Ah, the very last of my Auckland posts. It took slightly longer than expected to put this together – and I certainly hope that you enjoy it! As a grand finale, this is a round-up of all of my favourite things to do in Auckland! So if you’ve booked in a trip, or are already planning a visit, these are some places I make sure to pop by whenever I’m in town. I’d love to hear your recommendations too; so please leave a comment if there is an absolute must-go place, and I’ll do my best to arrange it during my next trip!
WHERE TO EAT
Mexicali / 137 Quay Street, Auckland
We are big Mexican food enthusiasts in our household! Whenever we go to Auckland, our very first stop is Mexicali. I usually opt for a good ol’ burrito (“extra guacamole, please!”) but this time around went for a taco salad – where I got to eat the actual bowl! Have you ever seen the Simpsons episode where Homer has a nacho hat that he gets to eat? Well that’s totally what I felt like – though I managed to resist the urge of placing the taco bowl on my head (and for that my hair is eternally grateful). Back to the food though, Mexicali is delicious, and with $12 a burrito, pretty standard by New Zealand prices. Oh, and it’s right next to the wharf, so you get to watch boats while you eat.
Velvet Burger / 18 Fort Street, Auckland
Before our visit, I made darn sure to do my burger research (a must of any trip). There are zillions of amazing places about, but as a vegetarian – or more particularly, a vegetarian that doesn’t like tofu or mushrooms very much, your options get narrowed down awfully quickly. On a rainy day, just as the hangover was beginning to strike, we arrived at Velvet Burger. Me & my guy, Barnaby both opted for a Animal Rights burger (pictured above) – complete with a kumara & coriander patty, velvet relish, and a minty yoghurt sauce. This was probably the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Ever. And I eat a lot of burgers (vegetarian, of course).
Sals Pizza / 183 K Road, Auckland
…because who doesn’t love pizza?! And did I mention it’s New York pizza style – aka. massive! We always make sure to pop into Sals – and luckily there are branches all over Auckland! You can buy by the slice (we did) or opt for a full size pizza pie. Either way, Sals is delicious!
WHERE TO SHOP
Iko Iko / 195 Karahange Road, Auckland
I give a far more detailed description of my retail choices in my where to shop in Auckland blog post, however, I couldn’t help but include my beloved Iko Iko in this post too! Iko Iko is my favourite shop, and it’s really not surprising as it’s home to some of the cutest (and weirdest!) knick knacks and accessories. Every time I emerge from this shop I always end up with a souvenir – including this trip in to take photos! If you’re not planning on visiting New Zealand any time soon, you should totally check out their online store. I love Iko Iko!
WHERE TO DRINK
Hula Hut / Cnr Hobson & Quay Street, Viaduct, Auckland
To say that I don’t drink is basically the understatement of the year. My drinking life is fairly non-existant – although when I’m on holiday I always seem to make an exception. I’m really not into crowds, so the quiet little Hula Hut was completely perfect. We sat harbourside, watching yachts as they docked, and felt the fresh sea air on our faces. Oh, and did I mention that the entire floor was covered in Astroturf?! I’m kind of obsessed with the stuff (and have long dreamed of covering our balcony in it!) so I was rather impressed. And lemmie tell you; those Sol beers were bloomin’ amazing, especially as the weather was peaking at 28 degrees! Eep!
WHAT TO DO
Sky Tower / Cnr Victoria & Federal Streets, Auckland
It’s impossible to visit Auckland without at least catching a glimpse of it’s massive landmark; the Sky Tower. The tallest building in New Zealand, and one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere for that matter, the Sky Tower offers the most breathtaking views of the city. We didn’t make it up this time around, but we certainly did a couple of years ago, which you can see in this post. And if you’re a thrill seeking individual (I’m totally not) you can leap off the side of it – at a whopping 328 metres!
Auckland Zoo / Motions Road, Auckland
You might have seen my earlier post about Auckland Zoo. There was absolutely no way it wasn’t going to appear on this list – it was one of the best zoos I’ve ever been to! About ten minutes out of the CBD, this picturesque spot is home to New Zealand’s only elephant (…but not for long!) and my favourite of all – flamingoes. This is without a doubt the best zoo in New Zealand – and so so so recommended!