Lying in the South Pacific Ocean and as the first place in the world to greet the new day, is New Zealand. Affectionately known as the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland was chosen in 2014 as one of the Top World cities and with an incredible history, stunning scenery and a culturally diversity to her, it isn’t hard to see why!
Auckland (Tāmaki-makau-rau), is the largest urban area in New Zealand and whilst it is an essential port for any traveller visiting New Zealand, this vibrantly modern and elegant city is a melting pot of culture and truly has something to offer for all walks of life, visiting timeframes, travel-styles and budgets.
© Flickr – Chris M. The very beautiful Mt Eden
If you’re feeling adventurous, head on up to Maungawhau, or Mt Eden as it is known. It is the highest of Auckland’s volcanos and has an absolutely magical view of the inner-city. Climb that mountain with nothing less than enthusiasm and make sure your outfit is #gramready!
You could spend hours (days?) planning how to eat and drink your way from Kumeu to Waiheke Island, but if you are after some CBD-local treats then I have some choices for you which are sure to delight your tastebuds!
© Giapo, New Zealand – amazing edible creations!
When you are in Auckland and your sweet cravings are tantalisingly present, a recommendation guaranteed to delight your taste-buds and eyes is Giapo, located on Gore St in the CBD. An explosion of creative & delicious delight, Giapo has had its praises deservedly praised and has a menu for all! Remember the first time you dipped your Macca’s chips into your soft-serve and the brain explosion of sweet + savoury? Well, the amazing team at Giapo has their incredible Hot Chips in a Cone, sure to delight anyone who tries it! The kiwi favourite Hokey Pokey gets its own spin, and the #instafamous The Colossal Squid is a thing of beauty. Only New Zealand organic milk and fresh produce is used and the ice cream is made from scratch every day! The team at Giapo has also opened their kitchen for kitchen tours and they are loved throughout Auckland and New Zealand and for good reason!
You’ve heard of the Auckland Sky Needle, and possibly the Skywalk but have you heard of the Skyjump?! What’s slightly more ridiculous than being up a 192m tall tower? Jumping off of it by wire at 85km per hour, that’s what! The best part? You are completely responsible for jumping (hurling?) yourself off of it. If it makes you feel better, just remember that falling that distance at that speed should only take around 11 seconds.
You can organise a day trip out to the Goat Island Marine Reserve and can kayak in clear kayaks, imaging being able to watch the fish underneath your kayak?! Glass Bottom Boat Tours have one and two hour hires, safety equipment is provided at no extra cost and you can explore Goat Island’s rocky edges, view the kelp and seaweed forests, fish and other marine life, all just below the water’s surface.
Pic © Abigail Kathleen (Trip Advisor, 2017)
If you’re looking to experience the city in a way you have never seen it before and hear authentic and spooky stories of Auckland’s sordid history, then a lantern lit ghost tour of her historical streets filled with murders, hauntings and other ghoulish business may be for you. Auckland Ghost Tours are sure to delight you with their dark history of the city.
© Escape Rooms Auckland
Sure wine tours are fun, but have you ever tried to beat the clock to escape a themed room while solving puzzles along the way?! Escape Masters brought the first escape room to New Zealand and Auckland CBD (Queen Street) offers up several different themed escapes (haunted, bank-heist, alien, etc. bar mafia). If the idea of escaping a horror themed haunted motel doesn’t get your blood pumping then you’re a stronger person than I!
© BodyFX, Street Art Murals Auckland, 2017
If you have ever thought about reliving your obsession with Buffy, Angel (I am a painfully basic 90’s girl, it is true), True Blood, The Walking Dead or Z Nation – then you should visit BodyFX and take part in a professional makeup course in Auckland. The Principle Artist and Director of BodyFX, Yolanda has over twenty years experience and offers a wide range of courses for everyone. Perhaps a creative makeover before your ghost tour?!
Miss Moonshine’s in Ponsoby cheekily refers to their offerings as ‘grilliant food’ and with their slow cooking, wood smoking, rubs and distinctive smoke favours – she certainly caters to every BBQ fan. I know that their eggplant with refried beans and mac and cheese are on my wish-list for my next visit!
You may not have an Auckland holiday planned anytime soon, but if you find yourself having a stopover in Auckland soon, I hope you enjoyed this list of alternative activities to take part in during your visit and that you too experience the wonder which Auckland has on offer!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! It is my greatest pleasure to share with you my own personal experiences, adventures and places I have researched for upcoming trips!
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