Does anyone else feel like September and October never happened? After being in lockdown for so long we are itching to get out and about again as soon as we can. And to give us all a little something to look forward to, we have pulled together a list of some of the things we are most excited for when we can return to the city centre.

Heading back 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 opening this December. 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

Salmon based platted food

We couldn't be more excited for eateries to reopen to catch up with friends and family and share meals in person again. The city centre is abound with many brunch spots and we will certainly be excited to say goodbye to virtual weekend brunches.

The unique shopping scene

Britomart Pavillions

We're looking forward to making the most of the city centre's shopping offering again! 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

Weta workshop unleashed

Whether its spending the day with our families, friends or colleagues, we really miss all the cool and fun activities that we can do around the city centre. We particularly miss Holey Moley where hilarious memories are guaranteed, whether it be on the indoor mini golf course or inside their private karaoke room.

We also can't wait to head over to the SkyCity entertainment precinct and 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. 

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.

Waterside dining


With the mix of world class restaurants and 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

Facial treatment

Waxing, threading, haircuts, hair coloring, pedicures, manicures... you have been dearly missed. And it is fair to say that as soon as we can we will be back to having pamper days again and sorting out what's grown, broken, or needs fixing. It might be a little early to start booking yet, but we definately have our own little list of those we will be booking as soon as can. 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 

Coffee takeaways

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. Check out the cafes offering takeaways so you can get your coffee fix.

Embracing the unique waterfront 

Wynyard Pavillion

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

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 our first spots for a pre show dinner when we are all back enjoying the great events that the city centre has on offer. 

Seeing the lights while perched at a rooftop eatery

Qt Auckland Rooftop

Many of us have already imagined how good that first night out is going to be, as we toast to being reunited with friends again. We can't wait to sit 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're looking forward to revisting, and are a great place to catch up with friends for a delicious meal.

Last updated: 29 October 2021