Nightlife in Auckland may not live up to the reputation of other big cities around the world. However, if you know where to look in New Zealand’s largest city, you will easily find plenty of fun things to do in Auckland at night. Whether you are seeking a family-friendly early evening, a night out on the town with friends, or a late night on the wild side, Auckland has it all.
Table of contents
- 1 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Kayaking, Bicycling and Photography Tours
- 2 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Stargazing
- 3 Auckland Tours in the Evening or After Dark
- 4 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Nightclubs and Bars
- 5 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Active Entertainment
- 6 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Culinary Delights
- 7 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Comedy
- 8 Very Late Night Activities in Auckland – Adults Only
- 9 Where to Stay in Auckland
- 10 Share the Fun!
- 11 What will you do in Auckland tonight?
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Kayaking, Bicycling and Photography Tours
- Kayak to Rangitoto Island: A uniquely New Zealand opportunity to kayak with a guide to Auckland’s youngest volcano, hike to the crater rim, and together watch the sunset while enjoying fabulous 360-degree views including Auckland’s skyline and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. This experience isn’t for everyone as you need a moderate level of fitness and an adventurous spirit. However, if it sounds like your cup of tea, it will be one of your New Zealand highlights. The six-hour tour starts late afternoon and as darkness descends becomes one of the more exciting things to do in Auckland at night.
- Watch the Sunset (on your own or on a photography tour): Watching the sunset over the city is one of the more romantic things to do in Auckland at night. While it can be enjoyed from most beaches or volcanic peaks, one of my favourite spots to watch the sunset is Mt Victoria in Devonport. From here the Auckland skyline comes alive. Getting there is easy if you have a car. If not, you can hop on the ferry. Either way, you will need to take the short walk up the hill. Or, take a night photography tour from the Auckland that will bring you to Mt. Victoria, as well as a few “secret” spots to capture some of the best views of Auckland at night.
- Electric bicycle tour of Auckland city lights: If bicycling the hills of Auckland seems like too much work in the dark, don’t worry, this tour takes you on a guided tour on electric bicycles to see the amazing lights of Auckland. From the purple cycling path to vantage points for sparkling views, this is one of the more active nighttime activities in Auckland.
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Stargazing
Stardome Observatory and Planetarium: The live show is different every night. Rather than sitting back and looking up at a pre-recorded planetarium show, you get to look up at a replica of the current night sky. First, it is as viewed from your seat, then as it would appear without the city lights (or clouds). Before you know it, you are transformed from Auckland’s current night sky to beyond the galaxy. And once the show is over, my favourite part begins. You can head outdoors and view stars, planets, and nebulae through their courtyard telescopes. This is a family-friendly event for ages 8+.
(Read Our Full Review Next: Stardome Observatory: An Evening Under the Auckland Stars)
Auckland Tours in the Evening or After Dark
Auckland is an easy city to get around on your own. However, if you don’t like to do it alone, or want something special, check out one of these tours (there are more details on each tour below).
|Rangitoto Island Guided Sunset Kayaking Tour||Paddle across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour
Guided walk to Rangitoto crater
360-degree view of Auckland’s skyline
Daytime tour during winter
|Auckland Sunset and Night Photography Tour||Professional photography tour by minivan
See Auckland highlights at night
Auckland Bridge, Museum and historic colonial homes
Watch the sunset from Mount Victoria
|The City Lights: a Unique Guided Tour of Auckland by Night||See Auckland on an electric bicycle
View Britomart, CBD and Wynyard Quarter highlights
|Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise||3-course dinner on a yacht at the marina
Cruise Auckland harbour
Help sail or just relax
|Auckland City Ghost Tour||A thrilling look at some of Auckland’s haunted hotspots
Learn about the history of the area through murders, outbreaks and other events
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Nightclubs and Bars
Like most cities with universities, much of the nightlife in Auckland revolves around bars that cater to a younger crowd and they don’t get busy until late. To get in, you will need a passport or an official New Zealand ID card.
Popular Auckland bars in the CBD include:
- Habana Joe’s: The wooden interior, pool tables, dance floor, and plenty of seating give Habana Joe’s its relaxed atmosphere. A DJ livens things up on the weekends.
- Bar 101: A bar whose mission is “to provide the best environment in Auckland for students to have fun and feel safe at prices they can afford.” Entry requires a student ID in addition to proof of age.
- The Roxy: Above the old Roxy Theatre, this multi-level dance club has a rooftop garden.
- Ding Dong Lounge: A punk rock bar with massive booths and DJ or live music.
- Rock Bar: The place to be if you want to sing karaoke.
- Danny Doolans: An Irish bar featuring craft beers on Viaduct Harbour.
- The Original: (Formerly Snapdragon) I love the outdoor upper deck overlooking Viaduct Harbour.
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.
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Active Entertainment
- SkyCity Casino: 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 gambling, entertainment, or just catching up at one of the bars with friends. It is one of the perfect things to do in Auckland at night, on a rainy day, or anytime.
- SkyTower Viewing Platform: 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.
- Reverse Bungy: Adrenaline extreme junkies will find several adventure places in Auckland during the day, but at night your options are more limited. You can get shot up into the sky at Skyscreamer. It’s a reverse bungy experience that you will be talking about for years to come.
- Auckland City Ghost Tour: This two-hour walking tour of the city will get you acquainted with the dark side. Hear tales of tribal warfare, influenza outbreak, and hangings.
- Escape Rooms: If it’s a mystery you are after, check out Escape Masters. You will be locked in a room with your friends. Clues are everywhere. You need to solve the mystery to find the way out. (No need to ever panic, there is an emergency exit.)
(Read Next 13 Adrenaline Rush Activities in Auckland)
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Culinary Delights
Auckland is a city filled with interesting and unique dining options, four standouts:
- Giapo: Taking 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 most often. It is the ideal treat for anyone and the best of the family things to do in Auckland at night).
- Harbour cruise dinner: No question about it, if you come to Auckland, you should get out on the bay at least once. 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. Watch the sunset from the deck, learn a bit of the history of some of your surroundings, and fully enjoy your evening.
- Auckland Night Market. In various locations, the 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.
- The White Lady 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 on Commerce street. It is one of the few places open 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.
(Read Next: 20 Unique Restaurants in Auckland New Zealand)
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Comedy
If it is laughter you are after, the two funniest spots in the city are Classic Comedy Club or Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret:
- Classic Comedy Club 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 to come, first served, so if you don’t want to risk getting heckled by the comedian, don’t sit at a table near the stage.
- Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret: The 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, playing to a small crowd each night. Be sure to book in advance, as Caluzzi frequently fills up.
Very Late Night Activities in Auckland – 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. Prostitution is legal in New Zealand.
Some of the popular late-night K-Road destinations:
- Family Bar tends to attract the gay crowd.
- 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 appeals 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 nightlife in Auckland seems to gain popularity. There are places I wish I didn’t know existed, and I will neither visit nor write about them.
Where to Stay in Auckland
If you are partying late into the night, you will probably need a place to stay. Like every big city around the world, there are plenty of options. Here is a short list of recommended Auckland accommodations:
|Hotel DeBrett||Fun and funky, it’s my favourite Auckland Hotel
Comfortable beds and friendly staff
Traditional rooms, lofts, and suites
|SkyCity Grand Hotel||Classic luxury that is part of the SkyCity complex
Across street from Sky Tower and major casino
Top-rated restaurants inside and nearby
Home to East Day Spa (currently top rated spa in Oceania)
|Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery||Boutique style affordable (for Auckland) luxury
Great location on Queen Street, in the heart of the city
|Metro Adventurer Backpackers||Top rated Auckland backpackers
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What will you do in Auckland tonight?
Disclaimer: We are frequently provided with complimentary entrances, tours, or sample items. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly our own.