With all the travel related posts I’ve been doing lately and with my imminent move across the world to London, I wanted to create a guide to my hometown Auckland City with a vintage lover in mind.
New Zealand is a very young country so when I travel abroad, I am always in awe of the history that I can see just by walking down the street somewhere. However, we still have our charm and some beautiful sights to see from the last century or two.
For this guide, I’ve chosen some of my favourite sights and activities that if you are travelling to our beautiful city, you might want to check out!
The Auckland War Memorial Museum
New Zealand’s first museum, built in 1929 as a memorial to those who fought in WW1. It not only has great exhibitions, but the surrounding grounds are always worth a wander. The Wintergardens just a short stroll from the Museum are gorgeous and one of my favourite regular spots for photo shoots.
Entry is $25 and perfect for a rainy Auckland day (which is inevitable I’m afraid!)
Have a cocktail at Hotel DeBrett’s Art Deco Bar
Oh how I love the bar at Hotel DeBrett! If you can afford to stay a night or two, I’d highly recommend it but if not, having one of their impeccable cocktails at the stunning Art Deco House bar is well worth it. After the original hotel (first constructed in 1841) burnt down, the current building was erected in 1925 and it’s wonderful to explore- make sure you take a ride in their lift, it will dazzle you!
MOTAT- Museum of Transport and Technology
MOTAT holds a special place in my heart. There were many trips there in the school holidays with Nana and Granddad and it always seemed a little bit magical. There’s so much to explore and is great for adults and children alike. Catch the old vintage Tram to the other site down the road which houses a extensive aviation collection.
Admission is $16 for a adult or $8 for a child.
Shop along K’Rd
Auckland isn’t home to a huge amount of vintage shops, especially if you are from somewhere like the USA and are used to great vintage! But, shopping along Karangahape Road (or K’Rd as the locals call it) is always fun. It’s a quirky part of town with lots of tattoo parlours, thrift, vintage shops, my favourite vintage repro stockist Rita Sue, great places to eat and the historic St Kevin’s Arcade which has been newly restored. K’Rd is just on the outer rim of the CBD so very easy to get to.
If shopping is high on your list, check out my Worldwide Vintage Shopping Guide for more Auckland spots.
Visit our historical homes
We have a few beautiful historic sites that are open to the public which I’ve always loved to visit. Alberton House in Mt Albert and Highwic in Newmarket are both gorgeous and if you are extending your travels outside of Auckland, it’s worth checking the Heritage NZ website for other sites around New Zealand.
Admission to both Alberton and Highwic Houses are $10
Take a trip to Glenbrook Vintage Railway (summer)
Another childhood favourite that I’ve enjoyed re-visiting as an adult! Glenbrook Vintage Railway is a bit of a drive from Auckland (about 45-60 minutes from the CBD) but it’s well worth it. It’s a heritage steam railway and operates from October to June. You can take a ride on one of the historic steam locomotives, seeing 15km of Waiuku’s countryside!
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children
Have High Tea at the Langham Hotel
High Tea definitely seems like a favourite past-time for anyone into the vintage aesthetic and Auckland offers lots of different options. My favourite will always be The Langham Hotel. Sitting in the Palm Court undeneath the stunning chandelier, their High Tea and attentive service never disappoints. It’s in the central city so easy to get to and the perfect meeting spot for friends.
High Tea is $54pp during the week and $64pp on weekends
Road-trip to the Classics Museum and Jukebox Diner
If you have a car while visiting Auckland and feel like a little road trip, head on down to Hamilton (about 90 minutes) for lunch at the Jukebox Diner and oogle at the vintage cars next door at The Classic Museum.
There’s a few wonderful places to stop along the way if you want to like Candyland and Woodlands Estate, plus a few great vintage shops in Hamilton too.
If you are heading off on a weekday, leave after 9am and aim to be back by 3.30-4pm to avoid the notoriously bad traffic in and out of Auckland.
Admission to the Museum is $20 for Adults and $8 for children
Lunch at Devonport and walk around North Head
Devonport is a very pretty part of Auckland with a rich history. You can either drive or even better, catch the ferry across from the bottom of Queen Street! There’s lots of cute shops and places to eat including the historic Esplanade Hotel or book for High Tea at The Peace and Plenty Inn (weekends only).
Afterwards, check out North Head reserve (about 2km from the Devonport Ferry) and explore the tunnels, guns and fortifications from when the site was used as a defence during the wars.
See a show at The Civic Theatre
The most beautiful theatre in Auckland in my opinion! It’s been used in many films including King Kong and has such magic and majesty to it! Built in 1929 and restored in 1999, the opulent gold details not only feature inside the theatre but also in the entire complex. The roof is painted a deep blue with thousands of tiny lights, resulting in a feeling of sitting in a large outdoor theatre.
If there’s anything playing at the Civic during your stay in Auckland, definitely take the opportunity to go!
Whether you are a international visitor, from another part of New Zealand or a resident Aucklander just wanting to explore more of your city, I hope you enjoy everything it has to offer!
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Categories: Miss VV Around The World