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, there are plenty of 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: Stargazing
- 2 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Comedy
- 3 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Food
- 4 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Excitement
- 5 Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Nightclubs and Bars
- 6 Very Late Night Activities in Auckland – Adults Only
- 7 Sleep in Auckland City at Night
- 8 Is there enough nightlife in Auckland for your taste?
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Stargazing
If you are looking for something literally about Auckland at night:
- A live show at Stardome Observatory and Planetarium 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 actual night sky. First taken from your seat, then as it would appear without the city lights. Before you know it, you are transformed from Auckland’s current night sky to beyond the galaxy. And once the show is over, the best 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+.
- Watch the sunset from any beach or take a night photography tour that starts out by watching the sunset over Auckland city from Mt. Victoria. Then your photography expert will take you to a few key spots to capture some of the best views of Auckland at night.
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Comedy
If it is laughter you are after, the two funniest spots in the city are:
- Caluzzi Bar and Cabaret provides the 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.
- 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 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.
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Food
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 ).
- Enjoy a three-course Harbour cruise dinner aboard a sailing yacht on the Waitemata Harbour. Watch the sunset from the deck, learn a bit of the history of some of your surroundings, and fully enjoy your evening.
- The White Lady food truck is your chance to join locals in a late night tradition while enjoying a tasty hamburger. 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.
- There are always plenty of food stalls at an Auckland Night Market. Crafts, supplies, and entertainment are intermixed. There is a market almost every night in the summer. Often found in a parking garage, they rotate locations nightly.
Fun Things to Do in Auckland at Night: Excitement
Looking for a bit more excitement:
- Kayak to Rangitoto Island, hike to the crater of this extinct volcano and watch the sunset while enjoying fabulous 360-degree views including Auckland’s skyline and the islands of the Hauraki. This adventure starts during the day and it lasts for six hours making it one of the exciting things to do in Auckland at night.
- SkyCity Casino 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.
- 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, but I prefer the daytime view from the summit of Mt. Eden.
- 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
- 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.
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 CBD bars 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.
Many bars charge a cover from 10 pm. If you start early, be sure to ask for a hand stamp for re-entry later.
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.
Sleep in Auckland City at Night
If you are partying late into the night, you will probably need a place to stay. We use and recommend booking.com to find the best prices on Auckland accommodations.
And when you wake up in the morning, you will find plenty of things to do:
Is there enough nightlife in Auckland for your taste?
Disclaimer: We are frequently provided with complimentary entrances, tours, or sample items. However, the opinions expressed here are strictly our own.