Float is down on the waterfront near Minus 5 and the new Hilton (it looks like a ship). It's got a great atmosphere and plays fantastic music. If you are in the mood for dancing, go in about 1pm to beat the ques (gets busy at bout 12pm or 1am, still not that big a line, but if you need to pee it takes forever) and don't leave to closing! It gets really full and really hot (recomend wearing black top that doesnt show sweat marks) but the dancing is great and the drinks fairly reasonably priced. Mostly used by 18 to 24yr olds, after that you're gonna feel ancient. Boogie Wonderland is at the bottom of Queen St. It caters for a slightly older group (well when I say that my mates and I go there a lot and we're young, and my parents have been known to go aswell). It plays ABBA, Beegees and all that goodkinda music. It's got a lit up dance floor which is pretty cool, it's just a great place to go to dance forever and, if u want to, dress up like a fool. There's a cover charge for Boogie Wonderland, but there isn't for Float.
Dress Code: You won't get into either place wearing white shoes, or jandels, and guys should wear long pants and a collared top. Thats fairly standard for most bars and clubs in the city
Galbraith's is an english style pub at the beginning of Mt Eden Rd near to the Auckland CBD. It serves up a nice selection of meals and has a great range of beers brewed on site.
The Porter is really good as is the Best Bitter and these are served at cellar temperature as any good ale should be. Galbraith's also stocks a range of other beers plus a reasonable wine list.
The food is rather good to with the salt ans pepper squid great as a starter and yummy steaks.
Dress Code: Smart casual is the dress code as is the case with most of Auckland.
All along the Viaduct Harbour are many bars and restaurants to imbibe in. There are about 15 different bars and restaurants along the waterfront here. Some of Aucklands award winning restaurants providing some of the best food town can be found here. When going out to party at night a great bar is Soul Bar. There is also O'hagans Irish Pub. The bars are open till 3am with Spy Bar having a license to 6am. Music ranges from top 40 hits to house and dance music.
Dress Code: Generally you just need to be dressed in smart/casual. Shoes are best to have dress shoes. Sneakers are normally frowned upon. No shorts and singlets.
The Cock and Bull is a pub of some reknown with a great selection of its own brewed beers. I first tasted beer from the Cock and Bull at the Malthouse in Wellington when sampling Epic and Monks Habit - two of the Cock and Bull's best known brews. They have also created a typical english draught beer called the Fuggles. It's warm and flat - just like the poms prefer it?
The pub itself is quite large and has lots of seating space including stand ups and couches. There is also a good selection of meals and nibbles though I have only had the spicy wedges so can't provide much insight into what's best.
If you are no sure what to drink you can ask for a taster of whatever beer you want. A great way to find a beer of your choice!
Dress Code: It's Newmarket so smart casual at the very least.....
The Brooklyn Bar is a small place based in the middle in of town near the top end of Queen street. The bar is a good place to have a lunch or a drink and from the notice-board there is live entertainment most days of the week.
When I was here I was with my new team having a farewell lunch for a one of my staff who is moving to Christchurch. The food was rather okay and the drinks reasonably priced. The staff worked efficiently and no one had any issues. As with most bars in NZ there is an outside option for smokers who need to light up!!
Dress Code: Smart casual is fine here
The Bluestone room is a smallish bar in downtown Auckland between Queen & Alberts streets on a very small side street. There are a large range of beers on tap plus a very good selection of wines and bar meals. There is an upstairs area which is more of a restaurant (not that I've been up there).
The BR is sited over one of Auckland's original wells used for drinking water back in the 1840's. There is a plaque and viewing window on the floor near the entrance with the details.
Dress Code: Smart casual though most in here when I was were in suits.
The Mukuna Gig Guide is probably the most comprehensive guide to nightlife in Auckland. It has info on live bands and DJs, and has maps to bars, clubs and live houses. And it covers just about every genre.
There are heaps of bars around the waterfront which get busy at night, but they can get a lot of young people. Some other not so obvious ones are pony club on customs street, and some of the bars on high street.
Minus 5 is a bar made completely of ice- even the seats and glass you drink from. They give you clothes to wear-jacket and gloves so you don't freeze! For $20 you get one drink and a 30 minute visit. There are ice sculptures which change every few months.
Dress Code: It's cold in here but the bar provides a jacket and gloves.
As soon as I spotted the blue and white owl logo of The Owl Bar on Auckland's Karangahape Road, I felt as though I had to go in for a beer!!!
The bar's logo has a remarkable similarity to that of my beloved football club, Sheffield Wednesday!! I'd like to think that the bar is owned by an exiled SWFC fan, but I never managed to ascertain whether or not that is the case!
So, one afternoon I popped in for a quick beer.
This is very much a local pub rather than a place for tourists to visit. The pub's interior has a separate room full of fruit machines (or "pokies" as they are known locally) and a pool table.
The few clientele that were in the bar at the time of my visit were trying their luck on the fruit machines. Given the price of the beers here, I probably should have done likewise!! ;-)
Unfortunately, the pub offers no beers on tap, but it does have a reasonable selection of expensive bottled beers. I paid 5.50 NZD for a 330ml bottle of Steinlager
Unless you're a Wednesdayite like me, there is no reason to make a special effort to visit this bar. However, if you're looking for a beer on K-Road, this is as good a place as any!
Tabac isn't really a night club, but more of a place for a drink and socializing where you can listen to the DJ spin some cool tunes or live music (schedule dependent). I met up with an acquaintance (a moderator on the Finn fan club internet forum) at Tabac on the afternoon before I had to fly onto Sydney. The fact that Neil Finn co-owns the bar with his wife is a bit of a draw for me, and I was curious to see what the inside looked like (the outside isn't a high point).
It was hardly a happening time for us to go - 4pm on a Tuesday - so it was the two of us, the bartender (very cute) and some liquor salesman. I ordered a NZ white wine, having to ask the bartender what was good for a mostly tea-totaller Canadian girl who doesn't know much about NZ wine. Received a $8 glass of fruity Sauvignon Blanc (naturally) from the Withers Hill winery for my dumb question, and was very pleased with it. Perfect after sweating up and down Rangitoto Island all day, and it soothed my aching ankle and sunburn.
Tabac is TINY inside, like a little box with a bar and a couple of stools and tables jammed in there. I can hardly fathom that Neil and Tim Finn performed three shows in here in early 2003, plus managed to squeeze in an audience! Three chandeliers decorate the ceiling and a mosaic of 'Tabac' greets you at the entrance (two more creative Finn connnections). If you want to escape the squash of people in the main bar, you can book the Velvet Room in the back. This plush room can seat up to 30 people, provides table service, and a separate sound system if the deep house, latin jazz, or lounge isn't doing it for you up front. Likewise, you can book Tabac for private functions but no guarantees that Neil Finn will sing 'Happy Birthday' to you.
Open Tuesday to Saturday.
Dress Code: Jeans and sneakers are okay, as apparently are sweating hiking girls wearing stylish MEC gear. But I've heard that the crowd is typically business chic, so be prepared to compete with stylish guys and gals.
If you want to hear some great live music - check out the Masonic Tavern in Devonport. Its a trip across the habour on the ferry from the city, but it only takes about 10mins (then another 10mins walk at the Devonport end).
Its one of the oldest pubs in NZ, built in 1866, but has a nice atmosphere and on a Friday / Sat night they have some great local bands. Its normally pretty cheap to get in (for example they often have a 5 bands for $7 on a friday night!)
Also known as Cigar Emporium, Cocktail Lounge and Piano Bar. They say they are NZ’s only piano bar but I’m not sure about that but they certainly were the first cigar bar in Auckland. They have live performances in the piano bar three nights a week (Tues, Wed & Thurs) from 9.00pm until late and the place is usually pack on most weekends and after work during the week. Cigars of course are the main item of interest, the lounge area also has one of NZ’s largest selections of cognac’s, ports and of course, cigars. They are also available for private functions.
The old Naval and Family Tavern has been in Karangahape Road for as long as I can remember. It is one of the oldest public houses in Auckland. Today though there it has a casino and rows of gaming machines. Mostly an older crowd still hangs out at this pub after work or on late night shopping. Still an old fashioned and friendly place to have a chin wag.
Open : 10am-late daily
The old Hollywood Theatre opened in 1915 and is still operational today. NZ film pioneer Rudall Hayward used the theatre for his productions. For 10 years the Hollywood Theatre screened the Rocky Horror Picture show every Friday and Saturday night and set the record for the longest movie run in NZ history. The last screening was in 1988. The Theatre continues to operate to this day.
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