Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city (and once the capital), is a wonderful place to explore for a few days in between your adventures to the wilder parts of the nation.
The first settlers, known as the Māori, came to the island in 1305 from eastern Polynesia via canoes. It took a few centuries before outsiders arrived—the British came in early 1800. After a few decades, a treaty was signed by the Māori and the British government, giving the Māori rights as citizens of the colonies. As a result of the treaty, more and more people from the UK arrived. In 1853, Auckland was declared the capital until 1876 when it was moved to Wellington. Due to the transfer of the capital away from Auckland, those living in the area decided to better the city with new structures and roads—the city grew very quickly in the 19th century into the 20th century.
Today, Auckland is considered a suburban area due to so many one-story structures, yet there’s still plenty to do and see. So if this city is on your list of go-to’s, here are some places to add to your list.
Junk and Disorderly
Are you a vintage or quirky type of person? Then Junk and Disorderly may be the perfect place for you. The shop sells both vintage items and new, ranging from home decor, clothing, accessories, kids, bath, stationery and other interesting items that are unique and can make such a fun gift. They also have an online store you can shop from.
Auckland has some amazingly beautiful beach areas to escape to during the day, and although there are popular ones like Takapuna or Blockhaus Bay Beach Resort, we recommend Karaka Bay. There, you can enjoy beautiful views, swim, snorkel and hang out until the sun sets (if you please). It’s very quiet here, so you don’t have to worry about the crowds. The best time to come here is during the summer as the winter months get a lot of wind in the area so it gets cold and chilly.
Finding a place to eat that satisfies everyone who is traveling together can get tricky, which is why Elliot Stables is ideal. The place offers a variety of food options and 11 different restaurants to grab your food from. If you can’t decide on one dish, sample several! From Japanese and Mexican to South American and German, Elliot Stables is a treat for all. Plus the seating area is classy yet casual. You can order beer and wine here, too. The restaurants at Elliot Stables are open from morning (either 7 or 9am depending on the day) to late in the evening (about 9 or 10pm depending on the day).
Kerikeri Mission Station
The oldest building in Auckland is the Kerikeri Mission Station, which was constructed in 1819 and used for housing those who would come to where the Māori lived (think of it as a homestay). Nearby are two other structures, the Stone Store, constructed in 1832, which was repurposed throughout the years as a trading post, library, school for boys and more, and the second is the Kemp House constructed in 1822 behind the Stone Store. The Kemp House was home to the families of the missionaries that came to Auckland. You can visit each one of the buildings via tour—you’ll learn all about the life, battles and crazy stories between pirates, Europeans and the Māori.
Auckland Night Market
Night markets, which you could only find in Asia decades ago, are now found all around the world. Auckland has a night market located in different parts of the city, open every day of the week. You can dine on lamb skewers, pork dumplings, Hungarian elephant ears, Spanish churros and the list goes on. It’s a great place to bring family and friends for delicious eats that are very cheap.
Auckland is a fun city to head to and there’s a lot to see and do, even if it’s just for a few days. So if you’re visiting one of New Zealand’s most-visited city, we hope this guide will help you enjoy your time there.
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