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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Note: Always check the official rules regarding New Zealand’s traffic light’ levels. Many options are at reduced capacity, therefore, booking ahead is more important than ever, as is reading cancellation policies.
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 reviews.
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.
Electric bicycle tour of Auckland city lights
Meet at Pullman Auckland, Corner Waterloo Quadrant &, Princes 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. Check price and reviews.
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. If you want to go on a tour, check for discounts.
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 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. 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 often saves up to 50% and guarantees your spot.
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. Check price and discounted times.
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. Check price and discounted times.
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 tubing. Be sure to dress warm, and bring gloves. Remember, it’s a steady -5ºC inside. Check for discount options.
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.
Sunset and night photography tour
Includes pick up from select Auckland locations
Watch and photograph the sunset from Mt Victoria in Devonport before heading back over the bridge to explore the city lights with your guide, an expert photographer who knows all of the best photo spots. Check price and reviews.
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.
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 seems to always 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.
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 that 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 on the Frenzi Bar Crawl.
Join in the great craft beer hunt
Meeting point: Downtown Ferry Terminal, Quay Street, Auckland CBD
More than a tour and tasting, you will learn about the diversity of Auckland’s craft brews in this small-group walking tour. Visiting three locations, you will sample local beers, ciders, and local food. Book the tour.
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, to 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.
Best deals and discounts for Auckland
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- Activity discounts: Bookme regularly offers discounts up to 70% on selected tours, activities, restaurants and more.
- Get an exclusive 15% discount on New Zealand activities from Klook!
Use code: KLKEXPLORENZ15
(Applies to NZ activity purchases over $50 initiated in NZ or Aus)
- Vehicle hire: RentalCars is like a rental car search engine with no hidden costs, that lets us find the best deals on car rentals.
- Campervans users check out Spaceships Rentals NZ‘s free one-way drop-off between Auckland and Christchurch.
- Hotels: We live in Auckland and recommend either Hotel DeBrett or Cordis.
Or, until Sept 30, 2022, don’t miss Booking.com’s Getaway 2022 Deals that save 15% or more on selected accommodations. (T&Cs apply)
- Other accommodations: If you prefer B&B or self-contained type lodging, check out Bookabach.
Find more money-saving resources and T&Cs on some of the above, check our Travel Resources page.
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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.