Out-Of-Towners Guide To Auckland’s Top Spots To Visit Plus Win Tickets To See Ed Sheeran

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The oh-s0-lovely Ed Sheeran is making his way back to Auckland next month and if you’re coming to town to see him then why not stay and play instead of flying in an out? Auckland may not be the official capital of New Zealand, but it’s fast becoming the Kiwi city that never sleeps. Wherever you’re from, and whatever you’re into, there’s something for everyone. To tempt you to stay a little longer in my home town I thought I’d share a few fun things to make your trip extra special. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter to win a double pass to see Ed Sheeran.

Tattoo You

When Ed was last in town he had a traditional Ta Moko tattooed on his arm to remember his time in New Zealand. If you’d like to follow suit and are thinking of inking yourself while you’re here then White Rabbit Ink and the Genuine Hustle Tattoo Shop are two of the best.  

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Above: Skin art by White Rabbit Ink.

 

Soak up the sunshine

Auckland may be a supercity, but there are plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors. Walkers are spoiled for choice, and if you can make it north of the picturesque Auckland Harbour bridge, head 20 minutes north to Long Bay. This marine reserve is home to a range of wildlife – recent sightings have included orca, dolphins, native and endangered birds, and even a juvenile leopard seal who took up residence on the beach for a few days in October. Take the walk along the cliff face around the coast to Okura (check the tides for this one so you don’t get caught out on one of the many beaches en route), or hire a kayak or canoe from Float My Boat to take in the view from the water. For a taste of rugged splendour, head to the west coast and visit Auckland’s highest waterfall, in the northern region of the Waitakere Ranges. At 95 metres it’s well worth the 80 minute walk, especially just after it’s rained.

If you’ve still got a bit of energy after taking in the sights of the ranges, check out beautiful Bethell’s Beach, just 15 minutes away by car. Behind the stunning sand dunes lies Lake Wainamu – a great swimming alternative if you’re not up to the strong currents of west coast beaches. (And you’re brave – it’s very cold!)

 

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Above: Mission Bay Water Sports is also a great place to hire a kayak or a Stand Up Paddle board.

 

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Above: Long Bay Regional Park.

 

A walk on the wild side

Fancy feeling the wind in your hair? Pakiri Beach Horse Rides, just out of Wellsford, is a wonderful way of seeing the beauty of north Auckland. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, these trips, which take in the ancient pa site of a Maori chief, along with forest, dune and beach trails, will give you a sense of freedom like no other.

Not a rider? Take a trip to Auckland Zoo for an unforgettable animal experience. Spend a day learning how to take stunning photos at one of the zoo’s photography workshops, or take a behind-the-scenes tour to find out more about the animals, or simply go gaga over the zoo’s latest addition, a baby male giraffe.

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Above: Long Bay Regional Park.

 

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Above: Check out the who’s who at Auckland Zoo!

 

Food & Drink

Auckland is a multicultural city, a fact that’s reflected in the many varied cuisine options. If you’re in the Newmarket area, Newmarket Plaza is great to pop into for lunch. A weird little alleyway situated right next to some of our top designer stores, this tiny but busy street will make you feel like you aren’t even in New Zealand any more. With an Asian butchery, grocer, fruit and veg store, Chinese herbalist and much more besides, it’s a great place to visit. Try any of the stalls in the Food Hall for an authentic Thai, Chinese, Korean or Malaysian.

If you’re more of a burger and sandwich kinda gal, Burger Burger and Al Brown’s popular Best Ugly Bagels, just around the corner from Newmarket Plaza, are fun casual breakfast or lunch stop-offs (gluten free or carb-avoiders will love Burger Burger’s ‘bunnuce’ – a burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.).

When the lights go down, Auckland is your oyster. Start with a beer or two at Britomart’s Tyler Street Garage before grabbing a few plates of Vietnamese deliciousness to share with friends at Café Hanoi, where seafood is a speciality. Take a stroll across the water to carry on eating and drinking at Wynyard Quarter – Jack Tar is a popular place for a beer and chips if you need to reload. Partying on the Viaduct in December is essential – head to the popular Spy Bar to dance the night away, or try your luck with the Irish at Danny Doolans or O’Hagans.

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Above: Best Ugly Bagels are all hand made to perfection.

 

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Above: Best Ugly Bagels more than live up to their name.

 

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Above: Tyler Street Garage.

 

Cafe Hanoi's Cha Cha Fish

Above: Delicious dining at Cafe Hanoi.

 

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Above: There’s lots to see and do at Wynyard Quarter.

 

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Above: SPQR is an Auckland icon.

 

For a night of celebrity-spotting, look no further than Ponsonby’s favourite see-and-be-seen spot SPQR. Everyone who’s anyone stops at SPQR for a glass of something at some point during the night (the pizza is good to nibble on too), and while you can’t move without tripping up over a fine restaurant on Ponsonby Road, spice lovers shouldn’t miss Southeast Asian fusion restaurant Mekong Baby. Don’t worry about what to order – just ask the staff to feed you and they’ll take over the rest! Oh and their cocktail bar is amaze-balls.

For more cool things to do in Auckland, visit Auckland NZ.

WIN WIN WIN

We have a double pass to see Ed Sheeran this weekend to give away to one super lucky Insider! To enter to win simply tell us in the comments your top spot in Auckland. A winner will be drawn tomorrow morning Wednesday 9 December.

Good luck!

 

WINNER ANNOUNCED

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter to win. We’re thrilled to announce our super lucky winner is:

Louise Henderson

Congratulations Louise! Please email your address deets to win@thestyleinsider.co.nz so we can get your tickets out to you today.

Enjoy!

 

For more cool things to do in Auckland, visit Auckland NZ.