Auckland has a wealth of fabulous restaurants, many of them offering not only fresh, inventive cuisine but also wonderful waterfront views. Start your restaurant search in Viaduct Harbour, Parnell or Ponsonby, three areas where you can stroll and find dozens of dining choices.
Head over to Viaduct Harbour for a whole range of great restaurants for casual dining. A few of our favorites include Degree, where you can have your dinner delivered to your table on a sizzling volcanic rock, and Soul, a popular bistro offering waterfront views and a wide array of cocktails. The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe is a perfect place for a pint and a bowl of steamed mussels.
Harbourside specializes in seafood and offers the finest harbor views in town, via its second-floor outdoor deck; definitely try to snag one of those tables on a nice day (or night).
The sophisticated French Cafe was unanimously recommended to us by a number of locals; don't miss the divine roasted French goat cheese tart. Reservations are essential.
In Ponsonby, you really can just stroll up and down the main drag and pick an eatery based on your mood (they come in all shapes and sizes); we enjoyed Prego for its wood-fired pizzas. Other options include Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, regional New Zealand, French, Italian, and on and on. The restaurants are pretty much clustered in the 100 - 200 blocks of Ponsonby Road. Nightclubbers: There's a lot of action here after dinner as well.
On Waiheke Island, take a cab from the ferry dock to the aforementioned Te Whau (reserve before you leave home). Menus, which are accompanied by a spectacular wine list, change regularly; recent offerings include twice-cooked duck with pearl barley, slow-cooked beef cheeks, and roasted eggplant and ricotta gnocchi.
- Go Stargazing on Mt. John
- Visit the Wildlife Capital
- Take a Food Tour in the Bush
- Drive the Surf Highway
- Experience Art in Queenstown
- Stay on a Working Farm
- Search for Kiwi Birds on Stewart Island
- Climb a Dormant Volcano in Auckland
- Experience Maori Life in Kaikoura
- Bike the Otago Central Rail Trail
- Go Behind the Scenes in Wellywood
- Swim with Rare Dolphins in Akaroa
- Uncover a Buried Village in Rotorua
Where to Stay in New Zealand: Lodging
Getting Around New Zealand: Transportation
Auckland City Guide
Wellington City Guide
25 Ways to Save in New Zealand