Auckland is New Zealand's self-proclaimed 'Big Little City' - and rightly so. It's a perfect destination for a couple's romantic city escape. By Australian standards NZ's biggest city seems small, but when it comes to things to do, the list is limitless.
So how can you get the most out of a 48 hour romantic short break in this fantastic place? Try this itinerary to return home with a smile on your face and a USB full of incredible memories.
Dive in to the vibrant, thriving culture in Auckland with a bang by kicking off the weekend with a meal and a show. Foodies will love this city for its restaurants. To get your bearings and a stunning view of the city, head straight to the top of the iconic Sky Tower for a meal in the revolving restaurant, Orbit 360. You will dine on a delicious meal with views of the city as the sun sets and the entire dining area spends almost an hour making a complete rotation. Plus, your meal comes with admission to the viewing deck, so you can get even higher and tick the experience off the 'must-do in Auckland' list!
Don't spend too long over that succulent parfait dessert however, as you'll need to head out to your next event. Auckland is a cultural hub where there are plays, shows and performances on at many of the venues around the city most nights of the week. The Civic Theatre was built in 1929 to show movies, but these days is one of the last remaining atmospheric theatres in the world, hosting live concerts and performances. Then there's the Maidment Theatre, which is the University of Auckland's theatrical venue. For something a little underground, wander down to Basement Theatre, which hosts plays and a weekly stand up comedy session on Friday nights. The Classic is another comedy joint nearby that is sure to leave you in fits of giggles!
After a big night out you'll need something delicious and hot to lure you out of bed and kickstart your day. One of the best cafes in Auckland is hidden just off the main Queen Street on Wellesley Street West - Remedy Coffee. Sit down on a seat made from an old snowboard and enjoy a free arcade game as you wait for your meal or peruse the wall of books at your leisure. This cafe comes with oodles of personality and the friendliest staff in the city, making it a great place to start your day.
After a leisurely breakfast, spend the morning browsing the central city. Aotea Square almost always has some sort of art installation on display, or there's the Auckland Art Gallery just down the road for a couple of hours of art and culture - all for free!
Step your activities up a notch with an adventure activity you'll never forget. Wander down to the waterfront, known as the Viaduct, and book a ride on one of the old America's Cup sailing boats. The America's Cup Sailing experience will let you see exactly why Auckland is known as the City of Sails with a two-hour sailing adventure out on the Waitemata Harbour. You don't need any experience, but will be invited to try your hand at the helm and learn how hard the grinders work to change the sail settings.
After your adventurous afternoon, head out to Mission Bay, a gorgeous beach area just a 20-minute drive from the CBD. Compared to the bustling nature of the city, Mission Bay is a more relaxed version of Auckland, complete with delectable eateries and bars. If it's warm enough, pick up the classic fish'n'chips for a picnic on the beach. Alternatively, De Fontein is a popular spot, with a Belgian influenced menu and the beer to match. Nearby Portofino is a relaxed and delicious Italian offering, but there is also a range of Indian, Asian and of course Kiwi dining options in the area!
Head back in to the Auckland CBD and down to the Viaduct for a taste of the city's infamous nightlife. Bar hop to try the delicious cocktails on offer at Snapdragon, Soul Bar or Degree Gastrobar. Let your hair down and spend the night dancing with your loved one by the picturesque waterfront.
Start the day slowly at La Cigale, Auckland's French markets in Parnell, just a stone's throw from the CBD. Bring along plenty of cash and taste the pastries, juices, coffees and array of treats available at the many stalls. This spot has been voted as the city's best food market for the last seven years in a row by the local Metro Magazine and is open for business from 9am to 1.30pm on Sundays.
If you have time before your flight, take the opportunity to travel by ferry across the Auckland Harbour to Devonport. Even though it's just a 15-minute trip, it will take you to a stunning beachside township full of shops and cafes and nearby Mt Victoria if you fancy a walk and even more breathtaking views of Auckland city and the surrounding harbour.
Auckland has so much to offer for a romantic short break, and even with only 48 hours in the city, you'll be surprised at how much you can experience!