News and Views

Auckland's Free WiFi Spots

Posted by Website Admin on January 13, 2020

Free WiFi in Auckland

There are a large number of places where you will find free WiFi in Auckland City. Whether you do not want to spend money on a travel sim card or you are here only for a brief stay, do not worry here are some local tips on finding reliable and free WiFi in Auckland City.

Auckland City’s free WiFi service is called [email protected] Found in public spaces across the city, all users have 30 minutes per day, per device. Once this time limit has been exhausted, you may continue to use by opting to pay a fee. 

Check below for the list of where the Tomizone WiFi can be located:

-  Aotea Square
-  North Wharf
-  Queen Street
-  Queens Wharf
-  Viaduct Harbour
-  Wynyard Quarter

Train Stations:
-  Britomart
-  Glenn Innes
-  Kingsland
-  Morningside
-  New Lynn
-  Newmarket

 Main Streets:
-  Devonport
-  Dominion Road
-  Karangahape Road
-  Kingsland
-  Mission Bay
-  Mt Eden Village
-  Onehunga
-  Otahuhu
-  Parnell
-  Ponsonby
-  St Heliers
-  Takapuna

Other facilities:
-  Auckland Art Gallery.
-  Auckland Libraries.
-  Mount Albert Recreation & Community Centre
-  Westfield Shopping Centres

Most community centres across the city will have a free WiFi on access. Wi-Fi services are also available at the Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Another simple option is popping into one of the many Auckland cafes. A sign will either be in clear view or go up and ask one of the friendly waiters. This option is a nice way of being able to sit down, enjoy a drink (maybe a treat from the cabinet too) and embrace the Auckland lifestyle. Local workers have really embraced the free WiFi in cafes and can/will spend hours at a time working on files while sipping away on their flat white.   

Trying to research and google where to go on holiday can be a total hassle. The best way to see a new city is strolling the back streets with a knowlegable local. It’s the perfect way to find your feet instead of wasting half your trip looking for some good WiFi. So book our Hello Auckland or Taste Auckland walking tours to get the real deal on where to eat, shop and go. 

References: Repurposed from Hello Auckland website

Waiheke's Best Vineyards and Restaurants

Posted by Website Admin on January 13, 2020

The Best of Waiheke

A short ferry ride from the centre of Auckland lands you a world away. This island paradise is blissed out and beautiful. 
Attracting all individuals from free-spirits, artists, wine-lovers and foodies, Waiheke has some of New Zealand’s best food, wine and art. 

With over 30 wineries scattered across the island, it is hard to make the decision of where to go. Based on our knowledge and experience, here are our top recommendations of restaurants and vineyards on the wonderful Waiheke Island

Three Seven Two
Three Seven Two is the Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year 2019 for Best Destination Restaurant and Best New Restaurant.
Named after the first three numbers of the Waiheke phone number, this beautifully spread restaurant is nestled across the road from Onetangi Beach.  

There is a large dining room set in terracotta tiles, flowing out to the outdoor area perfect on a fine summers evening. 
Bronwen Laight has introduced a menu that is balanced and fresh. Seasonal and produce-driven, choose from a range of shared-plate options to a la carte. 

It would be wise to book ahead as this restaurant is extremely popular with the locals. However, if you are unable to get a table, there is a great bar menu ready to be explored. 

Pop into Arcadia for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offering a more relaxed dining experience, soak up the atmosphere at this palm beach cafe/restaurant and bar. With the understanding that Arcadia means “a simple land that provides great pleasure”, indulge in a menu that emulates the idea of simplicity. 

Arcadia is great option when you want a change from the vineyards. Be apart of the island lifestyle in a warm and relaxing environment with great beer and wine and an inviting menu full of variety.

Casita Miro 
On the slopes overlooking Onetangi, this winery not only are the producers of a quality Syrah but home to one of Waiheke’s best restaurants. 
Started more than 20 years ago by the Bond family, Casita Miro is inspired by the kitchens of Spain. Dive into the delicious menu and choose your own tastings from goats cheese croquettes to a ‘share plate’ paella. Or savour your time and opt for the 4 course Fiesta menu. 

Above the restaurant is the Bond Bar showcasing a mosaic masterpiece. Inspired by Gaudi in Spain, the result of seven years work is truly something not to be missed.  

Striving to create an atmosphere like no other, immerse yourself in the vineyard of Tantulas. The opening of Alibi (a craft brewery) now means you can sit back and taste a wide collection of wine, cocktails and beer. 

Renovated in 2016, Tantalus has become a must-visit destination. The estate is situated in the heart of Onetangi Valley, surrounded by other amazing wineries.  A seamless indoor-outdoor flow in the restaurant makes you feel right amidst the vines. Nothing short of spectacular, the seasonal dishes produced here make Tantalus an experience like no other.  

Kennedy Point
If you consider yourself a part-time environmentalist - Kennedy Point is the place for you as it holds the title of the only certified organic winery on Waiheke. Becoming a certified organic winery is no easy task, only 8% of New Zealand vineyards can keep up with the standards.

Upholding a sustainable approach that emits the use of chemicals and pesticides in the vineyard means that the wines are fermented with wild yeast. Enhancing the wines complexities, not only will it taste incredible but you will feel good drinking this organic wine. 

Situated between the vines and offering panoramic views of Auckland, Mudbrick is considered one of Waiheke’s most beautiful vineyards. Relax on the front veranda with a bottle of wine or explore the cellar doors with a tasting or two. This Italian-inspired vineyard upholds a stunning rustic charm. 

With an incredible selection of wine comes a fantastic restaurant in tow. The impressive degustation menu allows you to sit back and relax for a minimum of 3 hours, as you feast on a 7 course menu with the option of a tailored wine match. This empire is nothing short of incredible. 

If you do not get the chance to visit Waiheke, Auckland restaurants pride itself on creativity, friendly service and top-notch cuisine. Walk with us for the latest food finds and popular places. We show where the locals go on our Taste Auckland Food Tour, a moving feast of fun, food and good times.

Auckland's 10 Best Beaches

Posted by Website Admin on January 10, 2020

Auckland's Best Beaches

New Zealanders love the beach - we are made up of three main islands after all. Everywhere along the coastline, there will be a beautiful beach ready to be explored. Whether the white sands of the East Coast tempt you, or the rugged black sand West Coast is drawing you in - you are going to love it! 
It is impossible to narrow down a small list of our best beaches, but here is a guide that may help your decision on where to spend those sunny summer days in and around Auckland! 

A beautiful escape from the city life. White sands, clear blue waters and isolated - sounds like the perfect place for some down time. 
Get a guided horse ride along 14 kilometres of pristine white sand. 
A car will be needed to reach this slice of paradise. A relaxing 1hr 30min drive from Auckland city could turn into a weekend getaway by maybe staying overnight in the campground or hiring one of the great kiwi bachs on offer. 

A favourite weekend destination for Aucklanders, set yourself up for a day of sun. Pack a picnic and unwind in this idyllic location. Similar to Pakiri this drive from Auckland city is around an 1hr and 30mins.  Nestled on a peninsula, this regional park beach attracts all from surfers to nearby hikers. If the pristine white sands don’t do it for you, stroll down to the rock pools - a favourite for youngsters daring enough to dive bomb in. 

An easy 30 minute drive from downtown Auckland, this is a perfect day out for the family. This large 3 kilometre beach is very flat and a favourite of young families. Park up near the surf life saving club for safe swimming, a great set of playgrounds and potentially water-sport activities on offer.  Once the family are over the sun, head into Orewa town and sit down at one of the many delicious food options or relax with some basic retail therapy. 

Offering panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf, this little gem is a less populated version of its neighbour - Takapuna Beach. 
Hop on the ferry from downtown Auckland to Devonport and take an easy 25 minute stroll around to this coastal beauty. Immerse yourself in the Kiwi small-town vibe, with the local dairy and fish and chip shop easily in reach. Be wary that taking a dip at low tide may be quite a walk out to sea. 

This bustling township on the North Shore is a quick 15 minute drive from downtown Auckland. The kids will fall in love with the playground and ice-cream options on offer. Takapuna is renowned for its cafe scene and shopping, so if you have bit to much sun, there is definitely enough to keep you busy for the day. If you are keen boaty, the changing winds also make this stretch of coastline popular for local sailors. 

On the remarkable west coast, sits one of Auckland’s most well-known beaches. 
This beach is not for the faint-hearted. Strong currents and wind attracts surfers with its massive waves. The black-sand plain is split in two with the famous Lion Rock perched in all its magnificence. It is no surprise Piha is popular among photographers - definitely worth a visit though to get that “instagram worthy picture”. 

Calling all fans of the movie “The Piano”. The breath-taking scenery that engulfs this stretch of coastline is so good, they filmed the movie here. Do not worry if you don’t feel like braving the rugged waterline, the scenery and potential photo opportunities makes this isolated beach all worth it. - Added bonus: the stunning Karekare waterfalls are a short walk inland.  

Can not decide between cafe hopping or the beach?  Mission Bay offers a perfect combination of city living and the beach. With prominent views of Rangitoto, this picturesque suburb with an incredible cafe and restaurant scene is a favourite of families wanting an easy day out close to home. 

With vistas of the Auckland skyline, Devonport and the beautiful Hauraki Gulf, this bay arguably provides the best views out of all the Central Auckland beaches. 
To keep the kids entertained, there are a variety of options from a basketball court to a playground with the kiwi kids favourite - a flying fox! Hire a paddle board, kayak or if you are feeling a little water logged, try out the rollerblades on offer. 

A hit with the locals, this family favourite is just easy and surprisingly quiet. With calm waters safe to swim in and a nearby playground, the whole family can be entertained. A simple bus ride from downtown makes this a really simple spot for those without access to car. With the sun bearing down all day long, pack the essentials and don’t forget the picnic! 

When you have had enough of the sand and salt, it is about time to explore more  of our urban jungle. Do our small-group Hello Auckland walking tour. Or indulge in New Zealand seafood on our Taste Auckland walking tour

References: Repurposed from Urban List website

Auckland's Best Fish and Chips?

Posted by Website Admin on January 10, 2020

Auckland's Best Fish and Chips?

One of the most common questions we get asked by visitors is ‘where can we try some really good Kiwi fish and chips?’

It’s widely known that New Zealand produces some of the best seafood or kaimoana in the world and Friday night ‘fish’n’chips’ is a long time tradition in many Kiwi households. But many of the takeaway joints or seafood restaurants the locals’ frequent are out in the ‘burbs which is inconvenient for visitors. So here’s our list of the top five fish and chip places in central Auckland, based on our genuine independent and unbiased opinion. 

The Brewers Co-Operative - Victoria Street West

What goes better with fish & chips than craft beer. The Brewers Co-Operative has a large selection of quality Kiwi craft beers. With new brews regularly appearing, the kitchen offers a perfect pairing with the classic fish and chips. This local treat is wrapped in traditional newspaper, battered with a side of tartare and lemon - just how the locals like it. If you want a twist on our Kiwi classic though, the fish burger, fish taco or even fish curry are all available.

Oceanz -  Wynyard Quarter

Set alongside the Auckland fish market, you can be assured of fresh fish here.  What the outdoor eating area lacks in ambience is offset by the knowledge that Auckland’s commercial fishing trawlers offload the catch of the day right out front. Also it’s where the locals line up most weekends for their take away fish and chips. Grab a single-serve box of battered or crumbed fish, slather your chips with tomato sauce and head for North Wharf. Savor your lip-smacking takeaways while dangling your legs over the wharf’s edge and admire the Harbour views. Watch out for the greedy seagulls though!

The CrabShack - Princess Wharf

A cross between a waterfront pub and seafood shack, this eatery specialises in seafood. Crabs, fish, mussels, tuatuas and much more. But we’re focussed on their ‘fush’n’chups’ as us Kiwis say. And the CrabShack doesn’t disappoint especially as the fish comes beer-battered with tartare sauce and their specialty ‘Shack slaw'. Your table comes with enjoyable views across to Queens Wharf, the Cloud and Auckland’s ferry terminal. 

The Seafood Kitchen - Elliott Stables, Elliot Street

One of the few midtown eateries serving Kiwi-style beer battered fish and chips.  But also so much more from pan-fried fish in lemon butter to coconut-marinated Kokonda to crispy-skinned Hapuka. Don’t be put off by the food court setting, this place is seriously good, blending Pasifika flavours with craft-style cooking. The Head Chef is a Kiwi who was trained in New Zealand and has over 20 years of craft food experience in Australasia.

Harbour Side - Ferry Building, Quay Street

Market fish, hand cut chips, mushy peas, baby cos, lemon and tartare sauce. This is Harbourside’s signature fish and chips. Arguably Auckland’s best located seafood restaurant, Harbourside showcases the freshest seasonal produce and the best views of the harbour. It’s where local seafood lovers go for a special occasion or to take visitors they wish to impress. Highly recommended for a slap-up meal and excellent service.

Of course, this Kiwi classic meal features on many restaurant menus around the city. But we like the fact that all the featured eateries are also within walking distance of the popular city hotels where visitors stay. We love recommending great places to eat and drink on our Hello Auckland walking tour so hop on board to discover where the locals' go.

Best Maori Food in Auckland

Posted by Website Admin on January 10, 2020

Best Maori Food in Auckland? Here’s where!

International visitors often ask us where they can try Maori food in Auckland. When visitors or manuhiri arrive in New Zealand, the biggest thing missing on restaurant menus is Maori-inspired kai. Up to now it’s been a tricky question, because outside of Matariki, where select restaurants adapt their menus to honor the Maori new year, the choices are limited.

Maori cuisine, according to one leading chef, isn’t renowned for its rich flavours. It was traditionally about sustenance and survival, high in protein and carbohydrates for energy. So a hunter-gatherer diet of native birds like wood-pigeon (keruru), wild pig, fish, kumara, taro and vitamin-rich puha. Not exactly the Pacific-rim flavours we enjoy today.

If visitors are Rotorua-bound, they’ll typically include a cultural experience en route which may or may not include hangi-style food, a process of slow-cooking food in shallow earth pits. In Auckland the food truck scene has delivered two specialty Maori food-kai options which we like very much!

Puha and Pakeha

This innovative food truck popular at Auckland festivals has now opened a permanent eatery in Grey Lynn and blends native Maori food with contemporary flavours from around the world. Think hangi-cooked pulled pork and cabbage with spice rub and mayo. Or tua tua fritters with kina chilli chive mayo on the side. This is modern Maori fusion street food where each dish on the menu follows co-owners Jarrod and Belinda’s focus of taking elements of old school Maori kai and adding a modern flavorsome twist.

Hangi Master Food Truck

Inspired to bring the traditional method of Hangi cooking back to main stream New Zealand, owner Rewi Spraggon has been immersed in food service most of his life from childhood to the world’s greatest kitchens .

Hangi tuturu is a seven hour cooking process where heated rocks are placed in a shallow pit with manuka timber. The food is then buried in the earth to cook.  Pork, Chicken, Potato, Kumara, Pumpkin, Cabbage, Stuffing and Watercress salad are the key items on the menu. The manuka timber gives the food an earthy, smokey flavour. 

Some of the rocks Rewi uses to lay and cook Hangi at his West Auckland home have been in his family for generations and fed thousands of people.The Hangi Master food truck not only serves up individual portions of hangi tuturu at markets and festivals, but also Hangi pies, burgers and savouries. 

Within the central city, Hangi Master Rewi Spraggon now operates Auckland's first in-ground Hangi shop The Maori Kitchen. This is open every day on Auckland's Queens Wharf with Hangi pits on site so you can expeirence this delicious 1000 year-old tradition.

Giapo’s Paroa Parai

New Zealand’s best ice cream flavours served in traditional Maori fried bread, known as paroa. Giapo has created a masterpeice with this alternative to the waffle cone. The trick is to eat it quickly before the dreamy, creamy ice cream melts in the warm, light dough.

We love sharing the best places to eat New Zealand food on our Hello Auckland city walking tour. With our small-group focus, it’s the best to start your visit.