A 48-hour guide to awesome Auckland
Experience five-star luxury right from the minute you land at The Hilton, Auckland. It’s located at a prime spot at Princes Wharf offering a stunning view of the Auckland harbour. What’s more? It is within walking distance of the ferry, bus and train stations so getting around the city will be a breeze from here.
Even though Hilton’s brunch menu is enviable, we suggest you get started with the best the city has to offer right away. Skip the brunch buffet there and try the El Limon restaurant next door. It specialises in Mediterranean, European and Spanish cuisine. For sure we won’t blame you if, “you’ve got a lot on your plate”.
Hit The Street
Take a taxi to Ponsonby, one of the hippest strips of Auckland. It’s packed with chic cafes, open flower markets, boutique fashion stores, and a farmer’s market selling artisanal fresh cheese and seafood.
Treat yourself to boutique jewellery, artistic homeware, fashion labels and gourmet food. There are tonnes of shops for book lovers too! Pick up a novel and unwind with a coffee at one of the many pop-up stalls there.
Evening - Beach It
The City of Sails has more beaches than you could possibly cover over an entire summer. The most exotic beaches to visit are Piha or Muriwai on the west coast. Their black sand and a breathtaking view of the sunset would provide you with some fabulous Instagram-worthy photos.
Dinner at the Sky Tower
Dine at the highest point in the city - Orbit 360°. Soak in the panoramic view of the city at this rotating restaurant while sampling a Kiwi-inspired menu, which features great local and seasonal produce. Make sure you book this unforgettable experience in advance.
Sunday - Take a trip to Waiheke Island
If you fancy a lazy afternoon tasting wines while relaxing by the beach, this is the perfect place to go. Waiheke Island has been voted as one of the top five places in the world to visit by Lonely Planet and justifiably so. It’s home to a number of vineyards and wineries nestled among scenic beaches.
How to get there
It’s a 40-minute ferry ride over the the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf. Follow this schedule to catch the ferry from downtown Auckland. Rent bikes or scooters at the ferry terminal and head to the Oneroa village.
Once you reach the Oneroa village, take a walk around the Mudbrick vineyard and restaurant. It’s an iconic 20-year-old property with vines stretching across the Gulf Harbour and makes for a picturesque view.
For lunch, savour fine-dining cuisine with a world-class selection of wines. From fresh salmon to Cloudy Bay clams. If it’s sunny, the restaurant will even peel back its roof and doors so that you can enjoy a lunch with a fantastic view.
Enjoying the Afternoon
After lunch, take a leisurely tour of over 30 wineries in the village and taste some delicious wines. You can head to the beach with your favourite bubbly or swim in the crystal clear waters.
If you want to skip the beach, then go hiking over the hills to Cable Bay Vineyard. You can watch the sun going down on the sprawling Auckland skyline from there. Arrive early to grab a beanbag on their lush green lawn to take in the city view from a distance.
Dine at The Grove
Take the return ferry to downtown Auckland and from there a taxi to St Patrick’s Square, Wyndham Street. Dine at The Grove for an evening to remember. This upscale, “3 hatted” restaurant offers creative five-to-nine course meals, with each course exceptionally prepared and presented. Book your table in advance; waiting can go up to weeks in the peak season.
While you bask in this fabulous food heaven at the end of 48 hours you will be left wondering why you didn’t plan to stay longer. On the upside though, there’s always a next time!