Undiscovered Auckland

You wouldn’t expect anything less exotic from the furthest corner of the world. A smart yet unpretentious city with a rich cultural history make for something more of a meaningful experience. Don’t be fooled by the tourist brochures that visiting Skytower and Queens Street is all there is to do. In fact, the real fun in visiting Auckland is the surrounding areas just outside the city.

Slightly south is Ponsonby where you will find boutique shops, restaurants and bars. This is a go to place where you can’t go wrong and S.P.Q.R is a popular veteran. My favourite restaurant, Ponsonby Road Bistro, is what I look forward to most when visiting New Zealand. The atmosphere is sophisticated yet casual, the quality is great and the price is just right.  Also Ponsonby Central is a real community hive for some great eateries, homewares and hard to find items.

Ponsonby Rd Bistro Eye Fillet


Ponsonby Rd Bistro Trifle
SPQR Restaurant


If you are brave then hopping on a ferry and going to Devenport for some peace and quiet on a historic walk is a nice city escape. You can go further to Belmont and visit Friday and Little for treats that look too good to eat. They also have a garden out the back where they grow some of the ingredients. Make sure to visit the Takapuna Beach Cafe and the Department Store nearby before you leave the north shore. If you have time then visit Northcote where restaurants are always popping up on high street like Estelle.

Friday and little
Little and Friday Cafe

Friday and little

Takapuna Beach Cafe


Stephen Marr Salon
The Department Store in Takapuna



Auckland is a real hot spot with over 50 volcanoes in a 350km radius. They have been dormant for hundreds years but that means there are some exiting trips. You can actually climb a volcano like Rangitito for some of the best views of Auckland. Alternatively visiting Waiheke island has similar views but the addition of vineyards and great restaurants like MudBrick.

If you are feeling worse for wear then opting to stay in the city is not a bad option. Being deprived of oxygen from plane air usually has that effect. Head to Britomart or the High Street district for some high end shopping and an abundance of restaurant choices. Auckland has a vibrant night life not to be missed. Don’t be afraid to dress up if you are in the mood, you could have an unforgettable night.

Before you think New Zealand is just sheep and tall mountains; there are some hidden gems waiting to be discovered if you take a moment to look around.

Regatta Eatery Breakfast
Parnell Art Gallery
Silo Market Outdoor Cinema
Ostro Mojito


Hotel Debrett ($220pn)

Hilton ($350pn)

Mollies ($650pn)

Sky City Grand Hotel ($200pn)

Langham ($350pn)

NOTE: approx cost only. November to April are warmer months to travel.


Go to Friday and Little for a gem of a cafe

S.P.Q.R. great first port of call

Ponsonby Rd Bistro for eye fillet steak

Clooney for pre-dinner drinks and sophisticated dining

Go to Estelle for Roast Lamb Shoulder For Two, Glazed Vegetables

O’Connel St Bistro for some of New Zealand’s finest produce

The French Cafe for great fine dining

Merediths for unforgettable fine dining

MudBrick on Waiheke Island for all of the above

Takapuna Beach Cafe for brunch and a holiday feel experience

Visit the Denizen for more dining options


Bring some chairs and blankets for a cinema under the stars at the silo markets

Good first stop for bar hopping go to Ponsonby Social Club

The Department Store in Takapuna for New Zealand style

Ostro for the best city views of the Hauraki Gulf

Pikingtons for the best spot for all that glitters and is gold

For some happening Auckland beats go to Tyler Street Garage

For 101 more options go here


Choose a bus, shuttle or taxi ($70) from the airport to the city.

While you are in Auckland taxi’s are pretty plentiful and you just need to ring and make a booking if you are outside the city. Otherwise UBER is another convenient option.

Ferries are an easy way to get to Waiheke Island, Devenport or Rangitoto Island.


One of the best reasons to visit Auckland is New Zealand fashion. These top designers include Zambesi, Karen Walker,  Kate Sylvester, Trelise Cooper, Sabaitini and World . Lesser known but definitely worth visiting are Helen Cherry , TK Store , Moochi  and, for the very young at heart, Ruby. Untouched World is loved by international travellers for its luxurious range of organic cotton and merino casual wear


Visit the Britomart website for upcoming events

Ponsonby Highlights; take a look here

For ideas on what to wear in Auckland; go to Fashion Quarterly


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