Downtown & the Viaduct

Over the years, Downtown Auckland and the viaduct precinct has grown from a rundown, forgotten area, dominated by industrial ports and abandoned buildings, to one of the most vibrant, modern and exciting destinations in Auckland. Thanks to a combination of the America’s Cup regattas of 2000 and 2003, and the Rugby World Cup 2011, Downtown Auckland is today a busy hive of activity, restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping and public transport.

The most important addition to Downtown Auckland in the past decade is the Britomart Transport Centre. Almost every bus you’d ever need to catch leaves from within this two-block radius, and Britomart is the central train station in Auckland city. Across the road from Britomart is the Auckland Ferry Terminal, where you can catch a quick ride across the harbour to Devonport, or further out to one of Auckland’s many surrounding islands like Waiheke or Rangitoto. Running right alongside the Ferry Terminal are The Cloud and Shed 10, two buildings erected especially to serve as fanzones during 2011′s Rugby World Cup.

There’s no shortage of awesome restaurants in and around the Britomart precinct (the immediate two blocks surrounding the train station). Try The Store for an indulgent breakfast, Orleans or Mexico for a fun and relaxed bite to eat later in the day, or if you’re in the market for fine-dining, book yourself a sea-side table at Ostro or turn Japanese at Ebisu. Stop off for an afternoon drink at the golf-themed Britomart Country Club, or grab a quick burger from the very accurately named Better Burger next door.

Downtown shopping opportunities are endless, from local streetwear stores like Federation and AS Colour, up to high-end boutiques like Made and WORLD, right through to designer stores like Karen Walker and Sass & Bide, there’s more than a little something something around here for everyone. But it’s really after dark that Downtown Auckland comes alive. The Britomart precinct has a number of bars and clubs worth your while: Tyler St Garage, 1885 and Northern Steamship to name just a few. Head across Customs Street and down Fort Lane and you’ll find a whole laneway full of late-night clubs, with Everybody’s, Roxy and Fort St Union in particular all worth at least a look-in.

Britomart

Top Tip If you are planning on going out, it’s helpful to note that clubs and bars in Auckland don’t generally require entrance fees, unless there’s a special event on. It pays to get into the city around 11pm, before lines get too long. Downtown Auckland shuts down at around 4am. Please be aware that it is illegal to carry open containers of alcohol on the street anywhere in the city.

Surrounding areas:
Wynyard Quarter, Midtown, Parnell.