It’s not hard to fire up the romance in Auckland. New Zealand’s largest city, this cosmopolitan gem has boundless potential for loved up holiday bliss. Set on a gorgeous harbour and surrounded by magnificent natural landscapes, breathtaking views are guaranteed. But there’s also wine to taste, hot springs to discover and so many award-winning restaurants to indulge in. So whether you’re off on your honeymoon, an anniversary celebration or just a getaway for two, check out our top five ideas for a romantic holiday in Auckland.
Join a wine tasting tour
If you don’t mind a bit of gluttony on holidays, don’t miss Waiheke Island. There are over 15 vineyards to explore, touting a range of drops from cabernet sauvignon to malbec and chardonnay. Intertwined with the award-winning wineries you’ll also discover local olive groves and a handful of boutique breweries, as well as gourmet produce outlets selling olive oils, chutneys, dukka and dips. While some prefer to tour the region with a dedicated wine tour, others can make their own foodie pilgrimage so they can go at their own pace. For the ultimate pleasure, make the journey here by helicopter – though the usual 30-minute ferry ride is a treat too.
Discover secluded hot springs
Great Barrier Island is a rugged gem. Dramatic cliffs and sweeping white shores meet spectacular surf on the eastern side, while lovely sheltered harbours and sandy bays grace the western edge. A popular spot for diving, fishing and kayaking, its wilderness interior is also fabulous for biking and hiking. By far the best walking trails though are the ones that wind and weave their way to secluded natural hot springs. So keep your swimmers on even once you leave the beach.
Take a sunset cruise
Once of the best ways to glimpse Auckland’s city skyline is from the water. A city set on the sparkling blue waters of Waitemata Harbour, by far the best time to do it is at sunset, when the city lights up and the pastel sky beyond slowly turns to black. There a range of sunset and dinner cruises departing from Auckland Harbour that are sure to set the scene for romance. If you really love to get out on the water, consider a daytime cruise. There are a range of scenic cruises as well as wildlife cruises that focuses on spotting the local marine life, from dolphins and whales to orcas.
Fine dine in the sky
While there are many fabulous restaurants in Auckland, you simply can’t top Orbit. Located 190 metres above the ground, at the top of the Sky Tower, this revolving restaurant dishes up delicious kiwi-inspired meals with a side of spectacular 360-degree views. Offering a lunch, brunch and dinner menu, you can drop by in time for the day view or catch the twinkling night scene. Either way, this is the ultimate romantic dinner experience at the only rotating restaurant in all of New Zealand. All diners are also entitled to free admission to the Sky Tower before or after their meal.
Hike to a top spot
For spectacular views that span not just the city, but also the incredible natural beauty that surrounds it, Mount Victoria’s summit has got the goods. Perched on North Head – a headland on the opposite side of the harbour to Auckland’s CBD – this mountain is actually a volcano. From here you’ll get 360-degree panoramic views across the spectacular waters and islands of the Hauraki Gulf, and back over the harbour and city. Take the trail from the seaside village of Devonport, but not before exploring the local history, boutique shops, cafes and galleries. While the track terrain varies, it's considered suitable for all ages and fitness levels.