Hey team! I’m Dani, a University of Auckland student studying Drama and Classics. Although I was born here, I grew up in Tauranga, but having lived in this city for the past year and a half, it certainly feels like this place never sleeps! There’s always something exciting going on, whether it be down at the waterfront or in the crowded streets of the city central.
So here is a quick guide to the must-sees and must-dos of Auckland:
There are tonnes of events throughout the year in the city, starting with the gorgeous Auckland Lantern Festival in the summer through to the Aotea Square Ice Rink in the winter. A whole heap of renowned New Zealand events are hosted right here in Auckland, which is always exciting. Such as the NZ International Comedy Festival, the NZ International Film Festival, and New Zealand Fashion Week. There’s always something on for every walk of life, no matter what you love to do.
If you don’t feel like breaking into your pocket money, there’s heaps of free events on throughout the year too. My favourite is the Night Markets, every Friday from 5pm-11pm on Shortland Street or every Saturday from 5pm-midnight on Elliot Street. Get your mates together for yummy street eats and treats, and live entertainment.
There is definitely no shortage of things to do when visiting the big smoke. If you want to do classic touristy things, then Auckland is the place to go - trip up the Sky Tower anyone? Head off to Kelly Tarltons Sea Life Aquarium or the Auckland Art Gallery if the weather packs in (as it often spontaneously does here). If the sun is shining, visit Piha Beach, go for a walk up Mount Eden, or explore the Auckland Domain and Winter Gardens.
f you feel like just taking a stroll around the city and see what it has to offer, there are tonnes of excellent cafes, bars, and restaurants that are worth a visit. My personal favourite places for brunch are Best Ugly Bagels, Winona Forever, or Hello Friends + Allies.
Auckland is pretty big - there are lots of friendly suburbs where you can get responsibly priced accomodation. Transport into the city is pretty easy too, with buses travelling frequently, along with the speedy train service. If you want to stay in the main hub among the buzzing city central, there are many affordable hostels or backpackers, or if you feel like splurging a little, try some classy hotels like the Quest or Waldorf Street Apartments.
I could go on and on with a whole list of all the exciting and unique activities to do in Auckland, so what are you waiting for? Get those bags packed and come check out the city that never sleeps!