We all have a role to play in helping our city get back on its feet. Our city and town centres, our local economies, need support. We’re all learning to navigate the uncertainty of COVID, but don’t underestimate how important you are in helping keep businesses alive.
If you can, and if it is safe for you to do so, it is time to make a move. Whether it’s working from the office a bit more, ordering that morning coffee, indulging in some retail therapy, getting your locks styled, picking up takeaways for lunch, a team morning tea, or after-work drinks – all of this fuels the local economy.
This summer, we've been loving getting out and about again, reacquainting ourselves with all the things that we had missed while we were in lockdown. It's time to back your city centre, and to give you inspiration we've pulled together a list of all the great things there are to do in the city centre right now.
Heading to Auckland Art Gallery to discover centuries of art
Founded in 1888, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki remains New Zealand's largest visual arts experience. The gallery showcases the best of New Zealand art alongside exhibitions of rare and extraordinary art. We recommend you have a look at the Romancing the Collection that traverses time to show just how tastes have changed in the decades through which Auckland's art collection has grown and the international exhibition exploring the work of legendary fashion designer Mary Quant. See more of the 2022 exhibition programme, here. Make sure to also check out the waka Guide Kaiārahi made from hundreds of shimmering crystals by artist Reuben Paterson’s. You can't miss it! It is ten-metres-high and rising vertically in the Gallery’s forecourt pool.
Weekend brunches with friends and family
There's nothing that completes a weekend more than a catch up with friends and whānau over a delicious brunch. The city centre is abound with many brunch spots, check them out and make a booking for this weekend!
The unique shopping scene
The city centre's shopping offering is unmatched to any other destination in Auckland. Home to the best New Zealand designers, international fashion labels, department stores & boutiques, there's something extra special about strolling the laneways and open air streets like High Street, Britomart Pavilions, Commercial Bay and Queen Street to get to your favourite store!
Fun activities with friends
Whether its spending the day with our families, friends or colleagues, there's plenty of cool and fun activities that we can do around the city centre. We particularly love Holey Moley where hilarious memories are guaranteed, whether it be on the indoor mini golf course or inside their private karaoke room.
SkyCity's entertainment precinct is not to be missed, and you'll be blown away by the All Blacks Experience's 45-minute guided tour. With 5 interactive zones and an amazing haka experience, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know the New Zealand rugby story. They've recently just won an award for the incredible experience too the Interactives and Exhibition section of the Best Design Awards.
And of course Weta Workshop Unleashed! This 90-minute guided experience will transport you to new and untraveled worlds where you will meet the resident monsters, galactic robots, and many other fantastical creatures - an experience to add to your must-do list that will leave you speechless. Plus did you know that Weta Workshop Unleashed recently won the international award for Storytelling in the Blooloop Innovation Awards 2021.
With the mix of world class restaurants, chefs and the unique waterside location, getting back to our favourite city centre restaurants is certainly top of our lists. With over 30 waterside restaurants to explore we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to taking in the views of the marina and beyond as the sun goes down
Getting pampered at a specialty beauty studio
Waxing, threading, haircuts, hair coloring, pedicures, manicures... these are the top of the list for many of us women. And it is fair to say that having pamper days back again and sorting out what's grown, broken, or needs fixing has been a real treat. Book a pamper treatment in for yourself, and if you need a little inspiration check out the city centre's best hair and beauty studios
Grabbing a takeaway coffee and strolling along the waterfront and through the laneways
A barista made coffee is hard to beat, it's the ultimate comfort drink and is also our best friend to help us get through the mornings. With our office being right in the heart of the city, we love getting in a half hour early to venture to one of our favourite cafes before strolling down to the waters edge to enjoy our caffeine hit before the work day begins.
Embracing the unique waterfront
With waterfront eateries serving up an eclectic mix of international cuisine, craft beers, tapas and all day sun, North Wharf in Wynyard Quarter is one of our favourite spots - sitting outside soaking up the sun on a good day while enjoying a glass of rosé with lunch and looking at the water or people watching.
Gelatiamo is often our second stop during a day in Wynyard Quarter as in our opinion, their gelato is some of the finest outside of Italy! We like to take our ice cream and stroll down to Silo Park and look at the incredible boats in the marina, play some basket ball or let the kids run free on the playground.
A late night feast at Elliott Stables
We love Elliott Stables for its epicurean village atmosphere and its delicious food, imported and local beer and wine, interesting characters and overall eclectic experience. It is always one of the first spots we choose when we're with a big group - there's always something to suit everyone's tastes.
Seeing the lights while perched at a rooftop eatery
We love sitting on the deck of Rooftop at QT or La Zeppa to unwind after work or at the weekend and enjoy the stunning views of the Sky Tower and the city's twinkling lights. Saint Alice, Captain's Bar, Parasol & Swing and Dr Rudi's are also on our list of places we frequent, and are a great place to catch up with friends for a delicious meal. Check out our Best Sundowners round up for all the best spots to enjoy a tipple while the sun sets.