There’s plenty to do in Auckland when you’re on a budget. But for those who want to splurge and experience the full range of what Auckland has to offer, here are some of the city’s ‘fancier’ features!
1. Tour Waiheke Island and its world class wineries
Only a 35-minute ferry trip from downtown Auckland, you’ll feel a world away on Waiheke Island yet it makes the perfect day trip for those looking to indulge. Waiheke Island offers a range of activities designed to appeal to everyone.
Take a guided tour of the islands fabulous wineries and enjoy tastings of award winning wines and delicious food. Stroll along the islands best beaches, Oneroa and Onetangi or satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie and try archery or zip lining. Whatever the season, the options are endless and you will leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed, having escaped the inner city hustle and bustle.
2. Sky Jump or bungee jump
Prefer to fill your days with a touch of adrenaline and excitement? Auckland offers a selection of activities that are bound to get the blood pumping.
If you want to experience a traditional bungee, the AJ Hackett bungee off the Harbour Bridge offers any jump option such as ankle tie, harness jump, ocean dunk, tandem and more. As a bonus, included in the jump is exclusive access to the Harbour Bridge where you can enjoy great views of the city and Waitemata harbour.
For something a little different, or if you’ve bungeed before, the Sky Tower’s “Sky Jump” is New Zealand’s highest jump (192m high); however, unlike a bungee, there is no hanging upside down or bounding around. The fall is “fast and smooth” and slows down in the last few meters before the ground. Termed “surprisingly gentle” the fall is still a massive 11 seconds long at 85km/hr, so is bound to satisfy.
3. Dine like a royal
Auckland’s dining scene has experienced a huge boom in recent years and now serves up a large variety of cuisines, cooked by world-renowned chefs.
There are so many options that it may begin to feel overwhelming, so our suggestion would be to take a look at Metro’s list of Top 50 restaurants in Auckland. Here you will find dining options to suit varying tastes and budgets and with countless options in every part of the city.
In the city close to the Sky Tower, there’s Depot (Oyster bar), Gusto at the Grand (Italian), Federal Delicatessen (New York Jewish deli), The Grill (steakhouse) and Masu (Japanese).
In the Britomart and Viaduct areas, there’s Ostro (New Zealand brasserie style), Ortolana (Garden to table bistro concept), Café Hanoi (Vietnamese), Soul Bar and Bistro and Baduzzi (Italian).
And last but not least, Ponsonby also has a number of stylish, new and revived eateries, worth driving too. SPQR and Prego have made a comeback (both Italian) in recent years but there’s also The Blue Breeze Inn (modern Chinese), Ponsonby Road Bistro, Sidart (Fine dining) and Vinnies (kiwi dining).
4. Shop till you drop in Ponsonby
Ponsonby Road is one of Auckland’s hippest streets and is filled with designer and iconic fashion stores. Here you will find stores such as Karen Walker, Sass & Bide, Superette, Decjuba, Working Style, Ruby, Storm, Witchery, Moochi and more. But for those interested in more than just clothing, there’s something for everyone. The strip is also filled with stores such as hair stylists, footwear, jewellery and accessories, massage, spas and health, bridal, home and furniture, music, gifts and more!
If you’re wanting to indulge in a serious shopping spree, we’d recommend you stay for the day as the retail stores are fairly spread out. Stop off for lunch and/or coffee at any of the wonderful cafes/restaurants or just people watch in between wandering the shops.
5. Theme and leisure parks
Treat the kids and family to a day out at one of Auckland’s theme and leisure parks! Although they’re not cheap, they’ll keep everyone entertained for an entire day and break up the shopping and sightseeing.
There are a number of options, but the most family friendly and popular options would be Rainbows End (Auckland’s only theme park, featuring over 20 rides and attractions), Snowplanet (indoor, all year round snow “resort” and MOTAT (Museum of Transport & Technology).
We hope we’ve provided you with a list that has a healthy balance of excitement and relaxation. Check out our blog post “5 things to do in Auckland if you’re on a tight budget” and you’ll have a perfectly varied itinerary, that will help you get the most out of your visit.
If you need a rental car or camper for your visit to Auckland, look no further than MODE. We have a range of different vehicles at competitive prices. And because we’re based in Auckland, we can provide you with even more local knowledge and advice to assist with your perfect visit to the city.
You have to be 18 years old or over to rent a car. Feel free to contact us, if you have any questions.