Our Top List of Things to Do in Auckland | Bird On A Wire
If you’re visiting Auckland, you’ll soon find out there’s so much to see and do. Any tourist pamphlet will be sure to tell you to visit the museum, the beaches, the viaduct and the sky tower, but you really need some local advice if you want to do anything cool in this city. That’s why we’ve come up with a few trendy ways to spend the perfect day out in Auckland!
Read on to discover it all - from finding healthy restaurants Auckland-wide, to soaking in all of the culture and arts of the City of Sails.
Soak in the atmosphere of an inner-city farmers market
Auckland is so lucky to have a whole selection of central farmers markets to visit on a Saturday or Sunday morning. La Cigale – the French Markets in Parnell - are among the best Auckland has to offer. There you’ll not only find a massive range of beautiful produce, baked goods, preserves and delicacies to gawk at, but also a stunning selection of takeaway treats hailing from France, and around the globe.
Their selection of food trucks and vendors are on constant rotation, but some staples that are consistently delicious are Paella Pan, and the French Crepes stall, as well as Juju fresh juices. Sit down in the large café area with your snacks and a coffee to experience a real buzz on a weekend morning.
If you’re keen to venture out of the city centre, Takapuna Market is a bit of a journey to get to, but is always worth the trip. This market always provides amazing food, atmosphere, and on a sunny day, you really can’t get much better. Our guilty pleasure here is always Scandi Buns (you HAVE to try these decadent treats).
Takapuna market is only a second’s walk away from the beach, and the beachside Takapuna restaurants are the perfect place to sit and soak up the sunshine.
Spend a day strolling through a beautiful suburb
The central suburbs of Auckland each offer their own picturesque photo op moments, and there are heaps of places to visit that are just a short bus ride outside of the immediate city. Mt Eden Village is a heritage village, full of the most stunning, old, colonial buildings that were some of the first to be built in the city.
The strip itself is home to lots of the cutest village shops and brunch stops. A highlight is the world class pasta restaurant, Pasta and Cuore, which has the most delicious, fresh Italian dishes and even hosts its own pasta making workshops so you can DIY like a true kiwi.
While you’re in Mt Eden, something to do that’s a lot more fun than it sounds (and is a good way to work off all the pasta you just ate) is to take a stroll up the iconic Auckland volcano itself. It’s only about a ten-minute walk to the top, and the views you’ll see from the summit are unlike any others in the city. Plus, there’s a real 50-metre-deep volcanic crater right smack in the middle!
Kingsland is another humble suburb with a lot of history that you can easily see by strolling through the streets, it has recently become the craft beer capital of Auckland so is a great place to go to grab an afternoon pint. There are also a fair few foodie favourites scattered throughout Kingsland, including the brand-new Morningside Precinct.
Kingsland and Mt Eden are only a short walk apart, or one stop on the train line if you want to experience Auckland public transport and catch some views from the train.
Shop the real trends along the city fringe
The tour guides will tell you the best place for shopping in Auckland is Sylvia Park mall, but if, like us, you can’t stand the thought of being shoulder-to-shoulder with every other tourist in the city, we’ve got the perfect shopping destination for you.
The city fringe streets of Ponsonby and Karangahape Road offer something for everyone. Ponsonby boasts a huge range of New Zealand’s top fashion design houses and lush boutiques, which are always worth trawling through for inspiration, even if the price tags make you gasp out loud. Among them and all throughout K-Rd you can find a massive community of streetwear stores and vintage curations.
For the high-end inclined, we suggest you start at Three Lamps and make your way along the main street of Ponsonby. Highlights include Moochi, Lulu Lemon, Juliette Hogan, Ponsonby Central (spot Bird On A Wire’s Ponsonby Central restaurant here!) Kate Sylvester, Karen Walker, not to mention all the fashion labels poking out of the side streets as well.
For the trend setters, St Kevin’s Arcade on K Rd is your ideal starting place. The boutique brands throughout this iconic arcade are always trending and never get old, making your way along K-Rd be sure to pop into Vixen Vintage, Crushes, Paper Bag Princess and The White Elephant. Make your way to the far end of Ponsonby Road for some more antiques steals and streetwear find at Realtime Vintage, Knowear, Mariachi Vintage, Commoners and Tatty’s, to name a few.
Take a walking tour of Auckland’s best contemporary art galleries
Everyone knows Auckland Art Gallery is a must see for any art lovers visiting Auckland. What’s a little less well known is that around the Art Gallery, in the surrounding streets, there are a whole lot more of some of Auckland’s best contemporary art spaces.
If you do a little research, you may find there’s a walking or cycling tour of the Art Galleries in Auckland. Guided tours are a great way to see the art, and be able to learn about it at the same time. Otherwise, you can always do the loop walk yourself, and have the luxury of taking your time – and catching an Uber up the Queen Street hill without being judged…
Along with Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Kamaki, you can visit Gow Langsford Gallery, FHE Galleries, Anna Miles Gallery, and Antoinette Godkin Gallery, all within the High Street and Kitchener Street block. Venture up to K-Rd to visit ArtSpace, and along to the corner of Ponsonby Road where you’ll find Studio One Toi Tū.
Make the most of your stay in Auckland
If you’re looking for healthy takeaway options during your trip, there’s a Bird On A Wire to visit in Ponsonby Central, Takapuna and even Orakei Bay Village. Feel free to stop by if you’re feeling peckish during a big day in the big smoke.