Known for its stunning viaduct, bustling streets and countless culinary gems, Auckland is, without doubt, the beating heart of New Zealand’s cultural scene. Peek beneath the surface highlights of the Sky Tower, the harbours and the busy main strips however, and you’ll discover some golden nuggets; the treasures that make Auckland one of New Zealand’s go-tos for your next romantic getaway.
With the golden glow of summer beaming down across the big city, it’s the perfect time to channel Sandy and Danny’s Summer Days and get out and about with your significant other. Whether you’re struggling for a first date idea or are looking to spice up a long-term relationship, there are more than a few couple activities in Auckland to guarantee laughs, fun and romance.
So if picnics and long walks on the beach have become a little cliché for your tastes, there is sure to be one or two possibilities ahead that take your fancy. No matter if you’re looking for a restaurant to get cosy at, or an experience that will surprise and delight the senses, discover some of Auckland’s most romantic things to do ahead.
When You Want to Eat and Drink
New Zealand has long been known for good, classic cuisine with a Kiwi twist; the summer barbecue, freshly caught seafood and the rising craft beer scene, to name a few. Immerse your tastebuds in some of Auckland’s finest culinary establishments with your number one by your side.
Auckland Night Markets
Set those senses alight with the hustle and bustle of the Auckland Night Markets. Open most evenings, these markets are dotted all over the city, and are perfect for getting out and about with delicious street eats, live music, humming stalls and, best of all, reasonable prices. Check out Auckland Night Markets to find which markets are on which nights.
Hot tip: These are some of the best spots for people-watching. Grab a few dishes and settle in to witness Auckland’s foodies come out to play. Plus, you can check out everyone else’s dishes, so you have inspiration for next time!
Federal Street Deli
Channel those Big Apple vibes at ‘The Fed’, Auckland’s very own New York City-style delicatessen. With an authentic NYC soda fountain and the warm aroma of hearty deli meals filling the air, Federal Street Deli transports you to the back streets of one of the world’s most legendary food cities.
Think pastrami, hot dogs, creamy slaw and classic American hoagies. Then imagine pumpkin pie, root-beer floats, sweet iced teas, and poutine. Plus, who could forget the famous NY cheesecake? This date night is going to be one to remember – especially for those whose hearts can be found through their stomachs. Just make sure you arrive hungry!
With its racy (yet romantic) name, Kiss Kiss is one of Auckland’s most colourful hot spots for date night. Channelling neon mood-lighting, sweeping palms and Asia-meets-Cuba decor, this eatery is a breath of fresh exotic air. Promising delicious Asian-fusion cuisine and moreish cocktail buckets, Kiss Kiss brings new meaning to going on a dinner date. If there’s one thing to be certain of, the fun, vibrant energy of this place will make you and your significant other regulars.
The bar wizards at Caretaker are some of the most refined in Auckland. Whether you choose a drink from the extensive menu of concoctions or let them craft a surprise drink tailored to you, you’re in for a treat. The bartenders here have spent countless nights brewing exotic delights and love adding a bit of flair to their patrons’ drinks, especially for those who are brave enough to take the mystery cocktail leap. Just tell these mixologists whether you prefer a sweet or stiff drink and be presented with a totally unique libation.
Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant
New Zealand is world-famous for incredible wines, and Auckland’s climate is one of the best for grape-growing. Take a road trip out to Waiheke’s stunning Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant and prepare yourself to be romanced away. With delicious wine, sweeping countryside views and fine dining on offer, this is the perfect date idea for your special someone. Plus, with the scenic boat ride across the water to get there and famous Waiheke scenery, you’ll definitely earn bonus points in the romance department.
When You Want To Get Out and About
As the biggest city in the country, Auckland is home to many unexpected delights that will bring your dating game to the next level.
Sure, a little competition is healthy. Let the bright lights, carnival sounds and old-school prizes at the GameOn arcade take you on a journey of nostalgia. Located conveniently on Queen Street, it’s easy to lose track of time with guaranteed laughs, excitement and, if you’re lucky, a giant, cheesy stuffed toy for the victor. Romantic, right?
Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
What could be better than spending a night with your loved one under a sky full of stars? Not only is every visit to the astronomy centre a visually breathtaking experience, but the programs and information spots are interesting and informative. Open your mind to all sorts of universal possibilities and earn bragging rights with your new-found astronomical knowledge.
Hot tip: After you’ve finished soaking up astro-facts, take your special other for a walk. Just a 20-minute stroll away is One Tree Hill. Go at twilight for an unbelievable view over the city – romance points will go through the roof.
St Kevins Arcade
Karangahape Road, better known as K’ Road, has long been a cultural highlight of Auckland. Like moths to a flame, people flock to the legendary strip, which is notorious for its fashion, bars, artists, and musicians. Plus, like all great hot spots, there are not shortage of eateries to choose from. St Kevins Arcade is a haven, filled to the brim with a little bit of everything. With book stores, live music, eateries, and various pop-ups on offer, this arcade is easy to lose hours in. Grab a bite to eat then get ready to explore!
The Classic Comedy and Bar
It’s time to tickle that funny bone. Grab a drink and settle in at The Classic for a hilarious night of spend-friendly fun. Prepare yourself for some hearty belly laughs, some soul-aching groans and great beers; this place is called The Classic for good reason. With several shows on each week, this can be a fun mid-week date idea or a great starting point for a night out on the weekend.
Hot tip: Beware choosing a seat near the front. Comedians love picking out audience members to dig at with their content. If you’re front and centre, you’re fair game!
Movies in Parks
Just because you’re looking for a fresh take on date ideas doesn’t mean you necessarily have to ignore all the tried-and-tested options. Put a spin on your next dinner-and-a-movie outing by sitting down to a flick with Movies in Parks. Film screenings happen at public parks and reserves across Auckland, with the 2020 program covering the likes of Toy Story 4, Yesterday and Aquaman. Pack a blanket and get comfy; movies start just after sunset, meaning there’s plenty of romantic atmosphere. Plus, screenings are free so you’ll have extra money to put towards stocking your picnic hamper with gourmet grazings.