Take three harbours, a vineyard-dotted island, a vibrant cultural scene and natural landscapes prime for adventure and you’ve got a city that’s poised and ready for exploration. Whether you’re looking for a buzzy city getaway, the perfect place to rest and relax for a few days before you see the rest of Aotearoa or the ideal stopover on your way to New York City, you’ll find everything you could ever need right in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Here’s how to pack more holiday into your itinerary.

Ready, set, go on a gourmet getaway 

Ahi restaurant, Auckland

Waterfront crayfish, pub lamb roast and traditional hāngī: quietly establishing itself as a destination for keen food lovers, Auckland has options for every taste. 

Discover the city (and the country) with your tastebuds at harbour restaurant Ahi. Chef Ben Bayly presents an unapologetically Kiwi menu showcasing regional produce and traditional Māori cooking techniques. Don’t miss the Hurunui Wagyu bavette from Canterbury with pastrami beef tongue, oyster mayo and stout onion rings. 

Local, sustainably caught seafood is the star of the show at Britomart’s kingi, where an outward-facing seat at the curved kauri bar is the best place to savour Te Matuku Bay oysters. Just remember to leave some room for Tokki’s Taste Adventure menu, a 10-course celebration in Auckland’s northern suburbs that neatly straddles Korean and Kiwi culture. 

Taste the suite life 

The Hotel Britomart, Auckland

Auckland offers an extensive range of high-end accommodation options. Generating much buzz has been the award-winning The Hotel Britomart – and rightly so. The Cheshire Architects–designed property in trendy Britomart down by the waterfront is New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star Hotel, marrying boutique luxury with firm commitment to sustainability (duvets and pillows are filled with the microfibre of recycled plastic bottles and the slippers are compostable). 

About 15 minutes from both the CBD and airport, the new SOHO Hotel Auckland in Mt Roskill is due to throw open its Art Deco–inspired doors in October 2023, offering an opulent day spa, rooftop bar and extensive dining options. 

World-class food, glittering harbours, luxury stays… Auckland has it all. Book your flights now at qantas.com.

Make cultural connections

Courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Photography David St George

From early Polynesian explorers and maritime adventurers to the world of science and technology, New Zealand’s fascinating history is yours to unearth within
Auckland’s multitude of interactive museums and galleries. 

At Auckland Museum, more than three million objects (including one of the world’s most significant collections of Māori and Polynesian artefacts) come together across three floors to tell the story of Aotearoa and its people. The nation’s seafaring history comes alive during a visit to the harbourfront New Zealand Maritime Museum, where an opportunity to take to the harbour aboard the re-established legacy scow Ted Ashby is all part of the experience. Afterwards, find artwork that  traces back to the first contact between Māori and European explorers in the 1600s at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. First opened in 1888, it now greets visitors through a striking entrance of kauri columns. Gain a deeper insight into the gallery’s collection on one of its free guided tours, happening every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. 

Seek adventurous thrills

SkyCity Auckland

With dormant volcanoes to climb, glittering harbours to conquer by kayak and dramatic beaches to surf, Auckland’s unique blend of nature and urban excitement makes for a fun-filled playground. 

For thrills at dizzying heights, head to the iconic 328m-high Sky Tower, where you can BASE-jump from 192 metres (SkyJump), walk around the viewing platform (SkyWalk) and “slide” down glass tubes in the ultimate virtual reality tour (SkySlide).

Closer to terra firma, the All Blacks Experience offers a 90-minute grassroots-to-glory tour featuring five interactive zones, plus a powerful haka, while a Wētā Workshop Unleashed tour takes you on a 1.5-hour interactive journey through wacky movie making. The focus? The toe-curling worlds of horror, fantasy and science fiction. 

Fit more fun into your holiday with a stay in Auckland. Find your flights now at qantas.com.

Enjoy dazzling rooftop bars

Bar Albert, Auckland

Whether it’s under sunshine, sunset or a canopy of stars, there’s no better place to raise a glass in appreciation of Auckland’s skyline than at one of the city’s many cool rooftop bars. 

Bar Albert, on the 38th floor of voco Auckland City Centre, takes a fine-dining approach to bar service with its curated selection of bespoke single-batch spirits, while SkyBar – the city’s newest bar, created in partnership with Moët & Chandon – is on the 50th floor of the SkyCity complex and set to become the go-to for premium local and international wines (but don’t go past the Aoraki cocktail featuring Central Otago riesling, honey and pink grapefruit). Take your pick from indoor or outdoor settings at Rooftop at QT or toast the sinking sun at the Sunset Bar at Sudima Auckland City with seasonal cocktails and Indian-leaning bites. 

Keen to investigate the local viticulture on a more personal level? Auckland’s wine regions, specialising predominantly in chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and pinot gris, are a short drive – or ferry trip – away

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SEE ALSO: New York Insider’s Guide: Where to Explore Outside Manhattan

Image credits: Ahi. restaurant; The Hotel Britomart; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki/David St George; SkyCity Auckland; Bar Albert.

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