Located on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is a vibrant multicultural city with thriving food, fashion and arts scenes. The city’s harbor beaches and volcanic landscape provide plenty of outdoor fun too.
Auckland: city layout and top attractions
The Sky Tower observation tower marks the centre of downtown Auckland, and is surrounded by award-winning eateries and Auckland hotels. Nearby you’ll find Auckland’s best theatres and Aotea Square, home to major events like the Auckland Arts Festival.
Queen Street , a few blocks over, is a shopping hub that includes the trendy bars and restaurants around Viaduct Harbor.
A short drive east from the city centre brings you to iconic Mission Bay Beach, which has great views of Waitemata Harbor and Rangitoto Island.
You can use your IHG® Reward Club points to book an exhilarating getaway in a city centre hotel with harbour views or accommodation near Auckland Airport.
Eating Out in Auckland
Alongside international fare, Auckland’s food scene is dominated by an abundance of local fish, oysters and mussels.
City centre Federal Street has become a hotspot where talented chefs experiment with more casual fare, including shucked oysters and New York deli dishes. Many of the best hotels in Auckland can be found in this area. Booking your hotel directly through IHG® gives you access to affordable “YOUR RATE” offers at the nearby Crowne Plaza Auckland.
Further downtown, Britomart’s restaurants offer contemporary dining between its cobbled laneways. Ponsonby Central is home to street-food vendors and hip bars.
Culture & Nightlife in Auckland
Auckland has an impressive array of performance and cultural venues. The Civic Theatre’s illuminated ceiling gives the impression of watching a performance under the stars. It’s the place to go for live musical theatre.
Auckland Art Gallery hosts international exhibitions, and houses a collection of New Zealand art from colonization to contemporary works. Auckland Museum, nestled in the Domain park near the charming Winter Garden, covers the nation’s natural, cultural and military history.
Many of Britomart’s trendy bars and nightclubs stay open late. Karangahape Road’s quirky music scene flourishes at the underground bars in St. Kevin’s Arcade.
Shopping in Auckland
Keen shoppers visiting Auckland discover a mix of high-end boutiques, chain stores and traditional crafts and souvenirs.
Mainstream clothing stores are found downtown on Queen Street, also a safe bet for sheepskin souvenirs, carved Maori treasures and warm Merino wool. Upscale department store Smith & Caughey’s is the place for cosmetics, clothing and gifts.
You’ll find local designer labels in Britomart’s streets and on the main stretch of Ponsonby. Local designer Karen Walker’s bold sunglasses are worn by international celebrities and trendy locals alike.
Leisure in Auckland
Auckland’s volcanic landscape, carved out over thousands of years, offers excellent opportunities for both adventure and relaxation.
The panoramic view over the city and neighboring islands from Mt. Eden is worth the steep climb. The walk around the eastern bays from the city is idyllic, and Mission Bay’s sandy beach is a hotspot for swimmers and sunbathers.
For adrenaline junkies, the Sky Tower offers a free-falling jump from its observation deck. You can also book a guided climb up Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, or bungee-jump off the side.