Nightlife in Auckland is full of surprises. While there are plenty of classic things to do in Auckland at night, we have also found a few out-of-the-ordinary and fun options. Despite the city’s more sedate reputation compared to some wild spots around the world, if you know where to look in New Zealand’s largest city, you will easily find plenty of Auckland night activities.
Whether you are seeking a family-friendly early evening, an exciting adventure, an Auckland night out on the town with friends, or a late night on the wild side, this list of things to do at night in Auckland has it all.
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Outdoor active things to do in Auckland at night
Are you seeking a bit of energetic or adrenaline-pumping fun? There are plenty of outdoor active things to do in Auckland at night.
Auckland night activities: kayaking and bicycle tours
Kayak to Rangitoto Island
Meet at: Fergs Kayaks, 12 Tamaki Drive, Okahu Bay, Auckland
A uniquely New Zealand opportunity. Imagine kayaking with a guide to Auckland’s youngest volcano. Then, hiking to the crater rim and enjoying the sunset while enjoying impressive 360-degree views of Auckland’s skyline and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf.
This experience requires a moderate level of fitness and an adventurous spirit. The six-hour tour that starts late afternoon as darkness descends is one of the more exciting things to do in Auckland at night. Check for discounts and reserve your kayak tour here.
Bioluminescence kayak tour
Meet at: Okura Boat Ramp, 1 Okura River Road, Okura, North Shore
There is no better way to see the bioluminescent plankton light up the night beach than from the water, and kayaking keeps you low to the water to really enjoy the treat. We were excited to find this tour in Long Bay – Okura Marine Reserve, just over the Harbour bridge. (Pick-up is available from the Albany bus station if you don’t have a vehicle.) Book your Bioluminescence kayak tour here.
Electric bicycle tour of Auckland city lights
Meet at Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey Street, Auckland CBD
If bicycling the hills of Auckland seems like too much work, this guided tour is on electric bicycles. From the purple cycling path to vantage points for sparkling views, this is one of the eco-friendly night activities in Auckland. Book your electric bike tour here.
Evening hikes and night walks: glow worms and city views
Hike up a volcano
Hike up Mt Eden or One Tree Hill to enjoy the sunset. If it’s a date night activity in Auckland, why not bring a picnic dinner and make an evening of it? Or, go across the bay and watch the sunset over the city’s skyline from Mt. Victoria in Devonport.
Enjoy the night sky and see glow worms
Shakespear Park, Whangaparaoa Peninsula
If you know where to look, you can see glow worms for free in a variety of locations in the country. Our favourite, as it’s close to home, is to go on a night hike in Shakespear Park, first stopping to spot glow worms at Waterfall Gully, then on towards the lookout tower to enjoy the stars and the Milky Way in the dark night sky.
Look for kiwi birds in the wild at Tawharanui
Tawharanui Regional Park, Matakana
Tour pick-up is at the Matakana I-Site, Matakana
Tawharanui is not only one of the most beautiful of the Auckland regional parks, but it’s also the ideal habitat for the northern brown kiwi bird. While you can explore by yourself, it’s often good to go with an expert guide.
The trails are well-maintained and relatively flat. If you go on your own, be sure to bring a red flashlight to neither disturb the wildlife nor affect your night vision. Hopefully, you’ll get the chance to observe the nocturnal kiwi in his native home. Check for discounts and reserve your tour here.
Indoor active things to do in Auckland at night
For those who want a mental challenge as well as a physical one, Auckland’s escape rooms, sensory maze, and virtual reality all stay open until at least 10 pm.
An evening of fun at Holey Moley Golf Club
204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
Not your typical golf club, Holey Moley is a crazy and creative mini-golf, with snacks, dinner, a bar, and even a private karaoke room. Choose from 9, 18, or 27 holes. Loaded with laughs, it provides family fun during the day, converting to adults only after 7 pm. Located on Viaduct Harbour, it’s the ideal place to get your evening rolling before you hit the clubs.
Try your hand at axe throwing
110 Nelson Street, Auckland CBD
Honestly, I think this is one of the more unique evening activities Auckland has to offer. And we reviewed it and captured some of our fun on video. Grab a group of friends and try your hand at axe and hatchet throwing, activities that are all about technique over strength. Book at Sweet Axe and use the code ALBOMAXE for 10% off when you book your experience.
Discover the clues at Escapade NZ
Level 1, 23 Victoria St East, Auckland CBD
If it’s an escape room you are after, certainly check out Escapade NZ. Locked in a room with your friends, you will need to solve the mystery to find the way out. Most importantly, clues are everywhere. Last time we just rocked up, and they were full. Booking ahead and save up to 50%.
Challenge yourself at the sensory maze
Lower Basement, Metro Centre, 291-297 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
Use all your senses as you pass through this unique Odyssey Sensory Maze whilst wearing a pair of crazy goggles. Filled with illusions, lighting and sound effects, scents, and strange sensations, it’s a unique experience. Reserve your sensory challenge here.
Grab your friends and head out for some multiplayer virtual reality
488 Lake Road, Takapuna
Here’s your chance to completely immerse yourself in virtual reality with friends. Reserve your virtual challenge here.
Skiing, snowboarding, or tubing at SnowPlanet
91 Small Road, Silverdale
Year-round, day or night, don’t miss New Zealand’s only indoor snow resort. While skiing or snowboarding are popular, real family fun comes when you choose to tube. Be sure to dress warm, and bring gloves. Remember, it’s a steady -5ºC inside. Check for discount options and reserve your entry here.
More things to do in Auckland at night – sunsets and stargazing
Whether you climb to the top of a volcano, go out into a park, or use a telescope, you’ll want to catch a glimpse of the southern cross after you watch a colourful Auckland sunset.
Sky Tower Viewing Platform
72 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD (cnr of Federal St)
Take an elevator up to the top of the Sky Tower to enjoy views of Auckland from the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere. The view at night is much different from the one during the day. If you time it right, you can go up at sunset and enjoy them both on one visit. Many people consider it an Auckland must-do. Check for discounts and reserve your entry here.
Stardome Observatory and Planetarium
670 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland
The live show is different every night and features a reproduction of the current night sky. First, as seen with the naked eye, then as if the city lights (or clouds) disappeared. Travel virtually beyond Auckland’s sky into the galaxy. After the show, head outdoors and view stars, planets, and nebulae through the courtyard telescopes. This is a family-friendly event for ages 8+. Read our review of Stardome Observatory.
Tasty things to do in Auckland at night
Auckland is filled with unique dining and dessert options. Four standouts are below. However, if you don’t see what you want here, check out these 20 Unique Auckland Restaurants.
Enjoy an artistic ice cream creation at Giapo
12 Gore Street, Auckland CBD
Giapo takes ice cream to an art form. Giapo’s handmade creations will tickle taste buds you didn’t know you had. Of all the things to do in Auckland at night, enjoying ice cream from Giapo is the one we do the most often.
The White Lady
Corner Commerce Street and Fort Street, Auckland CBD
This food truck is your chance to join locals in a late-night tradition while enjoying a tasty burger. Every night and all weekend long, this food truck is out on the same corner. It is one of the few places open very late night to eat, and there always seems to be a crowd, yet food preparation is pretty quick. It’s outdoors, and there are plastic crates to sit upon, but most people eat standing or take it to go.
Auckland Night Markets
Auckland night markets are a mix of street food, crafts, supplies, and entertainment. There is a market almost every night in the summer. Often found in a parking garage, they rotate locations nightly.
Harbour dinner cruise
Meet at Explore kiosk inside Viaduct Harbour at the end of Quay St
A harbour cruise gets you out on the bay, which is something everyone should do at least once if you come to Auckland. One of the nicest ways to spend an evening is to get out on a sailing yacht on the Waitemata Harbour while enjoying a three-course dinner from a top restaurant; in this case, Degree. Watch the sunset from the deck, learn a bit of the history of your surroundings, and enjoy your evening. Bookings are essential and often discounted here.
Things to do at night in Auckland – without the kids
Dance, meet up with friends, or just hang out at one of the Auckland bars or nightclubs
Like most cities with universities, many of the Auckland night activities revolve around bars, many of which cater to a younger crowd and don’t get busy until late.
NOTE: Most importantly, you need a passport or an official New Zealand ID card for entry to NZ bars.
Meet other students on Auckland’s biggest bar crawl
Meets at Shadows Bar, 8 Alfred Street
If you are young at heart (but over 18) and in Auckland on a Wednesday night, join 100+ young locals and international visitors at the Frenzi Bar Crawl.
Or, visit on your own. Here are a few of the popular CBD bars to get you started
- Danny Doolans – 204 Quay Street
An Irish bar featuring craft beers on Viaduct Harbour.
- Headquarters or simply HQ – 115 Customs Street West
With an ideal location on the Viaduct, this is the place to go for dinner, drinks, or often for live music.
- Soul Bar – Lower Hobson Street, between Customs St West and Quay St
‘Because every city needs a soul’. Also, on the Viaduct this is a place to be seen, relax and enjoy the sunset, or to discover new music, a mix of life and DJ.
- Glass Goose – 78 Federal Street
A rooftop bar up a hidden staircase at the end of Federal Street near the Sky Tower. Contemporary yet casual, this is one bar you don’t want to miss.
- Habana Joe’s – 4 Darby Street
Wooden interior, pool tables, dance floor, and plenty of seating give it a relaxed atmosphere. A DJ livens things up on the weekends. (Temporarily Closed)
- The Roxy – 7 Fort Lane
Located above the old Roxy Theatre. This multi-level dance club has a rooftop garden.
Pro Tip: Many bars charge a cover from 10 pm. If you start early, be sure to ask for a hand stamp for re-entry later.
More fun things to do in Auckland at night for adults
If it is laughter that you are after, the two funniest spots in the city are Classic Comedy Club or Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret. And the casino can round out your evening.
Laugh the night away at The Classic: Comedy Club
321 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
The Classic presents a different show every night. While some may be family-friendly, be sure to check as much of the comedy is adult-themed. Also, seating is first-come, first-served. If you want to risk getting heckled by the comedian, be there early to grab a table near the stage.
Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret is a complete evening of fun
461 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Caluzzi is a complete night out with dinner and a drag queen show that will keep you laughing for hours. Not suitable for children, the adult-themed humour is loaded with double entendre. The talented “ladies” are both the servers and entertainers. Be sure to book in advance, as Caluzzi frequently fills up. Read our full review.
Enjoy the casino lifestyle
72 Victoria Street West, Auckland CBD (corner of Federal St)
SkyCity is a classic casino that has all the bells and whistles of any world-class gambling establishment without the gaudy lights of Las Vegas. Open 24 hours per day for gaming, entertainment, or just catching up at one of the bars with friends, it is one of the things to do in Auckland at night or anytime.
Very late-night activities in Auckland – strictly adults only
If you are looking to take a late-night walk on the wild side, head to K-Road (officially Karangahape Road). The bohemian neighbourhood stays alive well into the wee hours of the morning with bars, strip clubs, and brothels. K-Road is especially interesting on Halloween.
Some of the popular late-night K-Road destinations:
- Family Bar: A popular LGBTQI+ bar.
- Eagle Bar attracts a mixed crowd.
- Thirsty Dog is a fun place to go for live music or shows.
- Whammy Bar classifies itself as a dive bar.
- Calendar Girls offers an artistic full strip-tease.
- The White House is around the corner on Queen Street and offers a cabaret striptease. American-themed, a portrait of former US president Bill Clinton hangs just beyond the entrance.
- Men of Steel on Hobson Street has a male strip show.
If none of these appeal to you, people-watching on K-Road is always one of the more interesting things to do in Auckland at night. There is generally a strong police presence. You will want to be more vigilant and stay out of Myers Park after dark.
As the night progresses, the sleazier Auckland night activities seem to gain popularity. There are places I wish I didn’t know existed, and I will neither visit nor write about them.
(Read Next: 75 Free and Nearly Free Things to Do in Auckland )
Save with these resources in Auckland and all of NZ
We usually start with aggregator companies as they do the work for us by providing a list of options, prices, and reviews. However, we also added a few personal NZ favourites:
- Flights: we use Expedia for the best and cheapest flight options.
- Hotels: we use Booking.com as they consistently return the best rates and their reviews are from actual guests. However, for self-contained lodging in New Zealand, we use Bookabach.
- Cars and Campervans: we use RentalCars to find the best deals and dealer ratings. Use Jucy for small campervans.
- Activity discounts: we always check Bookme.com for discounts of up to 70% on selected tours, activities, restaurants and more.
- Travel Insurance: we start at InsureMyTrip as they are the best option to compare plans and find the right coverage for you.
Before you book the rest of your trip: Check out our travel resources page for more companies that we use when you travel.
We believe this list to be the best in each category. You can’t go wrong using them on your trip too.
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What will you do in Auckland tonight?
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Disclaimer: We are frequently provided with complimentary entrances, tours, or sample items. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly our own.
I’m going to have to look up kiwi birds – they are so different from anything I see here and must be special since NZ-ers are called kiwi. Or is that name referring to the fruit?
The fruit is called kiwi fruit and also known as the Chinese gooseberry. Kiwis can refer to NZers or the bird so it depends on the context.
The comment around tipping is not quite right. Tips are accepted for good service. They are not expected.
Right now NZ is going through a huge issue maintaining people in the hospitality industry. The biggest tippers are not tourists but actually local.
Please remember it is isn’t expected but if you have received good service leaving $10 for the wait person will make a huge difference. This generally is in the higher level establishments mentioned above like Badduzzi.
Auckland looks like so much fun after sunset! There aren’t a lot of things to do after sunset in a lot of cities that are around me. Loved so many options.
Glow worms, say what?! Great post. And SO smart since we all have our eye on places that aren’t locked down! Thank you!
I want to visit New Zealand!! It is very high on my bucket list, I even considered to try and work for a few months there while exploring!
So maybe great night life ideas . The hamburger bus looks fun. The ice cream cones are so picture worthy .
I’m the type of person that is in their hotel room when it gets dark, but Auckland looks like a lot of fun at night!
I’m so so so jealous of New Zealand, you guys did lockdown right and are reaping the benefits now. As soon as we can get everything under control in the US, I’m coming to visit!
I did not know there was a volcano there, how very cool! When I go to New Zealand, I’ll make sure to visit Auckland. Great list of ideas.
Auckland seems like such an amazing place. I’d love to visit one day. Thanks for this detailed guide
Auckland sounds like a lot of fun at night, Rhonda. The harbour at night photos here are great and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
My boyfriend has been dying to go to NZ since forever, and I’ll sure forward him this article! It has so much information! I love that you provide different types of activities, for different moods! It shows just how diverse the whole place is!
This sounds like so much fun! I’d love to visit Auckland… I’m sharing this post for future reference!
I have absolutely added New Zealand to my bucket list – with Auckland way at the top there. Thanks for opening up the city’s delights to me.
Auckland looks like a great city to visit. I ma planning a family trip for the next year, And I am getting attracted to New Zealand, although I will decide according to what my family wants.
Such detailed post! Thanks a ton for this, I am planning to visit Auckland this year, bookmarking this one! Night clubs sounded so much fun!
I can feel the good vibes of Auckland by simply reading and checking the photos. Sometimes, to get away from stress. I love to chill and drink at night. I’m sure I would love to do it here next time 🙂
The icecream— it’s calling me to get one but then again they all look so good I wouldn’t know which one to choose.
I should be visiting this beautiful country in the next year or so, definitely looking forward to using some of these tips.
I would love to spend a few minutes (or hours, days, weeks) with The Stardome Observatory and gaze out into the outer space and see the cosmos. Oh what an epic moment would that be!
Getting back to reality – never knew Auckland had such a vibrant nightlife. Would love to explore the night market and of course the bars for a few pints. The ice creams at Giapos looks equally tempting. Thanks for the wonderful post! Cheers !
Omg I love dinner and drag show places! There is a place in Florida called hamburger Mary’s and it is amazing! I went for my 18th bday (and many times after) so much fun
Loved your photographs 🙂 And what a lot to do in Auckland at night. I’ve only visited for a day, but would love to go back and see more – especially at night!
Every city seems to have an iconic late night food truck. Would love to try the burgers at the white lady. As for the kids, they would definitely be interested in the stardome
A cool theme and that nice to know Auckland is so vibrant and lively at night! The Stardome Observatory experience is just fascinating and I saw many stars
at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory in Lake Tekapo. Thanks for the post and it’s great! @ knycx.journeying
I’m loving this post. Often while traveling we only have limited time in each city and knowing where to go is the best thing. I can see there is wide variety of things to do, but I’ve got my eye on Giapos icecreams – stunning little morsels of happiness right there.
I need one of those ice cream cones! They’re amazing! Also, I like the looks of all those rooftop bar areas!
Oh my! Those ice creams, if I am ever in Auckland I need to try some of these. What’s your favourite? The White Lady food truck would be the perfect place to soak up the alcohol with a great burger and meet friendly locals 🙂
Oh those hand made creations just made me lick the screen
I would love to take in a live show at Stardome Observatory and Planetarium – I’m obsessed with the stars at the moment! Book me on a private tour to look through the Zeiss telescope for sure! Love the diversity of nightlife in Auckland, seems like there’s something for everyone, and I love that there are more than just your typical bar experiences.
There are definitely plenty of options on this list to keep you busy for a week or so vacation in Auckland. I don’t really like the clubbing scene anymore, but the night market sounds like a lot of fun. And of course the ice cream is a must.
I am not into the club scene either, but I did check them all out before writing this. However, the Escape Masters are a blast, and the ice cream is the best that there is.
I like to spend my evenings unwinding after a long day of exploring and sightseeing. But Giatos’ ice cream looks and sounds amazing. I’d be totally up for a visit there!
After reading about the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium and the Ice cream, I found all other stuff are no longer interested and fun. I definately will take my son there to see the stars, planets by the telescopes. Ice cream is a matter of course later.
Am I a so much family person ?
We were just in Auckland a month ago but we didn’t go out at night because it was too cold!
We’d both love to see a live show at the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium! And your food pictures made me hungry, I’ve never seen the kind of gelato they make at Giapo, almost too beautiful to eat it!
Thanks Rhonda. Could not get more comprehensive. Will surely need this when we get there in Nov. Bookmarking this now:)
That ice-cream looks just gorgeous! I think I could easily spend the whole night eating it 🙂 Just my kind of entertainment.
OMG those Giapo ice creams look to die for! Literally! I’d be all over those!
LOL – I am heading there tomorrow for another treat.
Aukland looks like a very lively city, with lots of entertainment. The Caluzzi girls look kind of scary though… at least the one resting her arms on your shoulder (lol!) We have a very interesting Observatory and Planetarium here in Los Angeles too. Did you visit it when you were here last time?
Eric || The Bucket List Project
This looks like the perfect nightlife itinerary for a trip to Auckland! However, I think Giapo’s Handmade Creations had me at your picture. I may just park myself there and never leave. The chocolate lover in me is already obsessed and drooling.
The artistic ice cream sold me! I didn’t think of Auckland as this colorful and lively. Yes, I would like to go!
Those ice creams look amazing!
Marie Moody aka "XmasDolly"!
Well, I guess I’m with Bill, but I’m dying to make one of those cones. As far as the drag queens too funny , but I’m seen them on TV and that’s fine there, but I don’t think in person.
At my age most of that is too busy for me, I’ll settle for a hamburger & ice cream because I don’t gamble of drink either. certainly a lotto do but those drag queens are scary
I’ve only been to Auckland once, and it was a school trip when I was 17. Looks like I missed out on a lot of nightlife!
At 17, there isn’t a whole lot you can do at night.
What fun photos love the tour and I like that you different types of bars/clubs too, I used to work in a pub with drag shows years ago was such fun.
Have a pubcrawltastic day Rhonda 🙂
Alex J. Cavanaugh
The first few items I would definitely try!
Yes there is. It looks like a really happening and fun place to be at night.
I got stuck with the ice cream. That’s where I want to go.
Have a fabulous day. ☺
The ice cream cones are works of art – almost too beautiful to eat – almost. Thanks for the tour!
Hi Rhonda – I have to say … I’d probably go fairly often to find one of those ice-creams they look delicious. Wonderful to see the range of night life available … lots of ideas to keep one busy – the hamburger bus looks fun … while the Caluzzi girls I’m sure provide loads of laughs … cheers Hilary
Great tips and shots.