48 Hours In Auckland
Monday, March 13th, 2017Read about '48 Hours In Auckland' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.
What would you do if you only had 48 hours to spend in New Zealand’s most vibrant and busiest city? Visitors to the city of Auckland are spoilt for choice when it comes to attractions, treats, activities and adventure, however such a short time frame can mean having to be a bit more selective in how you choose to spend your time.
Boutique shopping, trendy waterfront precincts, world-class restaurants and cafes, a lively arts and culture scene, all topped off with superb harbour based encounters are all going to demand your attention. To give you a helping hand we have put together this handy guide for the best way to spend 48 hours in Auckland.
Hit the ground running on Friday night with a visit to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour. Set right on the water’s edge, the Viaduct is just buzzing with entertainment and fun during the evening. Get dressed up party into the wee small hours while rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous at Bungalow 8. Or mix it up in style at The Lula Inn.
For breakfast/brunch (and a bit of culture) head out to the suburb of Parnell to discover a little bit of France right here in Auckland. The French inspired farmers’ market, La Cigale is open every Saturday from 8am to 1.30pm and you will find everything from fresh produce, breads and pastries to cheeses, meats, fish, salads, pasta, salamis and sausages, along with extra virgin olive oils, manuka honey, jams and chutneys and much more.
Grab a coffee or a freshly squeezed juice and enjoy a stroll through the plentiful market stalls, look out for the Croque Monsieurs and Bahn Mi sandwiches, Beef Bourguignon pies, hot croissants, freshly cooked danishes and fruit tarts. Before you leave be sure to seek out the beautiful raw cakes and sweet treats from The Raw Kitchen, all of their food is dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, raw and vegan. The perfect guilt free snack!
After such a leisurely start to the day perhaps it’s time for a bit of adventure? No visit to Auckland is complete without taking in the iconic Sky Tower. Standing at an impressive 328 meters tall the Auckland Sky Tower is hard to miss. Take a trip in the elevator up to the Sky Deck to enjoy the spectacular 360 degree views, or take a walk on the wild side and give the SkyWalk a go. Wearing a full body harness the walk takes you outside on a 1.2 metre wide platform 192 metres above the ground. The SkyJump is there for those with extreme adventure on the bucket list, take the leap and plummet 192 metres straight down as you experience this unforgettable base-jump.
For a late lunch, head on over to Ponsonby Central, whatever you’re in the mood for you will find it here in the hive of excellent cafes and eateries. The Chop Chop Noodle House is a great place to start if you can’t make up your mind or Burger Burger for some good old fashioned burgers, fries and shakes.
Time to hit the water a get a feeling for what Auckland is all about, no not on a super yacht, think a little smaller! Kayaking is a great way to explore and work off some of that delicious lunch you just had in Ponsonby. As well as providing lessons Auckland Sea Kayaks run guided sea kayak tours to Auckland’s nearby Rangitoto Island (or Waiheke, Motukorea and others if you are interested).
The sunset tour to Rangitoto departs from the St Heliers Bay boat ramp after some on-the-spot instructions and safety briefing shortly after 4pm. Upon arrival on Rangitoto expect to take part in a one hour exploratory hike to the summit and be rewarded with some of the best panoramic views out over the water. Getting peckish? Upon returning to the water’s edge you will be treated to a fantastic kiwi style BBQ dinner. Afterwards making your way back across the water, paddling in the dark with the sparkling city lights ahead in the distance, completing the tour at approximately 10.30pm.
Waiheke Island is on the agenda for the morning, with departure times starting at 7am and running through to 10.30pm grab the ferry and head on over whenever you are ready to start the day. If possible delay breakfast until you are on the Island, you don’t want to miss out on the yummy Eggs Benedict from The Boathouse Café, or some authentic French apple, almond and caramel crepes from café Frenchot.
Hire a scooter from Island Scoot and explore the Island at your own pace or join a guided tour, either way don’t miss the chance to sample some of the famous Waiheke wines, swim at one of Waiheke’s beautiful beaches or get adventurous with Ecozip ziplining.
As lunch time aproaches take your pick from any of the amazing eateries and vineyard restaurants on the Island, try Charlie Farleys for down to earth “good honest food” or The Oyster Inn for some coastal classics. Fenice for Italian inspired fare, or our top pick the Casita Miro for a excellent selection of tapas to share while you enjoy the beautiful vineyard and water views. Be careful you may find you never want to leave Waiheke – it has happened before!
If you manage to drag yourself away from the wonders of Waiheke Island, visiting the Auckland Domain is a great way to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. At 75 hectares the Domain is one Auckland’s largest parks, if you are lucky you will time it just right and catch the musical delights of a performance at the Band Rotunda, or a enthusiastic game of cricket, rugby or soccer on the expansive sports fields nestled among its beautifully landscaped grounds and native flora and fauna.
The Auckland War Memorial Museum is also worth a look, it houses the world’s largest collection of Maori artifacts. Wander about yourself or take a guided tour and learn about New Zealand’s rich culture and history. First opened in 1913, the beautiful historic Domain Wintergardens complex might just be an unexpected highlight of your trip. The two impressive barrel shaped glass house enclosures are full to the brim with rare and exotic plants, offering a rare glimpse into the dedication and determination of its founders.
Finish the weekend with some good old fish and chips on the beach at Mission Bay, one of Auckland’s most beautiful white sand beaches. You will find it’s the perfect place to chill out with the locals, relax, watch the sun go down and reflect on the best 48 hours in Auckland.