In recent years New Zealand has become best known for its otherworldly landscapes that are being so readily used to depict fantasy lands in big budget Hollywood movies such as the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Few people visit New Zealand to visit Auckland alone but as a starting or ending point to a New Zealand adventure, Auckland has a lot to offer. Here is a list of the current hotspots and the must do things to see and do if you’re passing through this cosmopolitan city. Don’t stay holed up in your Auckland CBD accommodation thinking there’s nothing to see… get out and explore – you could be pleasantly surprised.
Auckland Art Gallery
The gallery only re-opened in September of 2011 after a 3 year major renovation and is well worth a visit even if you’re not an art connoisseur. A highlight of the gallery is the gallery of turn of the century portraits of Maori leaders with their intricate tattoos and fierce expressions. The permanent collection is spread across four levels and includes both contemporary and Kiwi work and international pieces.
The hottest place to eat in town is definitely the relatively new Seafood Depot at the base of Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower. The rustic restaurant serves up delicious seafood on wood plank tables coupled with stunning local wines.
Another new addition to Auckland’s happening nightlife are the Britomart Bars located in the once derelict Britomart district. The area has been transformed into a vibrant hub of bars and restaurants in stunningly renovated historic buildings. This is definitely the new hotspot for the young and the trendsetters.
Parnell Farmers Markets
If you’re into good organic produce, locally sourced and made gourmet products, live music and mouthwatering hot food, then Parnell Farmers Markets will be right up your alley. On weekend mornings the markets are packed with locals diving into a fresh bacon and egg bap, sipping on freshly brewed coffee and picking up some stunning locally produced cheeses to have over the weekend.
Karangahape Road (aka K Road)
Similar to Sydney’s Oxford Street or London’s Carnaby Street, K Road is a quirky shopping district packed with trendy cafes, kitsch home ware shops and local designer boutiques. Once a sleazy red light district and still with some connections to that era, the people watching on K Road is a draw card on its own.
Even if you’re just passing through, take some time to escape your Auckland airport hotel and explore the hot spots, you’ll be surprised at what a grown up city Auckland has become, and the standard of Auckland hotels is world class so your stay will be a comfortable one. CBD Shop UK