How to spend 48 hours in Auckland

This overlooked city can give you the cultural, food, and adventure-filled trip of a lifetime.

There's nothing Aussies like more than a little jaunt away, and we're lucky to be surrounded by many beautiful destinations. But one often overlooked destination is a stone's skip away and the perfect place to duck to for a long weekend away with the perks of leaving the country without having to spend all that much money to do so.

Auckland is often overlooked by people using it as a pit-stop to jet elsewhere in New Zealand. But regardless of whether you've booked a longer NZ trip or are just keen for a few days away, it should be a spot on your bucket list to tick off — because even in just 48 hours, you can have the food, cultural, adventure-filled trip of a lifetime.

How to spend 48 hours in Auckland.
How to spend 48 hours in Auckland.

Auckland is super easy to get around, whether you hire a car, Uber, or use their Blue Bubble taxi service. To get acquainted with the cultural delights of the city, stop by Auckland Museum first. There's nothing like a good dose of history when it comes to visiting another country, and while we may take New Zealand for granted at times as our friends across the ditch, there is a rich history to be learned from our neighbours, from how the land was inhabited, to the war memorial shrine, and the history of some of the exotic birds that have lived on the island.

The Auckland museum is a must-visit. Photo:
The Auckland museum is a must-visit. Photo:

After the museum visit, make your way to Ponsonby Road for a well-deserved coffee and lunch—and there are many places to get boozy if you fancy a tipple. Orphan's Kitchen is a hotspot, while Dedwood Deli will make you the sandwich of a lifetime. Ponsonby Central is also filled with food and drink places, plus some cute stores and markets where you might be able to catch a bargain.


Note to jewellery lovers: It will be hard to walk away from Giovanna's tiny pop-up store without grabbing a pair of earrings that will make your mates jealous.

Stop by Orphans Kitchen on Ponsonby road for a caffeine hit. Photo:
Stop by Orphans Kitchen on Ponsonby Road for a caffeine hit. Photo:

Don't drink too much while trawling Ponsonby because the afternoon is the perfect time for a spot of adventure — and you can treat yourself after. Head along to Auckland's Sky Tower, where you can take in the breathtaking view of the city doing the Sky Tower walk, and then, if you're feeling extra adventurous, you can jump straight off it too.

After you've got the heart rate up, settle in for a drink at SkyBar, where you can see out towards all of Auckland's stunning scenery. The cocktails at SkyBar are creative and tasty, and you probably won't just want one: The Sundown Specials menu and the friendly waiters will be able to walk you through some of the best options.

If heights are really NOT your vibe, you can explore the city on two wheels with Power to the Pedal: the City Loop tour will take you on the best of Auckland without even having to break a sweat, and the hot pink cycleway Te Ara I Whiti will make you feel like a star as you cycle down with its pulsing LED lighting.

An alternative option is to check out the Wētā Workshop Unleashed experience, a 90-minute movie-making tour where you can explore interactive and immersive make-believe movie sets, with a focus on the worlds of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi.

power to the pedal auckland pink cycleway
You can cycle Auckland in style with Power to the Pedal. Photo:

Foodies rejoice: Auckland is paradise if you love a culinary experience. For the meal of your life, head to Onslow and don't skip out on the Bluff oysters: they're as fresh as you can get, and the salmon trolley will leave you never buying the frozen Bird's Eye variety again.

After you eat your bodyweight in delicious seafood, head to underground bar Caretaker, a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. Forget menus — the knowledgeable staff are there to serve you exactly what your heart desires.

Hotel recommendation: The Sofitel Hotel down by the Viaduct Harbour is not only in a beautiful location, but you'd be in the prime spot for Day Two adventures... so keep reading...

Head to Lawn Café to get caffeinated before a big day of adventures, and don't worry: whether you're a savoury or sweet breakfast lover, all your needs will be met.

After you fuel up, head to the ferry terminal because we're going to Waiheke Island, baby! The stunning island is only a 40-minute journey away from the mainland and filled with, well, pretty much everybody's favourite things: wine, beaches, good food, adventure, cute shops, and friendly people.

The stunning Waiheke Island. Photo: Supplied
The stunning Waiheke Island. Photo: Supplied

Kick off your day sailing through the skies with EcoZip adventures for an out-of-this-world view of the island. Even if you're a little scared of heights or not that sold on ziplining, you won't regret it: the instructors will make you feel as safe as can be, and once you're sailing through the sky, all your worries will float away with you.

Day two, midday-late arvo: Cheers, dear!

From there, it's time to drink, my friends. New Zealand is known for its delicious wine, so wine lovers will adore Stonyridge Vineyard and their Bordeaux-style reds. Plus, the estate is now known as one of the top 10 must-visit wineries in the world, and for good reason! So even if you're not a wine drinker, sample a splash of their olive oil and bread, and take in the stunning view of the European-style winery, including all the celebrities who have visited it before that are proudly adorned inside on one of the walls.

Waiheke Island's Stonyridge Vineyard
Waiheke Island's Stonyridge Vineyard is a must-visit. Photo:

Other must-visit wineries include Tantalus Estate Vineyard, Mudbrick Vineyard and the restaurant, and indulge in an epic lunch at Batch, the highest vineyard on Waiheke, and peruse at your leisure in the picturesque town centre or trail down to the beaches, before catching the afternoon ferry back.


For a taste of NZ culture, visit Metita where Pacific flavours are reimagined, created by chef Michael Meredith who describes the food as acoming together of my Pacific heritage, my food journey and passion for fresh and seasonal flavours and ingredients.”

Find out more at Discover Auckland and follow them on Instagram @visitauckland for inspiration to start planning your long weekend away!

Yahoo Lifestyle was the guest of Tātaki Auckland and the organisation's product partners.

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