Let us start by saying we love Auckland. There’s no shortage of places eat, drink, shop and play. But as much as we love this city of ours, sometimes we just wanna get outta town, go on an adventure and check out something non-Aucklandy. Unfortunately, this isn’t always feasible—we don’t all have endless supplies of money and time. Fear not, this city has plenty of nooks and crannies that don’t feel like Auckland. Here’s our pick of the best spots.
- Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head south to Clevedon to check out their Sunday farmers’ market. There’s no high-rise apartments here, just paddocks and delish eats.
- Can’t afford a ticket to Bangkok? Chopstick your way through serves of pad Thai at Kiss Kiss instead. Their bright floral tablecloths and shared dining tables will have you feeling like you’re in a Thai food court.
- For a trip back in time, look no further than the historical village of Puhoi. Check out the cute-as-a-button general store, pub, library and church before kicking back on the lawns of Puhoi Valley’s Café & Cheese Shop—while consuming copious amount of cheese, of course.
- Say au revoir to Auckland and bon jour to Maison Vauron. This Newmarket wine merchant has the country’s largest selection of French wine as well as cheese, charcuterie and delicacies—it’s très bien!
- Big city life got you feeling down? Escape to Matakana for some village life. Their iconic farmers’ market is not to be missed and the boutique cinema is super cute—there are flowers adorning the ceiling of the theatre.
- Take a ferry to Half Moon Bay and stroll along the 9km Pakuranga Rotary path, taking in views of the Tamaki River along the way. Afterwards, re-fuel with a bite to eat from waterfront restaurant Grangers. A special mention must be made for their sensational seafood menu.
- Love bustling markets much like the ones you’d find in Asia? Get amongst the Auckland Night Markets and devour dumplings, pork buns and squid skewers.
- Take your lover to Dominion Road’s Capitol Cinema. The art deco theatre is oh-so pretty and oh-so romantic.
- Is it Sandringham or is it India? It’s anyone’s guess! You’ll find flavoursome curry at Bawarchi, Jai Jalaram Khaman, Mumbai Chaat and Paradise.
- You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Sri Lanka at 7 Siri Taste Of Sri Lanka. The hut-like restaurant seats just a handful of people and the meals come served on banana leaves.
- At Point Chev’s Cupid Bar they’ve transformed a 1930s cinema foyer into a cosy bar. Here you’ll find a mighty fine selection of cocktails, craft beers and wine.
- Speaking of bars, The Jefferson is a total hidden gem. Situated in the basement of Fort Lane’s Imperial Building, this art deco whiskey and bourbon bar has more than 500 varieties on offer.
- Get out of the big smoke and make a bee-line for The Tasting Shed. Located in Kumeu, the countryside restaurant is the perfect posy to eat (and drink) the day away. Visit over summer and you’ll find bean bags, picnic rugs and sun umbrellas sprawled across the lush garden space.
- Located on the slope of Mt Eden, Eden Garden is like something from a fairy-tale. Expect waterfalls, rock formations, native birds and more flowers than you can poke a stick at. Bring your lover (and a picnic) and stroll through hand-in-hand.
- This list wouldn’t be complete without mention of Waiheke Island. This island retreat is home to beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches—and it’s as stunning as it sounds.
After more hidden gems? Check out 10 Secret Spots In Auckland You Must Visit.
Image credit: AA