New Zealand Bars and Nightlife

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We're known the world over for our remarkable landscapes and crazy adventure activities, but not many people know about what goes on when the sun goes down

Sure we don't have the super clubs like other parts of the world, but in Auckland and Wellington you will find world class bars, clubs and restaurants with a kiwi twist. And in some of smaller cities and towns like Dunedin, Queenstown and Taupo you're guaranteed a great night out in a more relaxed setting.


In recent years Auckland has really upped its game and entirely new hot spots are popping up all over the central city. The Brittomart precint is home to some of the trendiest bars and restaurants. Set on the waterfront, numerous old warehouses and packing sheds have been converted into stunning spaces to enjoy your night out in.

Just beside Brittomart is the Viaduct. Built for the America's Cup, bars and restaurants line the marina and compete for attention with the super yachts moored out front. And just a short walk over the Te Whero bridge is Auckland's newest dining area, North Wharf. Set in old fishing sheds and amongst working fishing boats, you know the fish will be fresh.

Ponsonby, a 2km long strip of road just up the hill from the waterfront, is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. A mix of casual eateries, fine dining, pubs and bars, there's something here for everyone late into the small hours.

For a more alternative scene, you may want to try K' Road (Karangahape Rd). It's got a bit of a dubious reputation but you know that means there are some undiscovered gems and a fun and often random night ahead.

Check out this article from Tourism Auckland with some more details on the social scene in Auckland. Or try Concrete Playground, your weather vein for everything cool in Auckland.


Wellington has led the nightlife scene in New Zealand for years and has more 20-34 year olds per capita than anywhere else in the country. So no matter what night or time of year you visit, you are guaranteed a great time.

Wellington’s after dark playground extends from swinging Courtenay Place to Willis Street, Lambton Quay and Queens Wharf. Scores of late-night cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs can be found within easy walking distance of central hotels and motels. The frenetic partying carries on well into the night, every night, but pulsates longer and louder from Thursday to Saturday. Often there seems to be no distinction between bars, cafes and clubs as many offer live music and dancing and live bands perform on the weekends.

Explore more of Wellington.


Special mention needs to go to Christchurch after the series of devasting earthquakes that struck the city recently. But with the can do attitude of the locals and businesses, new cafes, bars and restaurants are literally popping up all around the city, often in unique locations such as converted shipping containers and old warehouses.

While the majority of the central CBD is still off limits, it's the rediscovered city suburbs that are going off. Addington, Riccarton, Merivale and Fendalton are the spots to head for.


New Zealand's quintessential university town. Need we say more?: Having a good time flows through everyone's veins in the 'Edinburgh of the South'. The action is centred around the Octagon which is coincentially an eight sided feature in the heart of the CBD. You'll find everthing from pubs to wine bars in and around this area.


You'll find a party here any day of the week. Kiwis and visitors alike flock to this stunning town to enjoy all of the adventure that's on offer, both day and night. With the highest concentration of bars and restaurants in New Zealand, you'll be spoilt for choice. Be sure to check out the options down Searle Lane, then finish the night off with one of the famous Big Als from Fergburger.

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