city that not a lot of people get to enjoy because it's far from most of the world's population. #FlyAwayFriday

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  7. So many great places in Auckland. It looks like you went to a lot of places that I never got to see--I can't believe I didn't go to the Sky Tower! Also, that inject your own donut thing looks so cool. Very interesting idea. #FlyAwayFriday

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  8. I rarely eat McDonald's while in the US but I actually enjoy going there in other countries. Not only is it fun to see how they incorporate local foods, but sometimes when I'm traveling, I just want to eat something familiar, especially when the kids are with me. #FlyAwayFriday

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  9. The food looks delectable. Wonderful experience you got there.

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  10. Such a great post and all of this food looks so good that I'm actually hungry now! Injecting your own donut sounds like so much fun. I would love to explore the Ponsonby neighborhood. It looks so quaint and fun, and I'm also a sucker for hipster areas! That's so frustrating to hear that people gave you a hard time about mentioning McDonald's in a post. I agree that it's always interesting to see how international chains incorporate local flavors and customs into their menus. With a place like McDonald's, it also highlights how low American standards are. The ones I have seen in other countries are always SO much nicer and cleaner inside! #flyawayfriday

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  11. I can't believe people hate on you for including McDonald's and Starbucks! I actually really like going to both places when I travel somewhere new to try the country-specific menu items!

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  12. We can’t wait to see New Zealand and hope to spend a good few months there at some point!i think Auckland will be our starting point so great to have your recommendations ! #flyawayfriday

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  13. So much great information here. I'll hopefully get to go to NZ next year so I pinned this for later reference :-)

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  14. Great pictures! I am a coffee snob and a wino as well so I would have enjoyed all of this so much! I have eaten at Mcdonalds in Hawaii before and I don't understand why you got hate for that haha! It was so good but different.

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  15. Awesome!! Ive akways wanted to go to Auckland! I will pin this for reference!!

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  16. New Zealand is the first place we moved to internationally and it is kinda like a distant and blurry memory to me. Your food choices! Wow! That sporting bar and the fish and chips looked so good. And the post office - so cute. Thanks for this walk down memory lane!

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  17. Aukland looks amazing. I only got to Queenstown but heard so much about this city! I don't care either if people get annoyed about including McDonald's or Starbucks! I love both! That pizza and wine though...:)

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