You know those flights that “apparently” fly direct from the Sunshine Coast to Auckland during the year, well it turns out they actually DO exist.
And this round of seasonal flights is closing up shop come February 28, which means NO MORE FLIGHTS TO NZ, unless you want to rub tyres with Bruce.
But, if you already knew all this and have managed to nab some time off work and seasonal flights to the land of the long white cloud, then you’re about to fall in love with us.
‘Cause we’re helping you ease into those first couple of days in Auckland with an itinerary that’s guaranteed to impress.
Rise and shine! Drag your sleepy arse out of bed (the old jetlag excuse ain’t gonna work with us) for a walk up One Tree Hill or Mount Eden. You’ll get a sterling view of the city you’re about to explore.
It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend, so best you fuel up with Auckland’s best breakfasts—Domain and Ayr and Dear Jervois are our faves.
Or hoon out to the Matakana Farmers’ Markets for the morning. Once that’s done, go for a quick shop for treasures along K Road or at Junk & Disorderly or Flotsam and Jetsam. One shouldn’t leave Auckland without a retro memento.
There so many of nooks and crannies in the CBD, but a firm favourite is Giapo—the place to go for beautifully garnished and damn delicious ice cream in Auckland.
Also worth a visit is the Auckland Art Gallery, which houses of 15,000 pieces of artwork and often has mind-blowing installations.
Head down to North Wharf where you’ll get to watch Auckland’s sails in action. Stop by The Conservatory for a drink in the sun before making your way to Ortolana or Beirut for dinner in Britomart. And if it turns into a full-blown night out on the town, don’t forget to end it with a burger from The White Lady.
However, if you find yourself in Ponsonby in the arvo, pop into Little & Friday for a caffeine hit and doughnuts before teeing up a reservation at one of Ponsonby’s best restaurants—we high recommend Namo. Make sure you introduce yourself to Bedford Soda & Liquor afterwards.
Day two dawns and you might be feeling a bit dusty, but if not, you might want to jump on a ferry to Waiheke for day at Cable Bay Vineyard.
However, if food is what you need, La Cigale Markets is the answer. From cheesy croque monsieurs and crepes to superfood smoothies and paella, there will be something to cure that hangover.
Time to get your walk on again. Jump in the car and go west to Piha for a wander to the Kitekite falls.
Or opt for the hair of the dog and drink a couple of brews at Deep Creek Brewing Co.
No doubt the stomach is now grumbling again. Embark on a yum cha extravaganza at Grand Harbour or get a taste of Vietnam at Try It Out in Otahuhu.
You’re probably tuckered out by now, so head back to your hotel, crash on the couch and give yourself a pat on the back for kicking off your New Zealand trip with one helluva weekend in Auckland.
Image Credit: Matthew Williams
Looking for more things to do in Auckland? Check out our awesome sister site The Urban List.