You want to have one of those “remember that night…?” nights out in Auckland but clubbing just ain’t your thang? Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend your Saturdays at home eating canned tuna.
Auckland has some superb live entertainment gems—places that get your pulse pumping in a way that sticky floors and Pitbull remixes can only dream of.
And so, with this in mind, we’ve done the work for you and discovered where can you go for that big and bold night out in Auckland that doesn’t involve clubbing.
House Of VarietiesLas Vegas
K’ Road’s Las Vegas has taken on a new life as a sultry, sophisticated bar/nightclub/performance space. Once a month it hosts a show, House of Varieties, which makes you feel like you’re in 1920s Paris. It’s a sensory mixture of cabaret, fan dance, ariel suspension, feathers, sequins and all round opulence that will stick in your memory for a long time to come. Lounge into the padded booths and order a French 75.
Raw Comedy QuestThe Classic
From now until the end of April, The Classic are running open entry heats for Raw Comedy. This means that anyone can give stand-up a try. Nominate a funny friend, gather the crew, get in the jugs and cheer on your friend’s budding comedy career. Even if you don’t have someone competing, this is still the best place to watch the most electric, unpolished new Auckland comedic gems. It will be hilarious, either because they’re fantastically terrible or they’re genuinely talented.
Caluzzi Bar And CabaretK’Road
Yes, it’s been around for ever, but Caluzzi has not dropped the glitter ball. It’s a good dinner and a roaring show, and has mastered mainstream appeal while still remaining rollicking fun. A blur of dance numbers, belt-along ballads and enthusiastic audience participation, you’re in for a night to remember. Their secret weapon is the gaspingly good Miss Tarocash, who we think is arguably the best MC in town.
Thursday Night JazzShanghai Lil’s
Serving up sophistication in a cocktail glass, Shanghai Lil’s is one of Auckland’s smoothest bars—and it’s now bigger and more elegant than ever in its new rooms on K’ Rd. It’s the perfect place to drink, chat and gently soak in the jazz of real musos who really know their craft. Trust us, you’ll feel like you’re in somewhere far more exotic than the CBD on a wet Thursday.
Pop-Up GlobeEllerslie Race Course
Here since summer and staying until May, you’ll have heard about the Pop Up Globe but chances are, you never got your act together enough to actually go. Go. It doesn’t matter you can’t afford a trip to London because this is as good (well, if you squint your eyes a little) as the real Globe itself. You’ll find the magic of Shakespeare in an even more magical setting. With a variety of seating (or standing) options, get your crew together and enjoy the comedy and tragedy of the The Bard.
Auckland Ghost ToursBritomart
Auckland Ghost Tours is a fantastic, deliciously historical alternative for a night out and is perfect for taking that friend who just hates bars. More fascinating than frightening, you’ll be captivated with stories rather than being terrified of some chainsaw-wielding freak. This is a walking tour through the well-known city attractions and their unsuspectingly grisly pasts. Its appeal is taking the city you think you know so well and showing you its many, many hidden dark sides. Let’s just say you won't be too frightened to step foot outdoors, but you will never look at landmarks in the same way. A perfect night for history buffs and that smug friend who is just a little bit too cocky in their knowledge of Auckland.