In the next six months, there are some beautiful new spaces coming to the city centre, and in the month leading up to Christmas alone there'll be a whole handful of places to explore anew. Wander new streets packed with exciting dining destinations or stop and soak up some Vitamin D in one of the new green zones sprouting in the midst of the city centre.
Early spring: A new waterfront plaza and a great new Britomart street
Urunga Plaza, our newest up-close harbour-side vantage point has just been blessed by Mana Whenua and opened to the public. It wraps around the edge of the almost-open Park Hyatt Auckland, which is located on the site of the old Emirates Team NZ bases from Auckland last America's Cup.
With art, greenery, Pōhutukawa and seats to sit and watch the world go by, this will be a prime place for people watching and boat spotting. There are plenty of great spots nearby to grab a coffee on your way there - Park Hyatt's in-house cafe The Pantry is next door and La Petite Fourchette, Williams Eatery and Rushworth are all just a brief stroll away.
Another spacious new plant-lined shared space is almost ready to open in Britomart. New areas will start opening this month, with Cafe Hanoi already in their new home opening onto the laneway between Galway and Customs Streets. Come October, Galway Street's makeover will be complete - you'll find a super strollable place packed with amazing new eateries and a brand new 5 star hotel.
Clinton Farley from The Hotel Britomart gave us the scoop on what we'll find along the street by the end of October.
“The team from Orphans Kitchen are opening their new restaurant (Kingi) in the heritage Masonic Building beside the hotel, Café Hanoi is moving to a beautiful new space across the laneway from the hotel entrance, and Michael Meredith is opening a new restaurant just down Galway Street."
Late Spring: New Wynyard Quarter park spaces
More scenic spaces to stroll and cycle around are coming soon to the Wynyard Quarter area. Amey Daldy Park, pictured below, will be the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic you've picked up from the Auckland Fish Market and another fun place to explore with any small people in your life.
Amey Daldy Park, at the corner of Daldy and Pakenham Streets, will join up with the Daldy Street Linear Park, which is pictured below and will soon be a four-block-long green link between Victoria Park and the waterfront. The last section, from Pakenham to Fanshawe Street, will be open by summer.
Early summer: our new Downtown starts opening up and more Silo Park to love when the America's Cup fun begins
City squares around the world are bustling, buzzing places where people sit and have coffee, meet friends and get from A to B. Our new plaza at the harbour end of Queen Street - bordering Commercial Bay, the Britomart Transport Centre and Quay Street - will be no different when it opens in December. Wait for your train or ferry on a sunny day, grab a Fatima's chawarma or a Good Dog Bad Dog dog for lunch and watch the world go by around you.
Our beautifully designed waterfront boulevard on Quay Street will be mostly complete by Christmas. Take a street-front seat at Lodge Bar and Dining or Dirty Laundry to enjoy the generously wide footpaths with lush green planting and A++ views of the Waitematā.
With the City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels covered over and the street on top looking top notch, Albert Street from Quay Street up to Wyndham Street will soon be back open for business and better than ever. If you haven't explored this part of town lately, there's plenty to check out. On the lower Albert Street block you'll find Best Ugly Bagels, Asuwere and Citta, then further up there are great spots like Ichiban Ramen and The Shakespeare.
As well as the excitement on the water, we're pretty excited about the PRADA Cup Village coming to life along the harbour's edge from the Viaduct down to Silo Park.
One of Auckland's favourite spaces, Silo Park, is being extended out towards the water to make more room for revelry and watching the yachts move to and from their bases. You can see the works underway below - over the next couple of months the area in the foreground will gain grass and trees then be ready for Aucklanders to enjoy.
The official 36th America's Cup opening and closing ceremonies will take place in a dedicated area complete with NZ food and beverage vendors and performance spaces on the Eastern Viaduct and you'll find a big screen on Te Wero island to catch all the action from the water. The Cup Village will be open in early-mid December, one week ahead of the first regatta, and of course all of the waterfront faves like Good George, Wynyard Pavilion and Gelatiamo will be serving up good beers, bites and icy treats to event-goers.
Mid-summer: a new way to get up close to the Waitematā
The post-Christmas return to work will be made more attractive in 2021 with a pretty special new spot for a harbourside lunchtime hang or dose of fresh sea air. Te Wānanga is the new space in the ferry basin between Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf, due to open in early 2021. An elevated 'tidal shelf' will reach out over the harbour, with ‘tidal pool’ openings letting sunlight into the depths below. Primed for ferry spotting and catching glimpses of yachts on the Waitematā, Te Wānanga is sure to quickly become a star stop on your downtown Auckland tour for out of town visitors. If you need a refreshment stop nearby, you can't go wrong with Shucker Brothers or Island Gelato - or wander a few hundred steps in any direction and you'll hit the Viaduct, Britomart or Commercial Bay - this new space really is at the heart of it all.