Spending a weekend in Auckland? 48 hours in Auckland is just the right amount of time to take in the city’s many splendid sites, tempting flavors and rich history. Our New Zealand tours include the very best Auckland activities with a sprinkling of decadence.
Your stay at QT Auckland invites you to soak in the energy of the water. Rooms draw inspiration from the shapes and curves of oysters with natural hues and soothing tones. At this 5-Star Design Hotel’s rooftop bar, take in sweeping views of Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour paired with Mediterranean snacks and classic cocktails. Continue your culinary tour at the hotel’s Restaurant Esther where head chef Sean Connolly presents flavors of the French Riviera, Sicily and Morocco.
Another dining highlight of your tour will surely be dinner with one of New Zealand’s famous former All Black rugby players. Rub shoulders with a former member of the All Blacks as you learn about the world’s leading rugby team, his personal victories and how passionate Kiwis are about their national sport.
Fine dining for a weekend in Auckland
When it comes to fine dining in Auckland, why not go all out at the famous Sugar Club? Located in the Sky Tower, The Sugar Club sits 53 floors above Auckland boasting views of the city and the Hauraki Gulf. In addition to the impressive views, the impressive Chef’s menu showcases sustainably sourced produce. You’ll be in good hands of Chef Peter Gordon who has been called “the ‘Godfather’ of fusion cuisine.” From sashimi to beef fillet and a plant-based tasting menu, a decadent evening is always in store at The Sugar Club.
Another option to pair fine dining with fabulous views is Sidart Restaurant. This New Zealand-Indian fusion restaurant offers imaginative cuisine including black truffle paneer, market fish tikka and crayfish and moilee sauce. Select a tasting menu from the five- or nine-course options with wine pairings. You may also opt for The Chef’s Table Experience to go behind the scenes and watch dishes being prepared in the kitchen and let the chef guide you through the menu. This exclusive dining experience, from Champagne on arrival to the final seventh course, is a memorable way to try the finest flavors.
With one or two decadent dining experiences ticked off your bucket list, you’ll be ready to explore. You don’t have to venture far from the centrally located QT Auckland to find things to do in Auckland. Legendary and lively Queen Street in the Central Business District boasts high-end shops of international and local brands. Treat yourself to a designer bag and take a break in a café and watch the world go by. Extend your exploration with a visit to the nearby Auckland Art Gallery’s collection of international and New Zealand art on the edge of elegant Albert Park. On the other side of the park is Princes Street. Here, historic merchant’s houses from the late 1800s, now a heritage site, line the boulevard.
Continue your discovery of what to do in Auckland exploring nearby Parnell, one of Auckland’s affluent and oldest neighborhoods. Stroll the tree-lined streets past Edwardian townhouses, restored Victorian shops, boutiques, and cafes. If you’re in Parnell over a weekend, don’t miss La Cigale French Market. Voted Auckland’s ‘Best Food Market’ by Metro Magazine, the market invites you to take your time browsing fresh produce, pâtés, terrines and pastries. You’ll feel like you’re in Paris as you absorb the sights and heavenly aromas. Take a rest at one of the market’s communal tables to enjoy a latte and croissant. The nearby Parnell Rose Gardens with over 5,000 roses enhances your decadent discovery.
Parnell’s Auckland War Memorial Museum is another recommendation of what to see in Auckland. View the historic exhibits including an 80-foot Māori war canoe dating from 1836. Current and upcoming special exhibits include Secrets of Stonehenge and Egypt: In the Time of Pharaohs.
Waitemata Harbor Cruise
After soaking in the city sites on your weekend in Auckland, take to the water. A Waitemata Harbor cocktail or dinner cruise will show you the city from a different vantage point. Cruises also conveniently depart from near the city center. You’ll soon realize why Waitemata means “sparkling waters” in the Māori language. Onboard, take in the skyline framed against volcanic peaks. Sail under the Harbor Bridge sipping on cocktails and nibbling canapes. Glide past the North Head, Bean Rock Lighthouse and Devonport’s historic naval base.
Rangitoto and Waiheke Islands
If you have time for a daytime cruise on your weekend in Auckland, why not set sail to the picturesque Rangitoto and Waiheke Islands? The volcanic Rangitoto Island is covered in native forests and lava caves and displays 360-degree views of Auckland harbor.
Heading further east, a 40-minute ferry ride to Waiheke Island, the “Hamptons of New Zealand,” will delight you with pastoral splendor. Visit one of the more than 40 vineyards and olive groves. Sample the local products and take home a bottle or two. Waiheke also offers many trails ideal for a jaunt up to the cliff tops or down to the beaches. Art lovers take note: every two years, Sculpture on the Gulf is held on the Matiatia Coastal Walkway for you to bask in works of contemporary art surrounded by bucolic scenery.
Whether you’re in search of fine dining or photo-ops, history or high-end shops, a weekend in Auckland will leave you satisfied. Let us show you what we love about New Zealand.
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