Local Escapes

10 Non-Lame Touristy Things To Do In Auckland

By Verity Johnson - 29 Nov 2017

Auckland’s 10 non-lame touristy things to do with your overseas friends

Your overseas friends are coming to town, and you’re sweating at the thought of your 85th visit to Auckland Museum. But, before you deliberately break an ankle…read this list. Here are ten fresh, tourist-friendly options that will both impress your foreign friends and don’t make you want to scream with boredom.

1. Cocktails At The Sugar Club

Auckland Central

The Sugar Club is the ultimate way to experience the Sky Tower’s gorgeous views, all from the comfort of velvet couches and waiters with exotic accents. There’s no better way to feel like you’re ballin’ it, but make sure you book far in advance—they’re in demand!

2. Cruise On A Segway Over The Devonport Headlands.

Devonport headlands

Devonport has some of the prettiest views of Auckland, but walking is overrated. Instead, hop on a segway and zip over the hills with Magic Broomstick rides. It combines the casually stunning views of the city and harbour with some nifty “I feel like a Silicon Valley CEO” novelty.

3. Food Truck Hop At The Auckland Night Markets

Various locations across Auckland

For a mouthful of real New Zealand for less than $5, head to one of the various Auckland night markets located across the city. You can introduce your friends to everything from the classic Kiwi mussel fritter to unique Polynesian flavours like taro. It’s thriving, pulsing multicultural Auckland at its yummiest.

4. Relax By The Beach At Man o’ War Vineyard

Waiheke

You’re going to end up on Waiheke—it’s Disneyland for adults. For something a little different, trek to the other side of the island and visit Man o' War, the only beachfront winery on the island. The hike is worth it for a slice of sandy, sauvignon drenched paradise.

5. Go Greenstone Shopping - Properly!

Kingsland

Your friends will want to take home a little piece of New Zealand. Only not one that looks like it was bought in the airport alongside in-flight snacks. Head out to The Greenstone Factory in Kingsland. They have an extensive array of beautiful, unique products, and you even get to see the carving in action. 

6. Book In For Themed Cocktails At Saan

Ponsonby

Keep your espresso martinis Melbourne, we can do so much better than that. Take your mates to Ponsonby Road’s Saan, and sample the famous Tom Yum Martinis. The Asian-inspired drinks list is the stuff of Auckland legend and showcases the best of our asian fusion culinary swagger. 

7. Roadtrip To South Auckland’s Glamping Getaway

Pukekawa

Mini road trip? Glamping? Wood-fired hot tub? Head out to Pukekawa boutique glamping experience Just Hitched among Lord of The Rings-esque rolling hills. Stay in a luxury tent complete with everything from robes and fluffy slippers, to a BBQ on the deck by your private river—which, incidentally also has a rowing boat for those wanting to re-create Bridget Jones. Plus, it’s only 50-minutes out of Auckland, so it hits the road trip sweet spot before you all start getting annoyed at how loudly your friends breathe.

8. Surf School At Muriwai

Muriwai

Don’t just show your friends our wild, west coast beaches, throw them into them head first at Muriwai Surf School. Hire a board or get stuck in with one of the daily lessons at 10.30am and 3pm. Hit up the Sand Dunz Beach Cafe afterwards to introduce them to our national delicacy: fush ’n chips ’n flat white.

9. Do A Cupcake Crawl

Ponsonby Rd, K’ Rd, Eden Terrace

Auckland’s cakery scene has exploded, and it just so happens some of the best are clustered within walking distance of each other. So, put on your comfy kicks, start off at Cake & Co on Ponsonby Road and meander up to Little Bird Unbakery, Amy’s Secret Kitchen, continue up Ponsonby Road, hang a left onto K’ Rd for The Caker, then back up over Newton bridge and to finish at Eden Terrace’s Bluebells. It’s buttercream bliss—plus it’s cardio, right?!

10. Visit The Sculptureum

Matakana

Our country excels at hiding world class secrets in sleepy places. And nestled in the folds of Matakana is the breathtaking Sculptureum. It hides everything from giant pink snails to technicolour glass sculptures to a towering yellow dandelion. You’ll need a full afternoon for the art before relaxing with a wine by the restaurant’s open wood fire.

Image Credit: Sculptureum

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