Bars & Pubs

50 Ideas For A Mate-Date

By Dasha Koryagina
19th Sep 2017

50 Ideas For A Mate-Date

Friends are great. Always there to listen and advise, help you pick out killer outfits and approve romantic partners. And, although you probably don’t need much to entertain yourself with a gossip session, sometimes it’s nice to celebrate your friendship with new experiences. And besides, Netflix and chill will still be there when you’re done.

Friend bonding is a must, so we’ve compiled a list of 50 friend-date ideas to try in this beautiful city of ours. From relaxing float sessions and rejuvenating spa treatments, to classic coffee shop catch-ups, lazy movie dates, boozy pub quizzes and adrenaline-fuelled go-kart racing. These adventures are a must.

  1. Op-shop your way through K 'Road, Auckland’s home to all things weird and wonderful. From American imported vintage at Vixen to bargain scores at The Red Cross, this is the highest concentration of opportunity shops in Auckland. Or, if you want to widen your horizons, check out any one of Auckland's best op shops. 
  2. Go outlet shopping at Onehunga’s Dressmart. All the best brands at the lowest prices. Or, check out anyone of Auckland's best outlet shops. 
  3. When the bank account is low but the hunger is high, fill up on the yummiest food for under $10.
  4. If you’re feeling a little fancy, check out the most celebrated fine dining establishments on the local food scene.
  5. Show off your knowledge at a local pub quiz for a night of heated discussion and cold beer.
  6. Go on a brunch date with your bestie and grab some seriously delicious brekkie. What better way to start the day than a tasty meal and good company?
  7. Get your caffeine fix and catch up over a good ol’ coffee date, sipping on the best cuppas Auckland baristas have to offer. If you’re both cat crazy, BaristaCats is definitely worth a visit.
  8. Stroll through the local farmers' market and enjoy the morning air as you stock up on veggies and work your way through all the artisan stalls.
  9. Challenge your bestie to a Street Fighter face-off at the TimeZone arcade on Queen St for a taste of the 90’s. Get an obligatory photo from the photo sticker booth.
  10. Explore the Auckland Art Gallery for a culture injection. The best part? It’s free for Auckland residents.
  11. Educate each other on local history with a trip to the Auckland Museum.
  12. Escape the city with a trip to Waiheke. Enjoy the island beaches, and don’t forget to soak up some harbour views on the ferry trip.
  13. Visit a local vineyard for some seriously stunning views, wine education, and tasty meals.
  14. Challenge each other to a shot-drinking competition and dance the night away at the best clubs in Auckland. Get a hearty feed from The White Lady afterwards.
  15. If you long for snowy mountains, go skiing at Snow Planet. Snowball fighting is compulsory.
  16. Pamper yourself with a trip to a day spa. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, beautifying facial or manicure.
  17. Go out to a gay bar together. K 'Road’s Family Bar is legendary for hosting some of the craziest, rowdiest nights out.
  18. Explore the animal kingdom and spend a day wandering through The Auckland Zoo.
  19. Load up on seeds and grains and stroll through Western Springs, feeding the black swans, ducks and geese.
  20. Get away from the hustle of the city with a day-trip to one of the surrounding beaches. Hit up the West Coast for some stunning black sand views.
  21. Get a dose of nature and exercise your booty by climbing all of Auckland’s volcanic cones or checking out some hiking spots. You’ll be stunned by the beautiful coastlines, caves and waterfalls.
  22. Find your inner child and head to Rainbow’s End. Revisit your favourite childhood rides (the waterlog, anyone?) and check out the new additions, too.
  23. Go to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Aquarium for a taste of marine life. If you’re feeling brave, go diving or cage snorkelling with sharks.
  24. Get a cheap (or even free) haircut by volunteering to be hair models for aspiring stylists at Servilles Academy or Cut Above. Celebrate/laugh at the results later.
  25. Pack some blankets, stock up on popcorn and lollies and head to an outdoor cinema for a super romantic, under-the-stars friend date.
  26. Try your luck at the SkyCity Casino. Pretend to be a high roller and sip on drinks as you cheer each other on.
  27. Go to the top of the Sky Tower. Eat at Orbit 360 or The Sugar Club, soaking in the city views. Or, if you’re feeling gutsy enough, do the SkyWalk or SkyJump for a real adrenaline fix.
  28. Check out the local gig scene and get seriously loose at one of Auckland’s notorious dive bars. Think King’s Arms, Whammy and Cassette 9.
  29. Join in the excitement of a live game at Eden Park. Alternatively, grab a couple of beers and some blokey snacks and catch your favourite play at one of the city's best local sports bars.
  30. Head to one of Auckland’s escape rooms for an adrenaline-fuelled experience which will test both your wits and teamwork.
  31. Visit The Classic—Auckland’s original comedy bar—and spend the night choking on laughter, struggle for air between jokes.
  32. Go ice-skating at Paradice Ice-Skating. Laugh at each other as you fall down repeatedly.
  33. If ice ain’t your thing, go roller skating at Skateland Roller Skating & Sports Rink. Challenge each other to a race, or try an artistic skating class together.
  34. If literature’s a shared passion, head along to Thirsty Dog’s weekly Tuesday poetry night. Down a shot for courage and share your poetry with the room.
  35. Country souls, pull out your cowboy hats, don those boots and make your way to a rodeo event filled with exciting races, bull-riders, lassoing competitions and of course a lot of beer and country music.
  36. Indulge your sweet tooth with a tour of the Tip Top ice-cream factory. Sample the goodies and find out how the ice-cream is made.
  37. Speaking of sweets, catch up at one of Auckland’s best dessert spots for a taste of artisan chocolates, creamy gelato and flaky pastries.
  38. Soak your bones at the Waiwera Hot Springs. Naturally heated and full of minerals, the thermal water promotes anti-ageing and is full of healing properties, perfect for a super healthy and relaxing experience. Watch a movie as you lounge in the pool or zip down the numerous waterslides.  
  39. Head to the local movie theatre, grab a ‘choc-bomb’ and some popcorn and enjoy a classic movie date. Check out Rialto or Academy Cinemas for art-house, festival-type movies.
  40. For a little holistic healing, try a floating session for two at Float Culture. Proven to cure insomnia, relieve chronic pain and ease anxiety and depression, this is sure to be a great bonding experience.
  41. Educate yourself on the history of New Zealand’s connection to the sea at The Maritime Museum. Find out about the ins and outs of coastal trade, discover the stories of European explorers and Maori migration to Aotearoa.
  42. Taste the childhood nostalgia of trampoline jumping at an indoor bouncing park. Head to Gravity NZ or Uptown Bounce and experience the fun of wall trampolines, foam pits, zorb balls, dodgeball courts and obstacle courses.
  43. Discover the history of transport and technology at the MOTAT science museum in Western Springs. Explore how technology has changed over time, from the first phone and computer to modern-day gadgets, horse-drawn carriages to steam-powered trains and electric cars. There’s plenty of displays, plus hands-on activities and interactives experiences.
  44. Check out Odyssey Sensory Maze for a sensory overload. Work your way through challenging spaces, full of quirky physical obstacles, optical illusions, scents and sounds as you look for a way out.
  45. Go for a swim at the local swimming pool. Get a bit of exercise, lounge in spa and sauna and splash around with your friends. Point Erin, Parnell Baths and The Olympic in New Market are some of our favourites.
  46. Go for a stroll in one of Auckland’s parks and check out the beautiful flora on display. The Domain Wintergardens is a must with all its flowery and artistic goodness, as are the Parnell Rose Gardens (full of roses, obviously) and The Botanical Gardens in Manurewa.
  47. Tackle your fear of heights and get the adrenaline pumping at one of Auckland’s high rope parks. Make your way through the treetops at Tree Adventures or Rocket Ropes and overcome series of obstacles including slip knots, flying foxes, free falls and giant swings.
  48. Embrace your inner racer and head to a go-karting course. Slide your way through sweeping curves, overpasses and underpasses, blowing off steam and gunning for first place. Blastacars, Formula E and Extreme Indoor Karts are just some of the venues on offer.
  49. Expand your astronomical knowledge at New Zealand’s largest planetarium theatre—One Tree Hill’s Stardome Observatory. With a range of shows, there’s plenty to choose from, including everything from educational displays of planets and constellations visible in the night sky to artsy light shows set to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.
  50. Embrace your inner cowboy and discover the thrills of horseback riding at Muriwai Beach Horse Treks or Tasman Rides in Helensville. Trek through farmlands, forests and beaches. Connect with your horse and enjoy the stunning views.

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Image Credit: New Girl

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