Having a holiday doesn’t always mean leaving the city behind. A weekend of unique food, sights and sounds can be had without airport security or hours spent in holiday traffic. Check out our Auckland city staycation itinerary to see how you can have a weekend getaway in your very own backyard.
Start your weekend early - right after work! Unwind after a busy week and roll straight into your staycation. Start with drinks at The Jefferson on Fort Lane. They offer up over 500 varieties of whiskey but are also known for their themed pop-up bars including The Juniper Room, an all pink rose and gin bar, Elyx House specialising in espresso martinis and now Casa Azul, serving a range of tequilas.
Just up the stairs, you’ll find Everybody’s. With an open-roofed terrace, private booths and a great menu of sharing boards, small plates and sophisticated mains this place has something for… everybody! After all that food you might like a stroll so head up Queen St to Aotea Square and the Town Hall, where there’s always something on be it music, dance, film or theatre. Pick your weekend and choose your entertainment, whether it’s the cinematic Civic, music at the Town Hall, a show at Aotea Centre or progressive modern theatre at Q.
The Lula Inn
After a well-deserved sleep in, start your day at The Lula Inn with their bottomless brunch. Pick an item from their perfectly formed menu, whether it’s pancakes, bacon and eggs or their sublime take on the classic eggs benedict, then top it off with bottomless daytime-appropriate drinks.
Street Art in Khartoum Place
Auckland City has an abundance of art galleries clustered around the cornerstone of the Arts precinct - the Auckland Art Gallery. Wander through ever-changing exhibitions from paintings to sculpture to contemporary jewellery there is something for everyone to enjoy within a short walk. When you are ready for a break, carry-on down to Dr Rudi’s and grab a drink and perhaps a bite to eat on their terrace overlooking the wharf. With a stunning view of the Viaduct, this is the perfect spot for a summer afternoon.
Complete this relaxing day with an eating experience you’ll never forget. A quick hop up from the Viaduct is The Grove on Saint Patrick’s Square, Wyndham Street. Offering a modern New Zealand menu with a French influence, The Grove is a personalised degustation dining experience including vegetarian and vegan options that can accommodate any dietary requirement. Choose from the Petit (4 courses) or Full Degustation (7 courses) with an option for wine pairings, and let these passionate food professionals take you on a journey of culinary enchantment.
Sundays are for sleep-ins so start the day late with wood fire pizzas and beef brisket nachos for lunch at North Park. Put on a helmet and grab a Next Bike, for a bike ride around Wynyard Quarter and Silo Park. The ultimate photo op for couples is the lock wall at the end of Silo Park. Looking out to the Harbour Bridge and the backdrop of the Waitematā Harbour, you’re sure to find the best angle for that Instagram moment. Spend some time looking at each unique token of love and maybe put your own up.
Cycle down to Queens Wharf and drop your Next bike off there. Enjoy a Harbour Cruise from Fullers Ferry at Pier 1, Ferry terminal. You’ll get to see the Auckland skyline from a new vantage point and learn the history of our landmarks. End the day with a candlelit dinner at the quirky DeBretts Kitchen at Hotel DeBrett, a long-time favourite in the central city.
Something extra special ...
To really maximise your staycation in Auckland city consider getting a hotel for the weekend. A city view in a bathrobe, from a bed you don’t have to make, is a holiday in itself. Avani Metropolis Auckland Residences is one of the most iconic buildings in the High Street precinct and it offers up one incredible view. Or consider the SKYCITY Grand Hotel - with a range of packages that maximise the luxury experience, plus their room service is top notch.