|Auckland may not be
Paris or New York, but it has its share of night entertainment.
The smarter venues are down on the waterfront, around the America’s
Cup Village and the new Princes Wharf development.
High Street, to the south of Queen’s Wharf, also has a number
of good bars, including some with live music, and there are also
a number of popular clubs and bars in the immediate
suburbs, particularly along Karangahape Road or in Ponsonby and
In bars and clubs the dress code tends to be casual,
although some places enforce a smarter rule and are particularly
anti leathers and black jeans, since these tend to be clothes
favoured by gangs.
Licensing laws are not strict and some bars even have a 24
hour licence, while others still remain open until the
early hours of the mornings.
The age minimum for drinking alcohol is 18 years. On average,
a pint of beer will cost approximately NZ $3 to $6, while a glass
of wine can be anything from NZ $4 to $12, depending on where
To find out what is going on in Auckland, read the free monthly
listings magazine What’s Happening, the Thursday and Saturday
editions of the New Zealand Herald, or the free newspaper Tourist
Many local favourites are situated down by the
waterfront, such as the vast glass walled bar, Fox’s Ale
House and Restaurant, The Loaded Hog, Quay Street, in the Viaduct
Basin, O Hagan’s and Plum, with newly fashionable hangouts
in Prince’s Wharf, refurbished as a result the America’s
Cup challenges. These include Prince’s Wharf, Bellini, in
the Hilton Auckland, , 147 Quay Street, and the decidedly un-Russian
vodka bar, Prince’s Wharf, Lenin Bar, 201 Quay Street.
With Auckland's British influenced past, it is
not surprising that there are numerous British style bars in Auckland,
the biggest being the Civic Tavern, 1 Wellesley Street West, which
has an Irish bar, Murphy’s, and an English bar, the London
Bar, both situated downstairs, with live music and a bistro restaurant.
Alternatively visitors can try the appropriately named Shakespeare
Tavern (a micro brewery producing its own ale) or Mad Dogs and
Englishmen, both on Albert Street, or The Immigrant Irish Bar,
104 Fanshawe Street, an out-and-out Irish pub, with live music
at the weekend.
Other places worth going to are the Starks Civic Theatre Bar at
the corner of Queen and Wellesley streets, Dogs Bollix on the
corner of Karangahape and Newton roads, Rakino’s on the
1st floor of 31 High Street, the Belgian Beer Café in Vulcan
Lane, Elbow Room in Durham Lane or Tabac, 6 Mills Lane, renowned
for its comfortable velvet room and for being part owned by ex
Crowded House singer/songwriter Neil Finn.
City Casino in the Skytower, on the corner of Victoria and
Federal Streets, is a gambling haven and an entertainment
complex that includes a theatre, restaurant, bars and a hotel,
as well as the casino itself. The minimum for entering the casino
is 20, although a passport is not required. Dress code is smart
casual and t shirts, jeans and sandals are not allowed.
299 Queen Street, is a good place to start, with DJs from 10.00
pm on Friday and Saturday. At the harbor, The
Loaded Hog, Quay Street, in the Viaduct Basin, has long been
a favoured hangout for yachties and yuppies alike. Visitors can
try the Plum, which is also in the basin.
The Fu Bar at
166 Queen Street caters to a younger alternative crowd while the
536 Queen Street, caters for the more mature, musical punters,
as does The Jazz Bar at the corner of Queen and Rutland streets
and Galatos, 17 Galatos Street, a mellow lounge bar with DJ led
For the big party atmosphere head for Papa Jack’s
Voodoo Lounge in Vulcan Lane, Ibiza, 253 K’Road, or Roots,
322 K’Road, while live music enthusiast might prefer the
Kings Arms, 59 France Street, where they can witness small time
NZ touring acts playing R&B, trad’ rock, thrash, metal
or alternative and punk sets.
31 Queen Street is a well known comedy venue that showcases local
talent as well as up and coming international acts.
There is also the Civic Theatre, corner of Queen
Street and Wellesley Street, the Aotea Centre,
Aotea Square, Queen Street, Silo Theatre, Lower
Grays Avenue, and Maidment Theatre, corner of
Princess Street and Alfred Street.
In February a family orientated concert is staged at Auckland
Domain, Opera in the Park.
The Pasifika Festival celebrates Polynesian culture
and takes place each March, in Western Springs.
There are many small food, wine and music festivals throughout
the year, especially during summer.
The year ends with Christmas in the Park, which
is another family orientated concert at the Auckland Domain, in
There are many local dance groups, one of which is the Auckland
Dance Company. There are regular visits from the Royal
New Zealand Ballet Company, which is based in Wellington.
Most performances are given at the Aotea Centre, Queen Street:
Telephone: (09) 307 5060.
Black Grace is an all male dance troupe from the Pacific Islands,
whilst the Pounamu Maori Performance Group give regular displays
of Polynesian song and dance at the Auckland Museum, Auckland
Telephone: (09) 306 7067.
The city has several cinemas, with the best listings
in the daily New Zealand Herald. Most of the mainstream cinemas
are situated along Queen Street, at the junction with Wellesley
The Mid-City Cinema Centre
Address: 239 Queen Street
Telephone: (09) 307 5075).
The St James Theatre
Address: 312 Queen Street
Telephone: (09) 377 7666).
The main arthouse cinema is the Academy, situated underneath the
Address: 64 Lorne Street
Telephone: (09) 373 2761.
There is also a 7 storey high IMAX screen at Force Entertainment
Centre, next to Aotea Square, Queen Street:
Telephone: (09) 979 2400.
The homegrown film that has caused the biggest international sensation
is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, directed by
Peter Jackson, parts of which were filmed not far from Auckland.
The city has achieved more serious minded celluloid acclaim for
itself through the 1994 film Once Were Warriors,
made from Alan Duff’s harrowing novel about the struggle
of a poor Maori family in south Auckland.
Whale Rider (2002), Heavenly Creatures
(1994) and The Piano (1993) are also films New
Zealand can be proud of.
New Zealand, rather than just Auckland, has several literary
figures, many of whom are known internationally, such
as Katherine Mansfield, who is most noted for
her short stories.
Janet Frame whom concerned herself largely with
the emotional crises that she herself experienced, while Keri
Hulme, of mixed Maori, English and Orkney descent, won
the Booker Prize for The Bone People (1983). This was an experimental
work drawing on Maori culture and the best selling book ever by
any living New Zealand author.
Maurice Gee, who worked in the city as a teacher and later a librarian,
sets several of his novels in Auckland, whilst Alan Duff, whose
kitchen sink dramas, such as Once Were Warriors (1990), examines
the place of Maori in modern society.
The Auckland Philharmonia,
Telephone: (0508) 266 237
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.akl-phil.co.nz
performs mainly at the Auckland Town Hall, Queen Street:
Telephone: (09) 309 2677
This has ballet, opera and classical
music regularly featured on the cultural menu.
Although based in Wellington, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
also regularly performs in Auckland, usually at the Town Hall
or the Aotea Centre, Queen Street:
Telephone: (04) 801 3890
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.nzso.co.n
Outdoor concerts are also held frequently in the Auckland Domain
during the summer.
There is a variety of places to visit for live music,
especially at the weekend, mostly in the Downtown area, along
Karangahape (K) Road and in Ponsonby. Visitors can try Papa Jack’s
Voodoo Lounge, 9 Vulcan Street, which has live touring bands and
DJs. Also The Jazz Bar, corner of Queen and Rutland streets, where
you can see a variety of jazz, Galatos for off
beat live acts, or the Kings Arms for sweaty bands.
For equally lively performances, you can also visit the Dogs
Bollix, Rakino’s, or O
Hagan’s. It’s worth remembering that most New
Zealand bars are threefold; bar, restaurant and club, so many
places will at some point in the evening introduce a more clubby
feel, even if it’s someone with an acoustic guitar
sitting in the corner.
The main venue for theatrical performance is
the Aotea Centre, Queen Street, which has various sized auditoriums.
The wonderfully restored Civic Theatre, Queen Street and Wellesley
Street West, (which is north of the Town Hall) is used for plays
Telephone: (09) 307 5058
Email address: email@example.com
Website address: www.civictheatre.co.nz.
More modern rock, drama, dance and cabaret
performances take place at the Sky City Theatre, (which is on
the corner of Federal Street and Victoria Street):
Telephone : (09) 912 6000.
Local productions can be seen at:
The Dolphin Theatre
Address: Spring Street, Onehunga
Telephone: (09) 636 7322
Howick Little Theatre Inc
Address: Lloyd Elsmore Park, Howick
Telephone : (09) 534 1406
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.hlt.org.nz.