Things To Do

50 Epic Things To Do In Auckland In 2022

By Alice Rich
14th Feb 2022

A group of people dancing at an outdoor morning rave at Shed 10, with the DJ in the foreground.

While Aucklanders may be the brunt of jokes for those south of the Bombay Hills, we think living in the City of Sails is pretty damn rad.

Whether it’s our ability to complain relentlessly about Auckland traffic, our love affair with a great coffee (or anything with avocado or halloumi), and how someone always knows someone who knows someone making The Bachelor winner our worst kept secret… this fine city is a gem of a place to live. 

And there’s no shortage of things to do so it’s with great difficulty (and lots of fun) that we’ve created our list of 50 things you should do if you live in Auckland. 

  1. Party First Work Later | Follow Morning People to be the first to know when the next hottest morning rave drops. Featuring New Zealand’s top DJs plus bottomless Altezano Brothers Coffee, Club Mate and free fruit, there’s no better way to start your day. 

  2. Get Cultured… In A Car Park | If you’re after shows brimming with original, local, disruptive and boundary-pushing work, Basement Theatre’s the place for you. And yep, you’ll find it in the car park behind the Auckland Town Hall.

  3. Make A Thing | Working with your hands is said to relieve stress, and it’s also really good fun. Create a gorgeous ceramic keep cup at The Clay Centre, craft a knife with Lost Arts, or get involved in one of the many classes on offer at Studio One.

  4. Get Crafty…With Your Mouth | If you prefer to drink your craft, you’re in luck. Auckland’s home to some crackin’ craft beer bars like the Kingsland Cellar Door, Behemoth Brewing Company and Fridge & Flagon to name a few (and here’s a load more).

  5. Or Get ‘Spiritual’ | 1919 Distillery & Cellar Door in East Auckland does a gin and whisky tour and tasting for just $20. 

  6. Step Right Up | Dodgem cars, carousels, VR games and more. Get up to mischief at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq—a massive circus-themed arcade-meets-bar hidden away in Westfield Newmarket.

  7. Hit The Road | One of the best things about Auckland is how close it is to so many different adventures. Find inspiration with 8 of the best day trips then get ready for a roadie. 

  8. Sleep In The Open Air | Sometimes a day trip won’t cut it and for those times you need reliable, atmospheric campsites to while away your evenings. Luckily, there are loads to choose from—here are our top camping spots

  9. Laugh, A Lot | Stay at home and binge the witty NZ-made YouTube channel Viva La Dirt League filmed in iconic locations like Woodhill Forest and Howick Historical Village. If you like them, subscribe and show them some love by supporting the team through Patreon. 

  10. And Laugh Some More | If laughing until you cry sounds like a bit of you, you’re going to love The Classic. Auckland’s premier comedy club serves fresh laughs every week. Go along on Wednesday night to see 12 comedians for just $15. 

A group of people doing yoga at the top of the Sky Tower.

  1. Do Yoga… In The Sky | Conquer your fear of heights by channelling some zen 186 metres up in the air. Yoga in the Sky takes place in the Sky Tower on Sundays from 8.30-9.30am. Mats must be booked in advance, BYO towel. 

  2. Help A Kitty In Need | Foster a cat or kitten with Lonely Miaow. Landlord not keen on the idea of a new furry friend? You can still support this worthy cause with a donation.

  3. Enjoy Dinner And A Drag Show | Caluzzi Drag Cabaret has been serving drag realness for as long as we can remember. Sitting on Karangahape Road’s main strip, Caluzzi is a fabulous night out, every time. 

  4. Delve Into Contact Improv | Move in a new way with contact improvisation, a form of dance based on the communication between two moving bodies in physical contact, and their relationship to physical laws like gravity.

  5. Delight In Films, Old And New | Grab your spoon and head to The Hollywood’s somewhat monthly screening of The Room (affectionately known as the worst film ever made) or drop into The Academy’s $5 Wednesdays

  6. Get Rollin’ | Chuck on a pair of roller skates and have a go at roller derby. They’re a diverse, welcoming lot at Auckland Roller Derby so you know you’re in good hands. 

  7. Go On A Progressive Dinner | Here in Auckland have an abundance of amazing bars and restaurants so don’t spend your night at just one of them! Line up a bunch of your favourites and hop from one to the next sampling drinks and nibbles along the way. 

  8. Join The Auckland Art Gallery | Exhibitions at The Auckland Art Gallery always tend to intrigue and the gallery puts on a range of talks and activities too. By becoming a member you’ll get to see paid exhibitions for free, be invited to special events and discounts in the gallery’s shop and cafe, all the while knowing you’re supporting the creative arts. Win. 

  9. Take A Trip To Waiheke | A trip to Waiheke is an absolute must. And whether you spend a day or a weekend, it feels like relaxing in another world, but it’s only a ferry ride away. Waiheke may be famed for its wineries but there’s loads of other epic things to do in Waiheke that aren’t drinking wine

  10. Bake It, Bake It Good | Bake gluten-free bread at home with artisanal premixes by OM Goodness or The Midnight Baker

Auckland’s Civic Theatre, shot from the seats looking towards the stage. You can see a deep blue ‘night sky’ above, glittering with stars.

  1. See A Show Under The Stars | The Civic was built way back in 1929 and has been treating us to wonderful shows ever since. Its clever floating ceiling design, studded with stars, recreates the Southern Hemisphere night sky taking your theatre experience to the next level. 

  2. Do Good On Beautiful Motutapu | Volunteer with the Motutapu Restoration Project and spend a day on the island planting trees, controlling weeds and working in the nursery. 

  3. Feel Fancy With A Cheeseboard | Road trip up to the Puhoi Valley Cafe and Cheese Store and plough into a platter of some of the best local cheeses around. Or if the drive feels a bit far, check out these local legends who'll deliver cheese to your door. Did someone say heaven?

  4. Head to Holey Moley | Holey Moley is the Viaduct’s very own multi-sensory labyrinthine mini golf course and bar aaaand private karaoke lounge. Need we say more?

  5. Revel In Nostalgia | Every Aucklander has felt that thrill when they hear the sound of Greensleeves and it escalates as the vehicle of magic comes closer and closer. Don’t be shy to channel your inner child and sprint out the door, barefoot, and chase down Mr. Whippy

  6. Get Eyes Deep In Ice cream | Drop everything—Tip Top does factory tours. Watch the glorious ice cream-making process, get treated to a behind-the-scenes video and, yes, taste it. It’s every kiwi kid’s dream, and it can be yours, too, for just $8.

  7. Did We Mention Ice Cream? | It’s always the right time for ice cream and Auckland is #blessed to have the coolest ice cream and gelato shops around. Gluten-free, vegan, cone, cup—it’s all here baby. 

  8. Learn To Fly | Yearn to feel the wind beneath your wings? Now you can. Link in with Blue Adventures and get skilled in kitesurfing, wing and foil boarding (among other adventure sports), learn to paraglide with Skywings or go skydiving

  9. Indulge In A Yum Cha Brunch | Auckland’s hipster brunch game has been strong for a while now but it never hurts to try a little something different and brunch the Chinese way. This multicultural city is teeming with yum cha restaurants. One of our faves is Sun World Chinese Restaurant in Newmarket—they do the best xialong baos and sesame balls. 

  10. Drive Like Dom and Letty | Unleash your inner speed demon at Hampton Downs. Choose from a supercar fast dash, V8 hotlaps or jump into a mustang and live that Fast & Furious fantasy. 

Delectable looking nibbles in glass jars on ice and platters of parfait doughnuts on a trolley

  1. Go Full Trolley | Experience the Trolley Derby at Culprit. Four ever-changing seasonal bites and a choice of main. Always delicious, always local. 

  2. Sleep At Eden Park | Rugby’s our national sport and some say nothing beats the vibe at a live game. Can’t get enough? Book into Staydium Glamping and you’ll never have to leave… until it comes time to check out, of course. 

  3. Wear Workout Gear With No Plans Of Sweating | Deck yourself out in some swish workout gear when the only exercise you have planned is the walk from your car to the cafe. We love sustainable, New Zealand-made brand, Sooti Organics. Something about ‘athleisure’ just makes you feel like you’re living your best life. 

  4. Snap Up A Bargain At Auckland’s Best Markets | Now more than ever it’s important to support local businesses. Luckily, Auckland’s home to a tonne of wonderful, vibrant markets, both night and day. 

  5. Treat Your Ears To the APO | The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra puts on breath-taking classical music concerts and events all year round featuring both traditional and new works. Get yourself a ticket and prepare to bathe in Auckland’s very own classical sound bath. 

  6. Head West | Catch up with a friend over a feed in one of the best restaurants or cafes in West Auckland

  7. Swing A Sword | Auckland has a swords club and they run ‘intro to fencing’ courses every term. Sign up, pop on some trackies and get ready to relive your favourite pirate clashes, just maybe leave the rum and parrot at home.

  8. Dip Into St Kevin’s Arcade | Whether you’re looking for a bargain buy, hangry AF, are ready to party or just want to kick back, St Kevin’s Arcade has it all. And once you’ve had your fill, check out the rest of the Karangahape neighbourhood being sure to meander down Cross St and Beresford Square. 

  9. Paddle To Rangitoto | Sign up for a guided sunset kayak tour to Rangitoto with Fergs Kayaks. The self-acclaimed ‘date to make the producers of The Bachelor swoon’ is sure to amaze, and if you get the taste for kayaking you might just love Vector Wero.

  10. Bliss Out With A Massage | Commit to self-care and gift yourself some zen. We love Thammarat Thai Massage and all of these

A tiny miromiro/tomtit bird

  1. Visit A Bird Sanctuary | Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary home to rare and endangered species like tuatara and takahe. Jump on the ferry, breathe in the fresh air and walk amongst these incredible creatures. 

  2. Have A Pancake Party | Auckland has a sweet collection (see what we did there) of pancakes to stick your fork into. Whether you’re after savoury, fermented or cute-as-a-button, these Auckland cafes have you covered. 

  3. Huck Axes | There’s just about nothing sweeter than hurling an axe at the wall which is why we can’t get enough of Sweet Axe and why we’re obsessed with their axe-throwing league. 

  4. Discover Spoken Word | Slam is where elements of rap, hip-hop, storytelling, theatre collide in a thought-provoking performance and we’re here for it. JAFA Poetry Slam is Auckland’s regular poetry slam series, serving the slam every fourth Wednesday of the month at Cityside in Mount Eden. 

  5. Race Dragons | If your gym routine’s feeling a little flat, joining a dragon boating team might be just the thing to spice up your fitness. With no prior experience necessary, this is a great, accessible and fun sport for all. 

  6. Cake or Death | Vanquish zombies while indulging in a slice of cake at Auckland’s best board game cafes. Packed with all your faves- like Catan, Exploding Kittens, Love Letter, Terraforming Mars, Ticket To Ride and more—this could become your new regular hangout. We love Cakes n Ladders and Dice & Fork

  7. Relax With A Good Book | We live in a world where it’s possible to carry whole libraries around in our pocket and that’s pretty amazing but nothing beats the smell of a new book. Treat yourself to an IRL page-turner from one of Auckland’s best bookstores

  8. Choose Flower Therapy | Wandering through gorgeous gardens and parks can be uplifting and healing, no matter the season. Happily, Auckland has an abundance of gardens to stroll through. 

  9. Have A Staycation | Sometimes we want to get away but the thought of traffic and hours on the road is anything but appealing. For those times, book into one of Auckland’s best hotels and live your most luxurious life right here in Auckland city. 

  10. Play Tag With Lasers | Nothing says ‘besties’ like trying to take each other out with lasers. Megazone in Mt Wellington is Auckland’s largest multi-level laser tag arena and hosts a league night on Mondays. There’s also glow in the dark mini-golf, a laser web, dodgems and a tonne of arcade games for the ultimate squad tournament.

Wallet looking a little thin? Check out the 50 best free things to do in Auckland

Image credit: Morning People, Sky Tower, The Civic by Wono Kim, Culprit., Derek Tearne. 

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