By Kelly McFarland on September 19, 2018
When you look into New Zealand tourism you’ll find virtually limitless activities. Most of them, however, tend to involve adventure and exploration – generally daytime activities. From long hikes through otherworldly terrain, to watersports at famous beaches, to becoming Bilbo Baggins, there’s a whole lot to do all over the country. What we tend to read a little bit less about though is how to have fun in the cities once the sun goes down.
This might also be partly because fun after sunset can be self-explanatory. You can typically ask around about the recommended bars and restaurants and be set for the duration of your trip. It never hurts to have more of a plan, however, which is why I’m taking a look specifically at Auckland and some of the ways to enjoy it after dark.
The beaches of New Zealand are quite famous, and even in the immediate vicinity of Auckland they’re rather exceptional. They’re also not meant exclusively for the daytime! Nearby places like Bethells are ideal for nighttime strolls, snacks, etc. There’s just something very peaceful and relaxing about being out on a pretty beach after dark in the shadow of one of the great cities of Oceania.
SkyCity is one of the best casinos in the world that people never seem to talk about. It’s true, places like Las Vegas and Macau are still the main areas for casino tourism. It’s also true that these days mobile gaming offers lots of advantages over traditional casino play, from security to convenience. Despite all this however, SkyCity is well worth your time if you’re even remotely interested in this kind of activity. A towering hotel complex that defines Auckland’s skyline, it packs all kinds of fun, including a late-night casino that will make you forget all about Las Vegas or mobile gaming.
As mentioned it’s usually easy enough to ask around when you’re actually at a destination and figure out which bars and restaurants are most worth checking out. And rest assured there are more than a few you might be interested in throughout Auckland. Here though, another perfectly acceptable strategy is just to head to Queen Street and explore. It’s essentially the main commercial area in the city, and it’s where a lot of the activity is both during the evening and after dark. You’re sure to get up to something fun there.
Canyoning is one of the adventure activities a lot of people associate with New Zealand, though we tend to imagine it only as something to do in the daylight. Apparently, that isn’t the case! At least one canyoning company offers nighttime adventures, called Piha by Night. If abseiling under a waterfall and exploring caves lit by headlamps and glow worms sounds like your cup of tea, give canyoning a shot as the rare after dark adventure activity.
This is perhaps an underrated option in cities around the world, just in that it doesn’t seem to come up that frequently in travel recommendations. In Auckland it’s particularly worthy of consideration, because the city actually has a few good clubs and a noteworthy comedy scene. The Classic on Queen Street is the place to start, but you can always take a look at what’s on during your specific stay in town.