Friday 17 January 2020

I've done my fair share of city breaks, and what I've learnt is most of the time you can pretty much see everything you want to see in the space of one or two days. Today marks my last day in New Zealand after travelling around the North Island for 9 days. When planning this trip I couldn't leave out Auckland and Wellington, but knew I wanted to spend most of my time in NZ doing some more adventurous stuff and on top of mountains and stuff. Here's my guide to spending one day in Auckland, and where to stay.

mount eden auckland

Getting to Auckland 

Auckland doesn't have an underground train system, but it does have a shuttle that runs 24 hours from Auckland airport to get you to your accommodation (or close to it). The SkyBus costs $17 and I believe has two or three departures every hour. The bus also has free wi-fi!

Where To Stay | Queen Street Backpackers 

This backpackers is located right in the centre of the city so you won't need to catch any public transport to get to anywhere you want to go (other than the airport). The hostel provides complimentary breakfast (toast, spreads and cereal) and the rooms were clean. It does get a bit noisy at night because it's close to the clubs, so they also provide earplugs for that if you're a light sleeper! 

Breakfast - No1 Pancake 

You'll find this place on most eating guides for Auckland, as it's good and cheap! They serve a range of savoury and sweet pancake options that are all under $10, so it's a great option if you're on a budget.

Auckland Sky Tower

I mean personally this isn't the most impressive thing to see so you'll probably look at it for two minutes and get on with your day. However, if you've got money to spend and looking for a more thrill seeking experience, you can actually walk along the outside of the tower for $150 (and lean over the edge if you want to). If you want something every scarier, you can try the SkyJump, which is probably as scary as it sounds. 

auckland sky tower

Climb up Mount Eden 

Mount Eden is a dormant volcano (phew) and also the highest natural point in Auckland, which means you can get some pretty cool views of the city. The walk to the top from the city takes 30 - 45 minutes, so its a pretty easy hike up and will prepare you for the bigger ones yet to come if you're travelling more of New Zealand. 

Auckland Domain 

If you don't fancy walking back down, you can get a OuterLink bus from Mount Eden to the Domain. This is the oldest park in Auckland and if you want to get some picturesque photos then head to the Wintergardens which has a glasshouse full of tropical plants.

Lunch - Better Burger 

New Zealand's answer to Five Guys. I was disappointed they didn't have mayonnaise because, who doesn't have chips with mayo?!

better burger

Free Walking Tour

I always do these the first day I get to a city because it's a great way to get your bearings, learn a bit more about the city and get some insider knowledge and tips on what to do and the best places to eat.  We went with Auckland Free Walking Tours and they do two tours daily at 10am and 2pm and the tour runs for around 2.5 hours. Essentially they're free but you tip them whatever you think the tour was worth at the end! 

Have an ice-cream at Giapo's 

We were probably in here for 45 minutes so you definitely need to set some time aside for this! There's usually queues out the door for this place but it was pretty short when we went at 4pm. When you enter one of the staff members will take you through the different ways you can have your ice-cream served (there are some very extra cone designs available) and get to sample all 8 flavours before deciding. I went with New Zealand's famous hokey pokey ice cream which is vanilla ice-cream with honeycomb bits, and had it 'slightly melted'. Prices start at $8 so you will be paying slightly more than if you were to just get a scoop up the road. 

hokey pokey ice cream

Dinner - Satya Soul Indian Restaurant

This place is relatively cheap without compromising on taste (or portion size). It's also a BYO establishment so you can bring a bottle of wine along with you and start your pre drinks early if you plan on heading out after. 

Frenzi Pub Crawl 

If you're looking for cheap deal drinks then I recommend this pub crawl that takes place every Thursday. For $10 you get entry to four nightclubs in Auckland as well as a complimentary drink in each. They also have drink deals for people on the pub crawl so you can get a basic & mixer for $5. 

Have you ever been to Auckland? What were your highlights?


auckland itinerary tea with gi

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