Sometimes you need to make lunch a little bit fancy, weather you are visiting for a special occasion like an anniversary, or here on business and need to make a good impression, sometimes the atmosphere can make all the difference! We have listed our five favorite food highlights that tick all the boxes!
Located on Drake Street in the incredibly popular and lavish Victoria Park Markets, Matterhorn is in the ideal location to enjoy company with someone and be in a place that isn’t surrounded by noise.Take the time to cruise the menu options, including wild rabbit and red deer and enjoy the warm dark setting, perfect for those unpredictable winter/spring days Auckland is infamous for!
Nestled in the City Works Depot, Odette’s is bursting with a lively ambiance, modern relaxed design, great music, friendly helpful staff make this a hassle free and tasty experience! Their noon menu consists of a range of sharing plates, if you are unsure of what to choose from, the staff are more than happy to give a sales pitch on what you should indulge in.
It’s all in the name! Right there! The Lunchroom is nestled deep in the bustling Auckland CBD area, high above and able to overlook the hectic Britomart intersection through the large floor to ceiling windows, perfectly placed for those looking for a quick business lunch. Enjoy a quick bite from the cabinet or a longer lunch with their friendly service available until four.
Located in the Seafarers building, Ostro, provides you with the bounties of the sea and local land served in exquisite fashion while allowing its guests to be captivated by the Auckland harbor view. The oysters are a hit, and match the scenery quite well, but the menu suits everyone no matter your taste. Located near some of the best bars on the waterfront, it’s the perfect place to turn that late lunch into early afternoon drinks!
he beautiful, light and airy space, complemented by the in-house florist/shrubbery enthusiast and ample parking makes The Botanist one of the best spots to enjoy a quick light lunch from the cabinet. Choose from an array of colorful salads and toasted wraps, matched with either their own special blend from Three Beans Coffee or a freshly squeezed juice. A ten-seater communal table provides space for larger group – perfect if you are here for business.
The city is gearing up for the warmer weather as summer arrives and the city truly comes alive! That means live music, great expos and some good comedy – so if you’re visiting us during October you’re in for a treat and we’ve gathered our favorites to help get you started!
Here’s what’s on:
Guy Montgomery: WiP
Local up-and coming talent Guy Montgomery is bringing a new selection of stand up, fresh off performing at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Guy will be doing a set fully based on improvisation – in an attempt to make new jokes – fueled by audience suggestions.
Get in quick to see why Guy has been making a name for himself both internationally and in the local circuit, for classic dry but sharp kiwi humor!
James Reid Songbook Tour – From the Feelers to Solo
Feelers front man James Reid is stripping back the songs that made him famous for an intimate offering, if you are a fan of his solo work or his work woth the feelers, you can expect acoustic versions of classic kiwi gems like ‘Venus’, ‘Stand Up’, ‘Larger Than Life’, ‘Pressure Man’, ‘As Good As It Gets’ – just some of the amazing twelve Top 20 charting singles, as well as some new songs from his upcoming solo project, Planet Nowhere.
The set will include favorites from all six Feelers albums and his acclaimed solo album Saint, having already sold out in some other city centers, this truly is a can’t-miss from a truly kiwi artist and icon.
Joan As Police Woman – Joanthology Tour
US songwriter Joan As Police Woman aka Joan Wasser is touring Aotearoa for the first time ever this coming October, the critically revered artist will play songs from her superbly titled new career-spanning collection Joanthology, a mammoth 43 track retrospective gathering together material from over a decade’s worth of albums, rarities and live recordings.
The show has already garnered rave reviews from across the globe, and you wont want to miss the stripped back, solo piano and guitar renditions of Joan As Police Woman’s reflective and emotionally resonant chamber pop compositions.
The Chocolate & Coffee Show 2019
Its all in the title, what more do you need to be told about this one? Chocolate. And coffee. After a successful year last year, Auckland’s shrine to all things chocolate and coffee has seriously stepped it up for 2019 – now being joined by cheese AND wine for the ultimate celebration of decadence!
This event includes intimate masterclasses, live demonstrations and, of course, the chance to gorge on all things delicious – and serious connoisseurs can secure a spot in the exclusive VIP wine and cheese lounge. If any weekend was going to be a skip weekend for healthy living, it has to be for this mouth-watering festival!
Spring has finally broken, and summer is within reach, which means we can finally get out of hibernation and enjoy the fresh air and share some brinks with friends! And Auckland is home to some of the best garden bars in New Zealand (in this writer’s opinion at least) and we have chosen four of our favorites for you to check out (summer pub crawl??) that you can take in with friends and family when you visit us!
Cult Aussie craft brewery Little Creatures set up shop in the historic Sunderland Hangar in Hobsonville Point earlier this year and it’s been a bastion of the community ever since. Hop heads can watch brewers working their alchemy before sampling the local drop Catalina Bay lager or whatever unique beer they whip up any given month. They also have a fantastic menu as well if you want to take in a bite, including wood-fired pizza, sharing plates, and fish ‘n’ chips. They even have a family-friendly play area for your littlest creatures, so you can sit back and relax!
Wild On Waiheke
Hop on a ferry and head over to Wine-Country Waiheke… before you get confused, this little island is famous for its grapevines, but it also features its own microbrewery! From the pale ale, wheat and malt crafties to cider and non-alcoholic ginger beer, there is something for everyone – so be sure to take a group! You can also take in a wood-fired pizza and if you aren’t in bliss relaxing in the sun, you can spend the afternoon playing giant chess or firing off a few shots in the archery range — the perfect way to burn some of those added calories!
The newest bar on this list, Union post mixes gastropub-inspired lunch and dinner dishes that pair perfectly with cocktails in the courtyard or the rotating craft beer selection while watching the rugby. Union Post is the sort of place you can catch up with your mates and dance the night away or watch the rugby world cup this will fast become one of your favorite big-city watering holes!
Brothers Juke Joint
Brothers Beer has fast become the staple of Auckland breweries, famous of their focus solely on meat and beer – matching barbecue sauces range from traditional Americana to Asian fusion with the perfect beverage, poured fresh from one of nine massive stainless-steel tanks. Simplicity and comfort is at the heart of everything at Juke Joint, which features a grassy courtyard perfect for hazy summer evenings, while the inside is dotted with expansive couches ripped straight out of 1973!
September is shaping up to be a big month in the city, it seems as we inch closer and closer to summer all the great acts, events and gigs emerge from the woodwork to help get us excited and get us out and about! From international actors singing show tunes that all ages will love, to comedy and food tours – September has it all!
Here’s what’s happening in Auckland this September:
Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show
Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe, Grammy and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman is stepping off the silver screen and onto the stage tis September to perfom songs from some the various films and theatre productions he has starred in such as The Grammy Award winning The Greatest Showman soundtrack, Peter Allen and Les Misérables! Joining him in New Zealand is actress and singer Keala Settle who will perform the Academy Award® nominated and Golden Globe Award winning song “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman and more. This is the perfect evening for fans of Jackman, musicals and fans of theatre!
The LA based guitar based indie folk/rock duo are coming to New Zealand in support of their critically-acclaimed album, What Chaos Is Imaginary. The duo, consisting of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad will bring the music infused with drum machines and synthesizers and beautiful/new harmonies and huge guitars and at least one orchestral breakdown by a string octet – this will be one show that isn’t to be missed, by music’s newest rising stars.
Dominion Rd Moon Festival
In East Asia and Southeast Asia, the Moon Festival (known as mid-Autumn Festival in the northern hemisphere) is a time to celebrate the arrival of the new moon – and The moon is the brightest on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. So come grab a lantern, enjoy the cultural music and take in the mouth-watering selection of ethnic foods that will be available from food trucks and stalls in the vicinity and of course, there is the huge selection of delicious options in the adjacent Balmoral town centre and along Dominion Road itself.
You read that right! The Legendary, Grammy-Award winning band Fleetwood Mac are hitting Auckland, playing all their hits and featuring the new line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie along with newcomers Mike Campbell and New Zealand’s own Neil Finn! The group have been hyping up fans, both new and old by promising to “perform all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs” If that’s not an excuse to get along then I don’t know what is! Tickets are selling out fast, so get in quick!
With summer quickly approaching, it’ll be the optimum time to get out and explore the city and get a little exercise at the same time! Like the rest of the county, Auckland has been transforming over the past decade to accommodate cyclists and utilizing its popularity to get people exploring the city in new and inventive ways and to locations that cant be reached by car. Here are a few of our favorite tracks to help get you excited:
Te Ara I Whiti – Lightpath
We start off the list with one of the newest paths and easily one of the most famous – the lightpath. This one’s great to impress the kids and to get them excited about cycling, it’s also Auckland’s most ambitious cycle path to date –
Starting at Upper Queen and twisting around the city center, it makes for an easy ride, and one where you can easily stop to check out hot-spots in the city such as K Road and Silo Park.
One for all the adventure seekers out there, for the daredevils who like to get down and dirty in the mud, this track is for the mountain bikers out there.
Riding fast down steep hills in the forest and attempting not to break another bone is one thing, riding through the forest on a path that has twists and turns and the odd jump if you dare is another. Woodhill Forest caters for both and would have to be one of the most accessible selection of mountain biking tracks in the city.
Britomart – Half Moon Bay – Auckland CBD
Another ride that is for the more experienced, and very popular with groups, head from Britomart along Tamaki Drive towards Mission Bay and basically just keep going as you follow the shoreline past St Heliers, along Riddell Road and take a left onto Roberta Ave once you get through Glendowie. Follow your nose – or the trusty Google Maps – towards Point England Reserve all of the way down to the water at Lagon Drive near the Panmure Basin. From there cross over the water and follow the shore line left all the way past the Pakuranga Sailing Club and down and around until you make to the Half Moon Bay ferry terminal. It’s a great Sunday dedicated ride, but well worth the reward if you can commit!
Jump on the ferry with your bike at no extra cost, or hire a bike once you hit land and step onto the wharf (Hiring a bike means you’ll get all the comforts of a mountain bike and can have a trusty little map mounted to the handle bars, how’s that for convenience?) There are also great maps available to help you find your way around and if you plan out your day in advance you can make sure to take the right paths to lead you to wherever your heart desires, be that an art gallery, beach or vineyard. The ‘Beach/Wine Lovers Trail’ will take you about three and a half hours through the vines to Onetangi and once again is one of those rides that can end in a swim if you so desire. Further rides include the Easy Life Loop, Nature Trail, Stony Batter Trail and the Rangihou Mountain Bike Track.
New Zealand has seen in the past five years a resurgence in our music scene, if you are visiting from overseas, or even from a smaller town in the country, you will have the opportunity to catch some of these acts, performers that lay beyond our staple icons in the industry. Auckland has become a hub for great talent, with new venues popping up in the central city there is usually a great show to catch each night in the city! We have put together a small list of our favourite acts worth catching!
The Beths are easily the next big thing in New Zealand, the four piece have seen a huge rise in popularity in the last year, with their debut album, Future Me Hates Me, being heralded as one of the year’s stand-out music releases, receiving praise from a myriad of respected publications such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Band Camp, and gaining worldwide radio airplay. The band mixes the popular indie rock genre that has been popular over the last five years with a true-blue kiwi flair, their songs are upbeat and made for summer roadtrips.
They are just as endearing live, with their shows usually selling out and getting crowds jumping and bopping along to the catchy hooks – you only need to hear the chorus to most of their songs once to have them permanently engraved in your minds! After selling out shows across Australia, North America, the UK and Europe in 2018/19 the band will be returning to New Zealand later this year for a short run of ‘homecoming’ shows – the last chance to witness The Beths on their Future Me Hates Me album cycle.
Benee burst into the local music scene in late 2017, with the enigmatic debut single ‘Tough Guy’, which boasted cliff-diving guitars, synth bass and infectious melodies backed with a production credit from Josh Fountain at Golden Age and has since been on the rise!
Benee has gone on to perform at Laneway Festival, Spark Arena with Lily Allen, and join the Aroha Nui line up, all the while receiving rave reviews for her “fun and charismatic” live persona. If you manage to catch one of her live shows, try grab a ticket because they tend to sell out fast!
A little more underground and unknown than the rest of the acts on this list, Shaun’s Birthday (or b-day) have quickly earnt a reputation for their energetic live shows, catchy choruses and erratic dance moves which have gained them opening slots for some of Australia’s best indie rock bands such as Skegss, Dune Rats and The Chats.
It’s a great time to catch this live act before the break into the big time, they can usually be found playing shows on the K Road strip, or if you’re in Auckland in September you’ll be able to catch lead guitarist Shaun’s actual birthday, which includes a line-up of the cities best indie rock bands in one night!
We have well past the half way mark of 2019 and now we begin the slow journey into summer! But although the winter chill is stills ticking around for another couple of months, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get out and make the most of what the city has to offer, especially when it’s jam packed full of ways to keep the body warm and the mind entertained!
Here’s what’s on this August:
Dining In The Dark
You may have seen this one plastered over facebook in the last few years, a dining experience with a difference! Dans le Noir? (French for “In the Dark?”) is an international company offering patrons a unique experience by eating in complete darkness, guided and served by low vision or blind people. More than 1.5 million people have already lived this experience worldwide.
Running each week I August from Thursday to Saturday at the Rydges Auckland, surprise your senses as never before! Enjoy a unique sensory experience, thanks to our famous surprise menus in three different versions assisted by unexpected guides!
It’s an exciting way to eat out in the city and one that will sure stick around in your mind afterwards! Bookings are essential so be sure to get in ahead of time.
DARTZ – No Matter Whatz Winter Tour
The Poneke Party Punk outfit that has been making waves in their native city after a well-received opening slot for Australian shed-rockers The Chats are finally heading out on tour in support of their debut EP, No Matter Whatz.
The band has made a quick reputation for their highly energetic live shows that you just keep your eyes off, you’ll find yourself humming their tunes in the days after, and be sure to keep an eye out for their merch, zines and other schemes they bring to their shows!
Supporting them in Auckland is Shaun’s Birthday, a punk trio who has seen success in the last year opening for a range of international acts, including Skegss and Hockey Dad. These two bands have a big history together so we’re sure they’ll put on an un-missible night!
Spawining out of the successful reggae and roots festival One Love, this warm-up party is hitting the road and making a stop in Auckland to bring those great summer vibes early!
And the line up is jam-packed with Kiwi favourites and some new faces, including Katchafire, L.A.B, Tomorrow People and 1814 alongside international acts Josh Wawa, LaTasha Lee, and local rising star, Lion Rezz. Youth sensation, General Fiyah and international reggae stars, Paua.
If you want to escape winter for a night and start day-dreaming about summer, this will be a can’t-miss night out!
Hot off the release of their second studio album, Smooth Big Cat, Dope Lemon return to the stage, and to Auckland, for their first headline tour in three years this August. They invite you to step into real the world of Angus Stone – a dream zone layered with melty moments, mischief and romance.
Another act that is well known for encompassing those sweet summer vibes, Dope Lemon have catapulted to success after their debut, Honey Bones, quickly shot up the streaming charts in 2016, if you haven’t had a chance to catch what all the buzz is about, this is your opportunity to get out on the dance floor and take in the swagger-drench tunes.
Eating while travelling is always a hassle, it can sometimes be hard to keep within budget while also wanting to get the best of what a new location has to offer, and then trying to maintain a sense of healthy eating on top of that… it can get a bit much! In a city like Auckland which is packed to the brim with diverse flavors and award-winning eats, it can be hard to choose the best options that won’t leave you feeling like you gained holiday weight. Luckily for you, we have hunted out some cheap and healthy eats form across the city for you to dive into!
If you want to have a bit of international flare in you meals, then look no further than Uncle Man’s, with various locations across the city it’s a one-stop shop for some flaky roti, chicken curry, seafood laksa and the famous char kuey teow and mee goreng — all for less than $15 per dish. Unlike other Malaysian eateries, Uncle Man’s has an extensive dessert menu featuring guilty pleasures such as fried banana with ice cream as well as dessert roti including the roti tower!
Healthy and vegan? Welcome to Revive! Located in the heart of the CBD, this cheap eats location has everything you need from fresh salads, smoothies and juice bar and also serves a range of hot pots and soups with a daily-changing menu. Moreover, there are a range of sizes available with a small box (two choices) starting from $8.50, making it perfect for a quick lunch without hurting the wallet.
Dumplings with Wings
We all can admit that we love dumplings right? A great healthy option that can cater to all diet types, one of our favorite places is this dumpling haven which resides in leafy suburb of Remuera. Boasting a succinct menu, Dumplings With Wings offers five flavor options plus a seasonal special combination. We recommend keeping an eye on their social pages as they’re always posting about their dumpling classes or specials.
Best Ugly Bagels
If you are visiting form a smaller town, or from overseas then you just can’t not visit New Zealand’s premiere gourmet bagels from Best Ugly Bagels! With delicious and fresh bagels made on the premises, you can try any one of their crazy or classic flavours. Their cheapest bagel being just $5, you can also score a Zany Zeus organic cream cheese bagel for $7 or smeared with their housemade chocolate hazelnut spread.
We are past the halfway mark of winter, but we still have a few months to bare through! But don’t worry, we have your back! We have sourced the five best events happening in Auckland this month to help beat your winter blues!
New Zealand International Film Festival
Easily some of Aucklander’s favourite time of year – the International Film festival returns this July, presenting the latest and best films from around the world. NZIFF maintains a rich tradition of diverse choice in a curated selection of expertly crafted films – features, documentaries and short films too – that deserve to be experienced with an audience. These are films that you won’t see at the mainstream theatres and often feature films that have won awards overseas. You’ll want to get in early to book as tickets tend to sell out fast!
Vector Lights for Matariki Festival
One of the crown jewels of the Matariki Festival, This year’s host iwi for Matariki Festival, Waikato-Tainui, have created a stunning display featuring te whetuu tapu o te tau hou Maaori (the sacred star of the Maaori new year) on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The light display intents to mix with a soundtrack to tell stories of Taamaki Makaurau from a Waikato-Tainui perspective. If you want to get a sense of genuine kiwi culture and history, this will be one not to miss.
Easily one of the hottest acts in the world right now, SZA brings her seminal voice and modern R&B to Spark Arena. The five-time Grammy Award winning musician will grace our shores for one show only after she headlines Splendour In The Grass in Australia, last time she was here her show sold out, so you’ll want to be quick.
Auckland Zinefest Market 2019
Catch some of the city’s best artist and creators under one roof for a festival that celebrates DIY culture as it returns to the Auckland Art Gallery for the market’s 10th anniversary. Enjoy works from over 80 zine makers and artists from around New Zealand and the world, ranging from poetry, travelogues and literature, to comics, illustrations and photography. Usually featuring young creators, Zinefest has become incredibly popular, packing out each day and with visitors leaving with handfuls of different creations, it’s a unique weekend that’s a certified don’t-miss. Bring cash!
One of the biggest bands in Rock returns to Auckland for one show only that’s supporting not one, but two new records! Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 1) was released in March, with Part 2 to follow later this year, signalling a return to the spasmodic angles of their debut Antidotes while simultaneously going further off-base than ever before. The band has won numerous awards over the past few years, and it’s no surprise! Make sure you get in quick so you get a chance to see this amazing live act while you can!
Welcome to the second part of a two part series that covers how to tackle Auckland on a budget! Travelling is never cheap and if you wanting to take full advantage of the city but want to do so without breaking the bank, then we have you covered. When travelling find activities that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg can be hard, especially if you are travelling with the whole family, but don’t worry we have your back, we have done the research and found five activities that are both cheap and exciting!
Manukau Heads Lighthouse
Fill up your car tank and make your way to Manukau Heads Lighthouse to get a totally free amazing view of the city, enjoy a great walk where you can take in the sun, the sea air and learn a bit about the local history. If you are really lucky you might even spot a Maui dolphin – a rare breed of dolphin indigenous to New Zealand who are known to swim around the area.
Speaking of adventures, for the simple cost of a return ticket on a ferry you could be dropped on either Waiheke or Rangitoto Island and soak up all new surroundings! If you pick a sunny day, just strolling around the island is enough to get your money’s worth especially if you want to see some of our nature, views and history.
If urban exploring is more of your thing then you can’t go past the bright pink path that takes you all across the central city! The Lightpath which is more widely known as the Pink Bridge amongst Aucklanders offers a few of the city and intersections like no other and it’s 100% free, if you have some money to spare jump on an ONZO and do the path on a bike!
Auckland Art Gallery and Memorial Musesum
If you prefer to be indoors and want to Soak up some art, history and culture at the Auckland Art Gallery and museum. This is a perfect double whammy for a day trip and both are super cheap for what you get in return. Each feature classic pieces and new exhibitions so it’s always a refreshing and educational time.
Local live Music
Check out Auckland’s gig scene, they’re often either free or cheap with door sales and the talent is strong. One of our fave places to suggest is Whammy Bar, wine cellar or galatos its well worth it and the drinks are always cheap as well, who knows, you may just catch the next Lorde!