Bucket List This: 24 Hours in Auckland, New Zealand
Once known as a place to do business, the country’s most populous city is now gaining a reputation for being vibrant, creative and welcoming, day and night.
North by northwest on the North Island of New Zealand, this “city of sails” has been steadily shaking off its more corporate, conservative reputation of late. Once known as a place to do business – and not really much else – the country’s most populous city is now gaining a reputation for being vibrant, creative and welcoming, day and night.
Top chefs such as Peter Gordon and Nic Watt, with their unique takes on Pacific Rim cuisine, have made their culinary homes here, top drawer hotels such as The Langham has an outpost here (and the hotel’s Chuan Spa, a must-do for relaxation) and, yes, all the banks and big business have remained here. Gordon is also the chef of choice for Air New Zealand’s business class menus, so you’ll get a taste of the city’s culinary culture even before you set foot on Auckland turf. (The airline is also introducing their updated aircraft with a new premium economy, on their flights via Vancouver.) And, if you can’t decide, you can head to Ponsonby Central, street-food sellers and casual laneway eateries housed in an eclectic indoor/outdoor warehouse-style space.
Some of the growth could be accredited to the South Island’s earth quake that devastated Christ Church a few years, having many of its citizens moving to the North Island – and Auckland (its mild climate helps, too, with average temperatures here ranging from 15 to 24 degrees Celsius, depending on the season, and it’s also one of the sunniest city in the country). Once there, they helped build a lively arts and culture scene, one that now rivals its North Island sister, Wellington.