Lively, lovely and oh-so-photogenic, New Zealand’s largest city is so immediately likeable it will easily become your new BFF in just a couple of days. 48 hours in Auckland is a weekend well spent.
Think: days spent hiking up volcanoes, hitting attractive beaches and exploring the buzzing city centre, followed by evenings savouring sunset meals and hanging out in hip bars.
Here’s How to Spend 48 Hours in Auckland:
Head Straight for the Central Business District
Leave the straightforward yet surprisingly scenic confines of your digs at the Ibis Budget Auckland Central and make a beeline for the bustling Central Business District (CBD). In time you will invariably end up on Queen Street, Auckland’s busiest, liveliest and most prestigious commercial thoroughfare.
Home to top-end designer stores, budget-friendly clothing shops and everything in between, this vibrant artery is a huge one-stop shop for everything retail related. Lower Queen Street, with its jolly buskers and laid-back cafes, is the best place to kick back with a coffee and wonder why all city centres can’t be this pleasant.
Check Out the Mighty Sky Tower
Piercing the sky above the CBD like a giant space dart is Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower, a 328m-high landmark that offers unbeatable 360-degree views over the city. If you’re an adventurous type then by all means sign on for a bungee jump or an al fresco walk around the observation platform while you’re up there – both of which are utterly fab! When you’re all done, scope out the food markets at the base of the tower and reward yourself with a gluttonous feed.
Enjoy a Few Sundowners by the Waterfront
Boasting awesome sunset views and an easy going vibe, the area along Auckland’s waterfront is an agreeable if somewhat pricey place to enjoy a few evening drinks. Nab yourself a seat at a rooftop bar just before the sun dips though and chances are you’ll be pretty happy. If you’re budget conscious and/or have more diverse tastes then swing by Karangahape Road (also known as ‘K Road’) instead. It’s home to some of the best cheap eats and liveliest gay bars in the city.
Hike up a Volcano
By day two you’ll probably be wondering why Auckland is so hilly. Well, the answer is simple – it’s built on 49 (dormant) volcanoes. Start today by hiking up landmark Mount Eden, the largest and most prettily named of them all. It’ll only take you 15 minutes to reach the grassed-over crater at the top but the overall effect – like the sprawling city views – is pretty special. Refuel with a tasty minced beef pie from one of the bakeries back in Mount Eden village when you descend.
Hit the Beach
Auckland is blessed with a cluster of attractive beaches and seaside suburbs, most of which are little more than a short bus ride from the CBD. As one of the larger and livelier options, Mission Bay is one of the city’s most popular oceanside hangouts, with loads of cafes, restaurants and pubs to explore and a range of rental kayaks, waterbikes and paddle boards standing by to entertain you out on the water. The actual beach is rather pleasant, too.
Push the Boat Out!
By now you’ll have guessed that the City of Sails’ skyline is best appreciated from the water. With this in mind, why not treat yourself a decadent sunset dinner cruise on one of the catamarans or yachts that operate out of Viaduct Harbour? Watching the glittering skyline, replete with illuminated Sky Tower, twinkle as you dine is a lovely way to round off your all-too-brief visit.