Making Lonely Planet's 'Best In Travel' for 2014, we highlight the best spots to visit in Auckland.
A hub for international sporting events including the America’s Cup, Rugby World Cup and recent ITU World Triathlon Championship, Auckland is a dynamic harbourside city undergoing constant development. With the evolving Britomart precinct, buzzing marina and revitalised Wynyard Quarter, there’s a vibrant pulse to the city that’s refreshing to experience.
The transformation of a historic pocket of Auckland into Britomart is one of the most significant ongoing developments in the city. A neighbourhood of eateries, boutiques, bars, art galleries and music venues, the area is flanked by heritage buildings and home to many of the city’s creative agencies and corporations. Adjacent to the city’s main transport hub, the area was home to Auckland’s first mercantile centre and today has over 100 businesses open with plans for 200 to be established by 2015. britomart.org
Here are a few Britomart hotspots to check out when you’re next in town.
Café Hanoi: Café Hanoi’s light-filled contemporary space serves up traditional Northern Vietnamese dishes with some fresh modern tweaks. With plenty of share plates available and lots of sweet, sour and salty flavours – including the best pork spare ribs going around – it’s a great place to hang out with a big group and watch the action outside on Takutai Square. cafehanoi.co.nz
Ebisu: Serving Japanese food in a sleek setting, Ebisu’s water front location resonates with its name – the Japanese god of daily food and fisherman. In the evenings, a DJ strikes the right chord to keep the atmosphere alive without drowning out conversation and the venue’s raw design and exposed materials keep the focus firmly where it should be. The dishes are clean and adventurous, with some interesting roll combos, delicious ceviche and shochu sorbet served up for a dessert. ebisu.co.nz
Britomart Country Club: With the title of the largest courtyard bar in New Zealand, Britomart Country Club easily fills its big shoes and offers a fun spot for an afternoon drink or high tea. A putting green and staff dressed in old school sports wear add to the country club flavour and with things happening every night of the week, there’s always an excuse to drop by. britomartcountryclub.co.nz
Everybody’s: Housed in an abandoned movie theatre that has been spectacularly converted, Everybody’s is accessed via a laneway that doubles as a courtyard bar. The venue is high impact, with soaring ceilings, beautiful feature windows, a fine dining restaurant and mezzanine bar. Bright fronds of hanging ferns break up the stark interior and its plush booths beckon you to settle in with friends. everybodys.co.nz
Auckland Art Gallery: The largest art gallery in New Zealand, Auckland Art Gallery exhibits classic and contemporary art, including a large collection of Maori and Pacific Islander art. ‘Who Shot Rock & Roll’ is a must-see summer show, with iconic photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Linda McCartney snapping music’s greatest moments from 1955 to the present day. aucklandartgallery.com
La Cigale: La Cigale in Parnell is where Aucklanders go on a Saturday morning. A great place to grab freshly shucked oysters, bread and cheese for an afternoon picnic and a quality coffee to sip while you meander through, La Cigale is a bustling French marketplace crammed with colourful stalls vying for your attention. lacigale.co.nz
For the complete list of Lonely Planet’s top country and city destinations for 2014 visit their website.
Making the list in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best In Travel’ for 2014, we highlight the best spots to visit in Auckland.