Auckland date ideas: fun things to do in the City of Sails

Couple in Auckland city

Dating in Auckland is fantastic, offering a range of things to do that combine the best of NZ beauty with cosmopolitan city life. Between the world-class beaches, the increasingly wonderful restaurants and the lively bar scene, the biggest problem with finding Auckland date ideas is picking just one at a time!

Happily, EliteSingles is here to help. We’ve chosen some of our favourite Auckland date ideas – whether you’re after a casual beach date or something more elegant, we’ve got you covered.

Please note all ideas are up-to-date as of April 2017

1. Hide from the rain in the Wintergardens

When it’s raining (again), a blissfully dry Auckland date idea is to take your date to the Domain Wintergardens. Since 1913, these glasshouses have been offering Aucklanders a place to escape winter gloom and to check out beautiful plants at the same time. It’s a hugely romantic setting – except, perhaps, when the infamously stinky corpse flower is in bloom!

2. Assemble your quiz team

For group dates, it’s hard to beat a quiz night. Auckland has several legendary nights that make wonderful date ideas: in New Lynn try heading to the Black Salt Bar for Wednesday’s rollicking quiz, in Grey Lynn opt for Malt Bar’s comedy quiz on a Monday or, in Newton, try Tuesday night’s music quiz at the King’s Arms Tavern. Just make sure to book ahead at all venues!

3. Pack a picnic and get outside

When the weather is on your side, one of the best Auckland date ideas is to simply grab a picnic and find a favourite spot outside. There are so many great options that we couldn’t narrow it down – so find five of the best below, all good for a different experience. Just please note, Rangitoto is pest-free so seal that picnic food up tightly before you catch the boat!

4. Have a market style foodie date

Are you or your main squeeze fans of romantic meals? Forget the typical fancy restaurant – Auckland is full of delectable food markets that have something to suit most palates. From the roving delights of the Night Markets (in a different spot each night of the week) to the French charm of La Cigale Market, a market date is a great way to find a new favourite dish, together.

5. Go across the universe

Want an Auckland date idea that appeals to your intellectual side? Try spending the evening at the Stardome. Not only is the Planetarium show timelessly great, if the weather is clear you can head to the courtyard and see distant galaxies and stars through the telescopes. Retro lovers will also adore the night shows for grownups: think a light show, wine and Pink Floyd.

6. Stay late at the Auckland Museum or Zoo

Like this idea of experiencing a ‘family favourite’ attraction in a more grown-up fashion? For winter date nights, head to the Auckland Museum’s LATE series and settle in for a great line up of DJs, wine, food and panel discussions. In the warmer months, try the Summer Zoo Lates sessions – think an evening of live jazz, big bands and, of course, big animals.

7. Pick your new favourite bar

Whether you prefer to go for cocktails, lush furnishings and Britomart glam or for craft beers, beach views and city escapes, Auckland has a bar to suit your dating needs. And, as no list of Auckland date ideas would be worth its salt without a list of the best watering holes, we’ve picked a range of great bars – all suitable for a different date. Bottoms up!

8. Find the Fairy Falls

When you need a break from city views and motorways, grab your date and go west. Head far enough and you’ll land on the classic, ruggedly romantic shores of Piha, great for an afternoon off. Alternatively, head up into the Waitakeres for a day spent tramping to the beautiful Fairy Falls and back; the giant kauri and tumbling water will be just the tonic you need.

9. Take a day trip over the Hauraki Gulf

The classic day-trip date is Waiheke Island and, while the island certainly is a top Auckland date idea (who doesn’t love wine and beaches?), it might also be worth considering a longer trip. Just 2 hours on the ferry will get you to the Coromandel Peninsula; perfect for a day (or even a weekend) exploring the glorious Coromandel coastline.

10. Discover your favourite festival

As the biggest city, Auckland has claimed the lion’s share of New Zealand festivals, meaning a year-round programme of activities for those seeking Auckland date ideas. From writer’s festivals and film festivals to satisfy arty singles, to beer festivals and food celebrations to please gourmet lovers, to the legendary Auckland Arts Festival that celebrates life in the City of Sails, there is something here to suit everyone. How apt for diverse, wonderful Auckland.

Ready to try one of our Auckland date ideas? You can find the locations on this map. Still looking for that single man or woman to celebrate Auckland with? Start by registering today.

EliteSingles Editorial May 2016, updated April 2017

Did we get your favourite Auckland date idea? Did we miss one out? Let us know below or contact us at [email protected]

About the author: Sophie Watson

See more articles written by Sophie Watson